Pam Pardy-Ghent: Out of the Kitchen

(From the May 13-19 issue)

It’s been quite the week. Now that hubby has returned to his regular Alberta rotation, it’s just the kids, dogs and I. Working full-time and being a solo parent is old hat to me by now, but you toss something odd into the mix – like a run-in with strep throat – and that can make things a whole lot more challenging.

Feeling better, Mommy?

On day two of my bed-ridden illness, my daughter came into my room.

“Feeling better, mommy?” she asked? “A little,” I replied. “Good!” she answered, “because it’s real boring having to watch my own toast pop in the mornings!” Glad to know I’m so valuable, I thought.

Being off while recuperating meant I had time to catch up on the news. And what a week it’s been! As of press time, there’s two ‘new’ Independent MHAs in The House these days because both Sherry Gambin-Walsh and Tracey Perry apparently decided they weren’t going to deal with the bull(ies) anymore and instead took them by the horns and helped show the b’ys the Liberal party’s door. Fellow MHA and former Cabinet Minister Cathy Bennett has also had her say, sitting down for a heart-to-heart with NTV’s Toni-Marie Wiseman. 

Bennett’s tale is shocking. She, our former Finance Minister and one of Atlantic Canada’s Top CEOs, says she was intimidated within the Liberal caucus and cabinet. The victim of whisper campaigns, isolated and bullied, Bennett says these actions and others ultimately led to her taking a step back and caused her to resign from cabinet.  

That such things are happening in 2018 are shocking. Have we learned nothing? Remember Liberal Art Reid? Reid lost his job as municipal affairs minister over a sexist remark he aimed at female political rival, Tory Sheila Osborne, back in December of 1998.

“The best place for her is back in the kitchen, probably, where she came from,” Reid shot at Osborne during an exchange at the House of Assembly. Reid later apologized for the outburst, but was fired a week later by then-premier Brian Tobin.

Mothering Duties

Being a Mother isn’t easy. Besides mothering duties – that actually does include kitchen duties, like being the very important toast-popper-upper-watcher – we’re expected to work full time, volunteer and keep everyone’s life from generally falling apart. We’re told we should try and get involved in politics, encouraged to take that promotion, and hey, wear those big-girl pants (after they’re expertly laundered – by ourselves, of course) and take on the day with a lipsticked smile! And we do, and then some. But to have to deal with a bully as we simply try to make a living just isn’t part of any deal anyone ever signed up for. 

For now, Dale Kirby and Eddie Joyce are out of their cabinet posts and out of the Liberal Caucus, branded as bullies by co-workers and the public. Not how you’d want to be remembered, no doubt, but the tales circulating about some of the actions taken by these two sure seem to indicate that such a tarnished label may aptly apply. 

The b’ys no doubt don’t like these new developments, but you know what? That’s really too bad. If you can’t stand the heat now, fellas, perhaps you should have stayed out of the damn kitchen in the first place.

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