Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans proclaimed that in order to raise children properly one parent has to stay at home with them. This doesn't seem good enough for me, though. If stay-at-home parents are such a great asset for their children, why stop at one? Let's have both parents quit work and stay with their children. It will be the Finance Minister's job, of course, to create the kind of economic reality where all parents can stop working and stay at home indefinitely.
What bothers me in the varied reactions to Evans's statement, is not so much that "socially conservative groups such as the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada applauded Evans for speaking out." They are conservatives, it's their job to ensure that women are subjected and tied to the private sphere for good. What is more annoying is the reaction of progressive groups. For some reason, they decided that the only reason why people have careers is the economy: "Parents are going out to work because they need to afford the fundamentals of life - the basics of food, clothing and shelter." Apparently, the moment we can afford the fundamentals, we will have no reason to keep working. This way of putting it in reality supports the conservative agenda that pushes the image of women as working only out of desperation because there is no big strong man to support them.
Of course, Evans didn't specify the gender of the parent who should be left at home with no professional realization. But with the existing pay gap and within the patriarchal cultural tradition, we all know who those stay-at-home parents would be.