MLA's 'more babies' comment disrespectful: women's group
Women's group acce
The head of New Brunswick's Advisory Council on the Status of Women says she accepts the apology of an MLA for his Facebook statement that girls should be having more babies.
Nevertheless, Rosella Melanson said, it was a poor choice of words, given the province's growing number of teen pregnancies
"The teen pregnancy rate, which has been going down since the '60s and '70s, has started going back up — in some counties much more than others, but overall in New Brunswick," she said.
Carl Urquhart, a Conservative MLA for York, posted the controversial statement on his Facebook page after Tuesday's budget called for another massive deficit.
"Girls, we need more babies or we will never be able to support our future," he wrote.
Melanson described the statement as disrespectful.
"It's as if women, at the drop of a hint or for the service of the nation, have to make babies," she said. "It's disrespectful of the role of being a parent and the words that were used did not hit women in a respectful way."
Melanson wonders whether Urquhart would have made the statement if more women were represented in the legislature.
"He's not surrounded by very many women in the legislative assembly, and if he was maybe those particular words might not have come to mind," she said.
As it stands, New Brunswick has the lowest female representation in the legislature in Canada, Melanson said, adding political parties have to do more to attract women to politics and keep them there.