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Thursday, June 18, 2009

that's a pretty big tangent...

Finance Minister Iris Evans
Following a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans suggested to the audience that two-income parents place less importance on raising children than families that keep a parent home. Evans' then drifted even further from the topic of the economy and 'suggested a link between a lack of education and mental illness or criminal behaviour.'

"The huge failure of Canadians is not to educate the children properly and then why should we be surprised when they have mental illnesses or commit dreadful crimes?"

Alberta's Finance Minister then targeted her criticism on an even more unexpected area as she criticized funding for new police officers:

"The great tragedy in this year's budget in Alberta ... is that we put 200 more policemen, police officers, for the next two years and more Crown prosecutors, more law enforcement people," she said.

"If we had put 200 more positions in place to help parents be better parents I would have been much happier."

Only hours later, Evans apologized for her bizarre comments.

UPDATE: Is there a chance that this is simply a genius political distraction by Evans' in order to distract Albertans from the announcement that Alberta may need to borrow up to $5 billion in the coming years?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we even still bothering spending the $25 million on the PR campaign? Each time a Minister opens their mouth, the $25 million is worth a little less. Embarrassing.

Kyle said...

I agree Dave. Having a stay at home parent is preferable but there are realities that don't allow it for many families. Evans was insensitive.

Anonymous said...

Liberal leader David Swann: "Alberta is now led by a "group of small-minded social conservatives."

Anonymous said...

As a longtime PC member my most pressing question is: Where is my Leader?

Premier Stelmach why are you so quiet? Stand up and show some leadership.

Anonymous said...

Irony??

David Swann and his wife chose to have a parent stay at home to raise their kids. Strange he is so vehemently opposing the reasoning behind his decision. Evans said nothing about it being one sex or the other, just stated that kids are often better off with a parent in the home. Studies continually support this. Whats the problem?

Anonymous said...

Do studies show that kids without stay at home parents become mentally ill?

Anonymous said...

Since when are Ministers not allowed to have opinions? I fear for a world where politicians say nothing for fear of saying the wrong thing because there are microphones around.

Does anyone else care about the slippery slope we are on?

She apologized for it. But should she be muzzled to never express an opinion again?

I have a feeling that if Daveberta were suddenly prime Minister, his opinions would immediately cease. That is a shame, and we should all be afraid.

Travis said...

If the Minister believes having one parent stay home is best or that education is part of solution to lowering crime then in her next budget she should fund those very programs which would allow for her wishes to come true. Swann should be demanding that the Minister follow through with her views. Lets get increased funding for education so class sizes can be decreased allowing for an improved educational experience. Hopefully the Minister is willing to fund her views.

Frank said...

Since when are Ministers not allowed to have opinions? I fear for a world where politicians say nothing for fear of saying the wrong thing because there are microphones around.

Oh, they're allowed. Just as we're allowed to call them the idiots that they are.

But of all the things to fear in this world, politicians like Iris Evans refraining from saying stupid shit in the future is pretty low on my list.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see this blogger do a survey of the PC caucus and see who agrees with this minister.

Anonymous said...

Frank: thanks for that! Of course they're allowed to have their opinions, but so is everyone else. When you've been given a position of great power and a platform from which to speak, you have a responsibility to take into account the impact of your message. The Minister no longer has the freedom of only considering her own point of view, but now represents the province when she is given the public platform. Her comments were not only insensitive, they were ignorant and once again embarrassed the province.

Chandler Kent said...

Why don't you do a survey, Anon at 11:52? Their e-mails are freely available, and I can't imagine a single member of the PC Caucus who would respond (politely) to a survey from Cournoyer. And what does it matter anyway? Are you entitled to know everything a politician thinks? No. You're entitled to judge him (or her) by what he says or does. Thoughtcrime was only a crime in a book and in Nazi Germany. So, until someone starts legislating that one parent stay home, it might behoove you to worry about more important things than one woman's misguided opinions?

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to remind Iris that Albertans don't have the luxury of giving themselves a 34% pay increase during an economic crisis, behind closed doors with no oversight or input from their employer - in this case, Albertans. Sure, if I could just say "stay home and raise the kids honey, I'll just give myself a huge raise and it'll be fine," that might be an option. Give your head a shake Iris. As an aside, I'm surprised that more people aren't outraged with the "lack of education and poor parenting leads to mental illness" comment. WTF?!

Anonymous said...

Regarding:
Irony??

David Swann and his wife chose to have a parent stay at home to raise their kids. Strange he is so vehemently opposing the reasoning behind his decision. Evans said nothing about it being one sex or the other, just stated that kids are often better off with a parent in the home. Studies continually support this. Whats the problem?

You miss the point genius. Sure, there's nothing wrong with staying at home to raise a child - it's a choice. BUT, when Iris says that parents must stay home in order to raise their child "PROPERLY", there's a problem. I may choose to send my kid to catholic school, but if I say that children who go to public school will develop mental illness and are not raised properly, I'm making a pretty ignorant remark. SOO, the PROBLEM (I'm repeating myself so it may sink in), is that Iris just said that parents who can't afford to stay home and raise their child are raising future criminals and crazies. Get it?!

Seener Beaner said...

This couldn't have surfaced in the media at a worse time for me. I just went back to work on June 8th after a year on maternity leave. I felt so guilty and horrible for putting my little guy in daycare. He cried every day for a week. I am not doing it because I have too much of a choice right now. My husband I don't both work because we want a bigger house or a second car or a flat screen. We do it because it is expensive to live in Alberta, and because I would have a hard time getting back into the labour force after a few years off. I also plan on having another kid soon, so I need all the EI time I can get.

The ties to mental illness and dysfunctionality is extremely offensive to me. Sure she has the right to her own opinion, but as the minister of finance, she should have more tact.

Anonymous said...

Seener why don't you call your MLA and ask what he or she thinks? I'm sure there's a diverse set of views in the whole caucus - even including the radical far right Rob Anderson.

Lloyd Snelgrove's Creepy Goattee said...

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this as Princess Iris speaking her mind off the cuff.

Her speech was so inarticulate and throbbing with stupidity that it could only have been written by Tom Olsen.

Chandler Kent said...

I'm always amused by comments about stupidity from a person who can't even spell "goatee".

Even you can't be so "throbbing with stupidity" to imagine that Tom Olsen could anticipate the Minister of Finance and Enterprise might end up talking about child-rearing while speaking to the Economic Club.

Anonymous said...

The argument about what parents should or should not do is irrelevant. What I hate are politicians that get all preachy and abuse their elected position by telling us how to live our lives. If I want to hear a sermon, I'll go to a church.

Politicians and especially finance ministers running %5 billion deficits need to shut up and listen.

Maybe Iris Evans should visit Saskatchewan instead of Toronto and listen to Brad Wall explain to her how his province is running a surplus.

Kevin Aschim

Seener Beaner said...

I've heard the opinion of a handful of PC MLA's in Alberta and some seem to agree with Evans, others don't. I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion, ignorant or not.

Seener Beaner said...

BTW why are there always so many anonymous people on here? Hiding or too lazy to get an account?

Norma said...

So Iris, I guess your 30 years of public service don't count as being a working mom - sounds like the pot calling the kettle black! Oh wait, I get it, you're actually 70 years old, had your kids when you were 25 after getting a "degree in nursing", went back to work at 40 when the kids were in their early teens. Sorry Iris, you threw me off with your dressing like a color blind cocktail waitress.

Erin said...

As a working mother, I found the Minister's comments to be extremely offensive. Who decides what "properly" means anyway? Frankly, no matter what choice a family makes with respect to their child care, we could all use more support and less judgment.

Harry Marmot said...

My wife and I decided she would stay home to raise our children. They turned out OK. Damned if I can see much difference, though, between them and their friends who went to daycare. The only difference I've noticed, actually, is that when those kids grow up to be parents, their kids' grandparents will be enjoying a decent retirement. Meanwhile, my grandkids' grandparents will be inviting them over for dogfood thanks to the three quarters of a million in income we gave up to "properly" raise their parents. But at least I'll have the comfort of knowing I'm some kind of hero to the fruitcake fundamentalist hillbillies who run this province. Someone remind me: Is there a reason we keep re-electing these morons?

lyrical said...

What a great idea! Let's make post-secondary education free, like it is in Australia, so we don't have to pay off student loans for years and years after we graduate. Both parents can save a whole lot of dough that way.

This whole charade sounds like "let them eat cake" - which one parent can easily bake if he or she is staying home to raise the children.

Anonymous said...

Why did Evans apologize? Isn't that what she believes?

roblaw said...

Comments stupid. Yup. No doubt. I'm a Conservative, President of my constituency, but at a certain point, you need to not just tow the party line.

That being said, while she didn't articulate it, the sentiment was "we need to take responsibility for our children and not just look to someone else to pick up our slack". And that I can get behind.

Anonymous said...

Seaner, just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them ingorant.

Fakirs Canada said...

Good post, Dave, - great ending. Great comments, from many people, also.
Marnie Tunay
Fakirs Canada
http://fakirscanada.spaces.live.com/

Anonymous said...

We made the sacrifice and my husband stayed home with the kids. They were in daycare before that, and I can say that having a stay at home parent made a big, big difference. The kids were happier and more centered because of it.

Couples like us, who make the sacrifice, and yes, you suffer economically when you are on only one salary, and this extends later, when pension income is reduced when you are a senior, deserve just as much recognition as those where both mom and dad work.

What really upsets me though, is even though we are making the sacrifice, those that are both working and making more money have their hats out, expecting people like us to subsidize their daycare.

Good on Iris, and shame on the rest of you!

Alberta Altruist said...

Response to your update. If Iris can't even add why would you give her credit to think she would be smart enough to distract us from the truth? You will have to face it she's just plain old incompetent

Anonymous said...

On the update: EXACTLY Dave. People have been distracted from the real issue, which is that Evans was in Ontario to discuss something the Alberta government has not done for a while--borrowing money.