Peace Arch News’ editorial was needlessly and wrongly critical, and served no constructive-to-society purpose.
Whether Surrey Coun. Laura Guerra has personal views that are “anti-SOGI” or are not “anti-SOGI” is immaterial to how she conducts her duties and keeps her fiduciary obligations to constituents.
Pursuant to sections 2a and 2b of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Guerra is guaranteed: freedom of conscience and religion; and freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.
The appalling inference in the Peace Arch News’ editorial is that once citizens are elected to public office in the immensely multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religions city of Surrey, they are not permitted to hold personal views or beliefs and are not permitted to, in their private lives, subscribe to any religious orthodoxy or teachings that clash with the views and objectives of segments of society and interest groups – such as sore-loser council candidates.
One of the most abhorrent consequences of the editorial’s defective logic, if enforced, would mean that City of Surrey office holders would be prohibited from expressing their personal views on contentious subjects anywhere, not even at private gatherings.
As for Coun. Allison Patton’s use of the credential term “doctor,” this also is a non-issue and not relevant to how she conducts herself as member of Surrey city council.
Her party’s Safe Surrey Coalition website and campaign materials all were unequivocal that Patton’s day job was that of a “naturopath physician.” If she previously has used, and continues to use the term naturopath “doctor” to identify herself to her patients and prospective patients, and constituents, this is consistent with credential terminology used by other B.C. naturopath physicians.
Considering the immense economic development, population growth and guns/illicit drugs crime challenges that the city’s newly elected council is charged with dealing with over the coming term, the Peace Arch News should know better than to carelessly play mischief-maker.
Roderick V. Louis, White Rock
Editor’s note: The PAN editorial expressed the opinion that, given the public criticism, it is up to the electorate to decide whether these issues affect a councillor’s duties. As well, the Safe Surrey Coalition website updated Patton’s biography this month to include “naturopathic.” following questions from the CBC.