"The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grief’s and fears”

This new ate of unbridled freedom and “damn the consequences” is scary! Even worse, those of us still trying to raise a family with traditional values find ourselves in a time warp. “Not living in the real world,” the school counsellors moan as we look askance at the new morality.


Amidst the growing fury over two small American children left “home alone,” during the Christmas season, while their parents vacationed in Mexico, our NDP government in British Columbia, proclaimed into law amendments to the infants Act, once again, undermining parental authority. The radical changes have left parents outraged. One has to live in this beautiful province to realize the far reaching consequences of the government’s latest move.


Every day the news beings stories of escalating violence among our youth. Undercover police are required in the public schools, it is not safe in shopping malls, gang activity is taking an unprecedented leap, and youth are literally getting away with murder. Now, the VDP, in its wisdom, has again undermined parental authority by giving in to children running amok in a society losing its way in a rapidly changing world.


When the government quietly amended the Infants Act, the proposed changes went virtually unnoticed by the press and there was no opposition in the House. Until the recent change, under B.C.’ Infants Act physicians could not treat youths between the ages of 16 and 18 unless they first made an attempt to obtain the consent of their parents. The provincial government passed the amendment under the guise of making medical treatment more accessible for street kids. But they went too far. Instead of following the model of other provinces, which set 16 as the age of consent, the B.C. government removed all age restrictions.


What does this mean? These radical changes will allow all under the age of 19 to consent to any form of treatment given by a “health-care provider.” Believe it or not, “health-care provider” under this legislation is anyone from a sex therapist to a medical doctor and everything in between, including school counsellors, psychologist, public-health nurses, plastic surgeons and the list goes on and on.


Health Minister Elizabeth Cull said the change was made to reflect the changing behavioral patterns of young people and she was quite satisfied with the new law. “Whether you like it or not, sexual activity among young people is occurring at younger ages all the time,” she said, commenting that setting the age of consent at 16 would not address the reality of people younger than that being exposed to drug use or sexually-transmitted diseases.


Opposition to the new law is growing and concerned critics all agree on one thing: parents should decide what is best for their children, not the government. “It definitely takes away my rights as a parent in order to protect a small minority,” stated Tim Bonner, father of three young children. “In protecting a minority, they do discredit to the majority.


What did we expect from a government whose first priority was funding abortion clinics?


A number of doctors are shocked at the government’s latest action. In a letter to the Vancouver Sun, Dr. M.T. Marshall suggests that doctors ignore the new Infants Act. “This legislation is ill-thought-out and potentially dangerous and should be vigorously resisted, by civil disobedience if necessary.” He points out that some implications are quite frightening. “Ten-year old leukemia patients refusing treatment because it makes them feel bad? It could happen.”


It is indeed scary, knowing that we as parents are expected to allow a permissiveness that is quickly eroding any sense of decency left in our society. Nonetheless, one cannot be too surprised at the agenda of the NDP. What did we expect from a government whose first priority was funding abortion clinics? Family life was interrupted then as it is now.


So the NDP is giving parents an opportunity to abdicate their responsibility. And guess who’s going to be there to pick up the pieces when everything falls apart? Parenting is definitely becoming a challenge lately, with a feeling that very soon we could be the ones left “Home Alone.”