By Tim Kalinowski on April 23, 2021.
Wildrose Independence Party leadership candidate and former MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner Paul Hinman spoke at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs weekly YouTube livestream speaker series on Thursday about the proper role of government, and why, in his opinion, the Trudeau and Kenney governments are failing Albertans.
“For me, I am a Christian, and I believe that life and my agency, and my right to choose, comes from a higher power,” he stated. “And it certainly didn’t come because I was born inside of Alberta, inside of Canada, in this world we know. My life didn’t come from the Canadian government, and my freedoms did not come from the Canadian government. I believe each of us as individuals have those inherent rights and freedoms.”
Hinman was ostensibly appearing at SACPA to trumpet his party’s vision for a sovereign Alberta, but spent more time taking aim at current public health restrictions on Thursday.
“We have a crisis situation with COVID, and we have a (UCP) government that wants to impose one size fits all,” he said. “And it is not good. Our premier back last December has said it is wrong for government to pick winners and losers, but yet that is what this government has done. And again, what can as we the people do about this but to go along to try and get along? And yet, we have had individuals like Pastor James Coates who they have put in jail. They put fences around his facility, and the question is do we have freedom of assembly? Do we have freedom of speech? Do we have freedom of religion? Freedom of conscience? Or don’t we? Were those people doing harm? I just can’t believe the draconian measures that governments around the world, but more importantly right here in Alberta, are taking in saying everybody has to shut down.”
Hinman said, citing thinkers John Locke, Adam Smith and particularly Frederic Bastiat, that he believed the role of government was to protect the life, the individual freedom and the property of citizens, and anything beyond that was a vast over-reach, even when it comes to public health orders issued during a pandemic.
He said it was the “tyranny of the majority” at work when a central government imposes a one size fits all solution to a problem or situation. He also stated he believed in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”
Hinman warned that one day those who are currently imposing restrictions on certain individuals may have restrictions they find equally egregious imposed on them if the principle of respect for individual liberty and freedom is not the guiding rule and central principle of proper governance and law in Alberta.
Hinman was asked by various SACPA attendees in the question and answer session following his talk about how his reframed Golden Rule works when other individuals in society do not want to get sick and yet have people intent on defying public health orders continuing to spread a sometimes deadly illness among the population?
Hinman did concede the Golden Rule must be applied equally to all individuals but refrained from direct comment on whether or not individuals like Pastor Coates might be found to be in violation of this rule on that measure. He also speculated perhaps the Alberta government’s pandemic response, and its health restrictions, might have done a great disservice to Albertans by not allowing for the development of natural herd immunity sooner.
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