Calgary

Wildrose drops 'Alliance' from name

Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party is shortening its name to simply the Wildrose Party.

Party members vote to abolish Alberta Human Rights Tribunal

Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party is shortening its name to simply the Wildrose Party.

Members at a general meeting in Calgary over the weekend agreed to drop the 'Alliance' from their official party name.

Shannon Stubbs, the candidate for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, said the members are already calling it the Wildrose Party, but they wanted to make it official.

The party is printing a new logo on posters and billboards.

Meanwhile, members at the meeting also voted overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing Alberta's Human Rights Tribunals.

The tribunals adjudicate disputes including those surrounding the rights of racial minorities, the mentally or physically disabled, women and seniors.

'Kangaroo court'

Wildrose justice critic Rob Anderson argues the tribunals are fundamentally undemocratic.

"You cannot have a tribunal that has no rules of evidence, no burdens of proof," Anderson said.

"It's run by bureaucrats, not lawyers and judges. That's not a fair system. Something as important as human rights and human rights complaints needs to be adjudicated in a court of law, not in a kangaroo court which is what happens today."

Jose Ruba also voted to abolish the tribunals.

"I like visible minorities — I am one. What happens with the human rights tribunal — they are actually eliminating our right to disagree, our right to be offensive."

Davinder Toor also supported the vote, but warned it may cause problems in minority communities.

"There'll be some concerns like when any party is going to abolish it."

Though the party supports cutting government spending, the issue of the potentially huge costs of transferring tribunal issues to the already over-stressed court system was not raised, nor did the party address how it would fund such a move.