We must need more

By Ken Waddell
The Banner

“Once we invite Big Brother into our families, we’ll find it very difficult to ask him to leave.”
That’s the closing statement in a column issued from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy concerning the Province of Ontario deciding to legislate against people smoking in cars if there’s children on board.
Smoking bans were generally welcome in public places like restaurants. The ban wasn’t very welcome in bars, lounges and cabarets. Worse yet the Province of Manitoba hasn’t got the courage to enforce a the somewhat needless “smoking in a bar ban” on Indian Reserves. The First Nations Communities don’t want a ban or so they say. They are smart enough to tell the government to take a hike. The point being that if enough people want a nonsmoking restaurant or a nonsmoking bar, then perhaps it’s up to the marketplace to provide that. Certainly in some of our rural communities there were nonsmoking restaurants before the general ban. There were at least two in Neepawa and they got most of the nonsmokers’ business when they implemented their own ban.
Now the very easy to swallow argument about kids, smoke and cars is that children can be harmed by smoke. That’s true. Parents shouldn’t be so self-destructive as to smoke in the first place and certainly shouldn’t smoke around kids. However, there’s a problem.
Once a government is able to legislate against smoking in cars, what’s to stop them from other legislation. Overweight kids are a health risk and both a potential and a real cost to the health system. Watching too much TV is harmful. Too much time in front of a computer is a problem. Certain kinds of TV shows are a problem. Certain kinds of computer activity is potentially harmful. Riding on a bike without a helmet, playing any sport without a helmet is potentially harmful. Climbing trees is risky, might break an arm or a collarbone.
The real problem is that family and community standards have been erased. The idea of parents, teachers or police taking a firm stand is a thing of the past. The church’s influence has been downgraded and mocked into a state of fearful retreat. The education system is paralysed when it comes to actual discipline.
No, it’s only the government and the hordes of civil servants who can decide for us what’s best for us.
We are headed down the wrong road. It’s time for the governments to back off. And if a kid sniffs some smoke in the back seat of a car, then that’s a risk we’ll have to take. At least he’ll be seat belted, have his bike helmet ready to put on along with any other safety padding he needs at his next government sponsored day care session or play date. His diet will be regulated by a government dietician and when he does fall out of tree there will be an emergency room ready to mend his broken little bones.
Oh sorry, I forgot, the health care system has already been run into the ground by the government and hordes of civil servants so that won’t work either.
What’s a parent to do?
Do the best they can?
Hope for the best?
Pray for the best for their kids?
Teach kids to grow up and look out for themselves?
Teach kids how to make sound decisions?
No, that’s never worked before has it, so we better spend some more government money on looking after children.
Perhaps that’s why government run Child and Family Services has so many clients and is so successful. Right?

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