Vital Signs

We Did It to Ourselves

In June 2009, Alberta’s former minister of finance Iris Evans commented to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto that, “when you’re raising children, you don’t both go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise.”  Essentially, Mrs. Evans suggested that parents might need to sacrifice financial well-being for stable families.

Needless to say, her fellow Alberta Tories ran for cover.  Premier Ed Stelmach responded, “We have a tremendous respect for working families—both parents working contributes greatly to the province of Alberta and to the country of Canada.”  Evans herself tried to hide from her remarks, saying in her mea culpa, “But it was never with the intent to slam parenting as people do when they have children in alternative care or in daycare.”  Yet how could it not have been her intent?  It is theoretically possible that she was speaking only of those well-off families who could afford to have one breadwinner (presumably male) in the family, but it’s doubtful that women in many such households would suddenly give up their lucrative careers in law, finance, government, or management for that of housewife.

If many leftists are asking the broad mass of the citizenry to sacrifice some prosperity for the good of the environment, it is also the case that many rightists have asked for sacrifices in the name of the family.  Unfortunately,...

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