Wed. Apr 7th, 2021
Saturday's letters: Freedom of religion not an absolute right

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Not for the first time, I find myself in disagreement with the case made by John Carpay whose current position as president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has him appearing to suggest that freedom of religion is protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as though it is an “absolute right.” He appears to ignore the fact that all rights in the Charter, including freedom of religion, can be limited by reasonable laws which can be justifiably sustained in a democracy.

I am inclined to support the accuracy of the position put forward by Prof. Eric Adams that suggests that in a time of pandemic and a patently urgent health crisis, reasonable health orders placing limitations on how people may gather would be considered justifiable. The limitations on the conditions under which people may gather for church gatherings have been accepted by the vast majority of churches and religious groups worldwide as well as in Edmonton.

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What may not be clear however, is whether or not the government has merely provided “guidelines” to church communities or whether the restrictions are in any way intended to be legally binding.

Frank Peters, Edmonton

Danielle Smith’s vaccination claims outrageous

Re. “Who will chart the path back to political balance?” Danielle Smith, March 19

I usually find Daniele Smith’s column simply annoying, often filled with highly selective information, employed to prove a point. However, her column published in this Friday’s Journal is offensive and outrageous. Smith invokes the Nuremberg Codes to argue that public health measures incentivizing people to get one of the COVID vaccines are authoritarian in the extreme. The Nuremberg Codes were brought into place in response to horrendous, often racially motivated “medical experiments” in Nazi concentration camps. The subjects of these experiments typically did not survive.

Let’s be clear: vaccination saves lives. Large numbers of unvaccinated individuals guarantee that the virus, including the variants, will continue to circulate in the population, putting everyone at risk. Vaccine hesitancy is a complicated and sensitive matter, however, does any rational person really believe that a code meant to prevent atrocities applies to public health measures designed to save lives? Ms. Smith’s column is outrageous and misleading.

Anthony McClellan, Edmonton

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Grateful to AHS for seamless vaccinations

We can all complain, we can all find fault but I have to write to say that our vaccination experience for my family from booking to vaccination has been exemplary. For Mom, (93 years) the booking was expertly managed through Rosedale working with AHS. When my husband’s and my

birth years came up, the online process, was seamless. Mom’s two shots and now my first were organized, safe, fast and provided by caring nurses who are a credit to the profession. Bravo Alberta Health Services! We are so grateful.

Colleen Norris, Edmonton

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