By Lethbridge Herald on February 26, 2015.
What is meant by civil liberties?
That question will be front and centre today at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs.
According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, civil liberties are protecting those freedoms considered fundamental in a democratic society. These fundamental freedoms include freedom of opinion, thought, belief and expression, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience and religion and freedom of association and peaceful assembly. It is almost impossible to imagine how a democracy would work without protection for these most basic rights and freedoms, and yet they continue to be under attack in many ways, according to Raul Vergara and Sandon Law, todayâ€™s SACPA speakers.
The speakers qualified as finalists in the recently-held University of Lethbridge Student Speaker Challenge, beating out six other competitors. Sponsored by SACPA, LPIRG and ULSU, each yearâ€™s competition addresses a different topic and this year, civil liberties or the lack thereof was the topic. The presenters will address civil liberties from different perspectives and give a glimpse of how post-secondary students view the importance of free speech and the issue of privacy.
Vergara is 21 years old and is originally from Mexico City. He majors in Economics and is studying in the University of Lethbridge as part of the international exchange program. He is interested in politics and economic development.
Law is a first year combined degree student of Marketing and Education. He has been involved with speech and debate since junior high and he was a founding member of the speech club at his previous high school in Calgary. Law competed in public speaking on a national level at Canada Skills in 2013, and his role as a school ambassador led him to win the Premier’s Citizenship Award and Gold Duke of Edinburgh.
Todayâ€™s session goes from noon-1:30 p.m. (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and question and answer) at Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of The Keg) at 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S., at a cost of $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation only).