Today marks the 50th year since the United National Resolution on Racial Discrimination was proclaimed. I feel that it is important for us as Albertans and Canadians to look back on the strides we made towards building a more equal society. Around the world, Canada is seen as a leader in human rights and as a country that has stood for fighting discrimination.
In 1972, two of the first pieces of legislation passed by the Progressive Conservative Government were the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Individual Rights Protection Act. Both these pieces of legislation affirmed that the Alberta recognizes that all people are equal and deserving of equal treatment under the law. We should be proud of these steps. But it is important to acknowledge that Alberta and Canada have dark chapters when it comes to human rights. The cruel forced sterilization of thousands of Albertans and the treatment of our indigenous population through residential schools are two of the episodes that we must learn from and vow never to repeat.
Alberta thrives because of the diversity of our population. We are unbelievably fortunate to have neighbours, friends and family that come from around the world and to be able to experience so many different cultures in our communities. Let us continue to work together to ensure each and every Alberta is loved and valued as a person, and that racial discrimination is relegated to the history books.