OTTAWA — Apple pie may still be sacred to Canada’s political leaders but motherhood? Not so much.
With an election just five months off, most federal leaders couldn’t resist larding their Mothers’ Day messages Sunday with overt political spin.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper lauded mothers as “the keystones of our families” and then went on to boast about his government’s various initiatives to support mothers and their families.
“These measures are benefiting Canadian families and allowing them to spend more quality time together while keeping more money in their pockets,” he said in a written statement.
In a fundraising email blast later Sunday, Conservative MP Stella Ambler recalled how much she enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and praised the Tory family tax cut for allowing women to make that choice. She accused Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who last week proposed his own alternate plan for helping middle class families, of trying to force women into the workforce.
“I’m sorry, but being a mom is a real job, one of the toughest — and greatest jobs in the world,” she said, appealing to supporters to donate $15 to support the Conservative plan.
“With that kind of attack on stay-at-home moms, is it any wonder they want to force women to choose work over family?”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s initial mothers’ day message, issued via Twitter and Facebook, stuck to the point: “On behalf of the entire #ndp family, Happy Mothers’ Day.”
But he quickly followed that up with another posting, touting his $15-a-day, national child care proposal.
“Too many moms pay the price when families can’t find affordable #childcare. We can do better,” he tweeted, providing a link to the NDP daycare plan.
Even Green party Leader Elizabeth May couldn’t resist the temptation to do a little politicking. In a written statement, she briefly lauded the positive influence mothers have on their children’s lives before lurching into a lecture on politically correct gifts to celebrate their special day.
“Greens remind all kids buying flowers for mom to consider ethical flowers,” she said.
“Some florists’ cut-flowers were grown in ways that hurt workers and the environment. Please consider sending flowering plants with roots, which can only be grown in Canada or seek out ethically traded flowers. Help protect mothers around the world.”
Only Trudeau resisted the urge to make overt political hay with Mothers’ Day.
His party released a short video of Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, talking about her mother and her own “magical” experience raising three kids.
Trudeau himself issued two tweets, the first thanking mothers everywhere for “the unconditional love and support you give to your kids,” the second addressed to “strongest women and greatest moms I know — my amazing wife Sophie and my inspirational mother Margaret Trudeau.”