However, if the writer over at the UofC's Law School Faculty blog "ABlawg" is any indication, Blackett may have tipped his hand:
Lindsay Blackett (Minister of Culture and Community Spirit) is said to have made the following comment: “We have a slightly different process, and we have slightly different value systems and a way of thinking in Alberta, and since most of the people on our commission are from Alberta, they may look at it a little differently then Ontarians do.”
The post's author then goes on to speculate on the various ways that Blackett could attempt to interfere in the process of the AHRC:
For example, will members of the Human Rights and Citizenship Commission be fearful that their salaries will be in jeopardy if they permit these complaints to proceed to a hearing, given that remuneration for the chief commissioner and other members of the Commission are prescribed by the Minister (see s. 15(4) HRCMA))?
What does Blackett’s statement portend for the Alberta government’s current review of our human rights legislation, and the argument that discrimination on the basis of being transgendered should be included in proposed amendments to the HRCMA?
Second, Blackett’s comment suggests that there is a “different value system” and “way of thinking” in Alberta. This suggestion of some sort of monolithic Alberta value system runs contrary to the HRCMA itself, ...
Third, even if there is a relatively conservative mindset in this province compared to some others (like Ontario), this is precisely why we have human rights legislation. Individuals who belong to minority or disadvantaged groups, such as the transgendered (who, it must be said, are not themselves a monolithic group), require the protection of human rights legislation to ensure that they are not subjected to the tyranny of the majority. Again, the preamble of the HRCMA is instructive ...
If the author's speculations are true, then transsexuals in Alberta are going to be fighting a long, ugly battle with the government. (Repeat of Vriend, perhaps?)