Alberta United Conservative Party members passed a policy resolution to bar post-secondary institutions from using race as a factor in admissions programs and procedures. However, the resolution is not binding on the Alberta government. “Various colleges and universities in Alberta have alternative admissions programs for members of disadvantaged racial groups,” said an Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Alberta UCP member in a Saturday speech at the Annual General Meeting. “Such procedures allow individuals to enter higher education based on their racial or ethinic identity and not on merit.” The UCP member said this denigrates a sense of personal responsibility among young people. Little evidence exists to indicate these programs improve the conditions of disadvantaged racial groups. Grande Prairie-Wapiti UCP member Jeremy Rochon said he was a member of the Alberta Metis Association, and he does not “want to get into a post-secondary school just because of my ethnicity.” “I would rather be recognized for my hard work and perseverance,” said Rochon. “I don’t think it’s fair other people have a chance of getting in because of their race rather than earning it through dedication and being driven.” Red Deer-North UCP member Sheila Cunningham responded by saying it could hurt reconciliation with indigenous people. “This policy, in my reading of it, portrays no post-secondary, no college, based on being indigenous, and I don’t think that’s right,” said Cunningham. “Please vote no.” This ordeal comes after the Supreme Court of the United States struck down affirmative action in post-secondary school admissions in June, declaring race cannot be a factor and forcing these institutions to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies.The Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturned cases reaching back 45 years in invalidating admissions plans at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The decision marked the realization of a long-sought conservative legal goal, finding that race-conscious admissions plans violate the US Constitution and a law applying to universities receiving federal funding.