VoteSecular Response: Heather MacIntosh Green Party, AB - Calgary Centre-North
Centre for Inquiry Calgary's Helen Beach sent different questions to local candidates. See questions and responses:
Election Questions (Y/N)
1. (a) Are you an advocate of the scientific theory of evolution?
We teach science.
(b) Are you a creationist?
2. Do you plan to enforce evolution education from K-12?
This is a provincial responsibility, as you know, and all Canadians must learn the big bang, evolutionary theory, about genetic research, etc.
3. Do you support the separation of church and state?
4. Do you support women’s rights to abortion and birth control?
Yes, and for women in developing countries as well.
5. Should medical practitioners be allowed to deny help to patients using religious “conscience rights”?
In some situations, possibly. However, then the state has a duty of responsibility to provide another practitioner to provide the services. This is the only way that freedom of conscience and a patient's right to care can be upheld.
6. Do you support same sex marriage?
7. Will you bring about “tough on crime” measures for the priests and pastors of residential schools?
8. Do you support mandatory vaccinations for all preschool aged children in Canada?
No. Some parents choose not to vaccinate at all and while I see the free rider effect on the public health system as an issue, until we reach the tipping point I am reluctant to enforce vaccination.
A further comment:
Should a candidate's religious beliefs be off limits to discussion? My answer is that they only deserve that privilege if they believe in absolute separation of church and state. But these days – with the government doling out millions to bible colleges and the Billy Graham Evangelical Foundation, with the government's lack of respect for science and evidence, with foreign aid refusing to support abortion, with the public funding of Catholic and evangelical schools, with the Minister of Science and Technology not even knowing what science is, with the government letting the churches and pastors off the hook for financial and criminal responsibility in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the residential schools – the intermingling of church and state affects all of us.
Separation of church (I would say "religion") and state is a cornerstone of our liberal democratic system. My individual beliefs have obviously shaped the person I am and my perspectives, however as your MP it is my duty -- and I take this extremely seriously -- to advance secular policies which offer equal benefit and protection to all, regardless of religious affiliation, if any.
Green Party Candidate, Calgary Centre-North
Make the Shift. Make History. Vote MacIntosh.