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Last summer, Alberta appointed a libertarian to its human rights commission

In August 2019, Alberta’s lieutenant governor approved a recommendation to appoint 5 new members to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. One of them was Moin A. Yahya.

In August 2019, Alberta’s lieutenant governor approved a recommendation from Doug Schweitzer, the minister of justice, to rescind the appointments of 6 members of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and appoint 5 new members.

One of those members was Moin A. Yahya, who had been also appointed to the Fair Deal Panel last November.

Yahya may not be familiar to most Alberta voters, but he’s familiar among some right-wing circles.

For example, he’s written for Rebel Media and the Fraser Institute.

He’s a past director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which bankrolled Brian Day’s legal challenge of Canada’s health care system. He was a director there while the executive director was John Carpay, who now runs Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which launched a court challenge against GSAs in Alberta.

Yahya has presented at various events on “freedom of speech”. For example, he’s spoken 8 times at events hosted by the Institute for Liberal Studies, including in 2018 at the University of Saskatchewan, where he was a panel member for an event titled “Suppressing free speech, past and present”.

In 2008, the now-defunct libertarian webzine Le Québécois Libre published an article Yahya wrote entitled “Why conservatives and liberals are both wrong”. In it, one of the things he said was:

Liberals in this country claim they want civil liberties, but under the guise of human rights commissions, have been responsible for massive large-scale attacks on freedom of speech.

To have him now be on the Alberta Human Rights Commissions is either highly ironic or it’ll be an opportunity for him to finally change an organization he’s morally opposed to as a proponent of free speech.

Incidentally, he’s also donated over $7,000.00 to political entities, including $1,500.00 to the Wildrose in 2012, $1,000.00 in 2013, $1,200.00 in 2015; $1,062.50 in 2017 to Jason Kenney’s PC leadership bid; $1,000.00 in 2017 to the Alberta Victory Fund, a political action committee designed to elect Jason Kenney as UCP leader; and $750.00 each in 2018 and 2019 to the UCP.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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