In no way did statement promote one belief over another: Dalton

MLA only wanted to bring attention to Alpha program

Editor, The News:

Re: Why is MLA promoting a religious group? (Letters, Oct. 28)

A recent letter to the editor purported that my statement to the Legislature was a promotion of a religious group.

While I applaud Andrew van Baarsen for his courage to come forward and his attention to provincial politics, I would like to set the record straight.

Alpha is not a religious group; it is an inter-denominational program open to everyone, no matter their race, religion or sexual preference.

It is a course designed to provide a welcoming, friendly environment for those looking for answers to life’s questions.

More than a 1,000 people from Maple Ridge alone have participated in it.

MLAs from both sides of the House frequently mention different religions during two-minute statements, often to promote different holidays or festivals.

In no way was my statement a promotion of one belief over another, nor was it a promotion of one viewpoint over another.

Bullying and prejudice of any kind are not tolerated by this government, and for anyone to claim differently is wrong.

My intention was to bring awareness to a program open to everyone seeking direction.

I apologize if anyone interpreted it otherwise.

Marc Dalton

Maple Ridge-Mission MLA