Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Why we need GSA’s.An interview with a High School Student and Parent


Click this link for part 3 of our series of conversations around Gay Straight Alliances.

We heard from people who had some concerns about GSA’s. If you missed that, click here. It was with Jojo Ruba, Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo and Jeff Wilson.

The second was with Kent Hehr. If you missed that, click the link here.

This perspective is from a High School student named Caprice and her mother Diane. Caprice is in Grade 10. She is slowly opening up about who she is and her mom is there to support her.

We also heard from Kelly Hofer. If you haven’t heard his story, we touch on it briefly here. He is a Hutterite who, once he came out, cannot go back to his colony to be with his friends and family there. He has started a support group which he will talk about as well. Kelly couldn’t stay with us the whole time, but we did appreciate his perspective. If you wish to listen to his interview, listen to it here.

Oh, and Terry Lo is with us as well.

Topics we cover in our Podcast include;

Kelly’s perspective on GSA’s and the concerns from the religious community.

Diane’s experience dealing with teachers and principles in schools.

Caprice’s perspective.

A response to if an “anti-bullying” club solves the problem

A response to the parental concern argument.

Their impression on Gordon Dirks

Terry walks through how feasible Bill 10 would work with Caprice. And the logic behind it.

Follow Diane @Diegirl

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Kent Hehr


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Kent Hehr and I discuss the recent issues around Bill 202 and Bill 10.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

If you remember, Kent brought forward a private members bill Motion 503 which would make it mandatory for school boards to support students who want to form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs)
Topics we discuss include;

-Kent motivation behind bringing Motion 503

-The process behind Bill 202 and the expectations of what would happen

-Bill 10

-The response to concerns that religious schools that this is a violation of their rights

-Gordon Dirks silence

-The hope going forward

We also spent some time discussing Provincial and Federal politics as well.

We discussed;

-the current perception of Alberta Liberal party

-his perception of the other parties

-the impact of oil prices and when Prentice could call an election.

-His nomination for Liberal MP

-Why he feels it’s important that we have a Liberal MP from Calgary.

Follow Kent on Twitter. He posts a lot of content.
@kenthehr

Check out his website
www.kenthehr.ca

Follow me on Twitter
@kevole
Agree or Disagree: The Podcast
@AorDThePodcast

Add me on Facebook
Kevin Olenick

Like Agree or Disagree: The Podcast on Facebook.

Agree or Disagree: You would sign this petition supporting secondary suites in #yyc


There is a  very important vote going on at Calgary City Council this Monday. It is a vote to significantly improve the secondary suites process city-wide. Many people will agree that this process has been a long time coming.

Hence, why we have this petition. This is a petition you can sign to support secondary suites in Calgary. It is called We Support Secondary Suites. The site will give you some information on the issues. It will also link you to a couple of websites. I’ll include them here.

The first one is this. A link from the City of Calgary on Secondary Suites and their current guidelines.

The second one is here. It is an investigation on Secondary Suites in Calgary.

I will add one more article. This is a news story explaining some of the concerns around secondary suites.

After looking at this, would you sign the petition?

Agree or Disagree: @calgarydreamer’s decision.


As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.

But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.

Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.

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This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association.   Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.

This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.

To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.

Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta  Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.

Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there.  But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.

Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.

Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too.  Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.

Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?

Agree or Disagree: Women Love Bad Boys and Dump Nice Guys


We have actually done this topic before,

It was in April of 2013.

However, I thought it would be an interesting conversation to unpack again. Especially with an individual who is advertising an idiotic, seriously  idiotic dating style. I’m not advertising or posting what it is. You know what it is. It doesn’t need my advertisement.

Rather, let’s look at this here. This article looks is titled Why Women Love Bad Boys and Dump Nice Guys.

Then, we will get your thoughts. Do women love bad boys and dump nice guys?

Agree or Disagree: Sweden’s Prostitution Solution would work in Canada


This article has been going around Facebook a little bit.

There are some people that have been very impressed by how Sweden has dealt with prostitution.  As an example, within the last five years Stockholm, the number of women in prostitution  have been reduced by two thirds.  And the number of johns has been reduced by 80%.

How?

Well according to this article, two things.

1)  Criminalizes the buying of sex.

2) Decriminalizes  the selling of sex.

As well as something in their law which says this; This according to the article.

“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”

I’m going to let you read the article, which outlines what has happened quite comprehensively why this works. Then, I will ask you this question.

Can this concept work here in Canada? Or, is this too simplistic of an idea for a complex problem?

Agree or Disagree: Stores should be closed on Remembrance Day


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Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. A time when hopefully we will all take at least a moment to reflect on those who lost their lives defending our freedoms.

Some of us will have the day off from work tomorrow. Some of us will work tomorrow and have another day off in lieu. Others will work tomorrow.

For us who have the day off tomorrow, we have the option to go to a store and shop.  Most stores will be open regular hours.

But is that right? Is it time for stores to be closed on Remembrance Day?