Letter to the editor

Letter: Don’t refuse to wear a mask because it is inconvenient

Time for some straight talk about rights to anti-mask protesters.

First, rights are entitlements for the protection of specified fundamental freedoms.

Second, there is no right to absolute, unrestrained freedom of action in any organized functioning democratic state (hopefully including Alberta).

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees a caveat that “the rights and freedoms set out in it are subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law that can demonstrably be justified in a free and democratic society.”

Third, rights are claims to the protection of the person and groups or communities from real threats to their well-being and security.

So, there is no individual right to refuse to wear a mask simply because it is inconvenient or tied to some farcical conspiracy story about mind control, when mandated by a duly elected government, to protect the health and safety of others against the threat of life-endangering disease transmission.

So, stop claiming you are asserting your rights when you are actually claiming an unlawful privilege while violating the fundamental rights of others to the security of their person by not wearing a mask to protect them from serious harm. Remember Red Deer, fortunately, is not in the U.S. where rights are individualized and their government is constrained in trumping them.

Jim Gough, Red Deer

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