Posted on May 1, 2016
Spring has sprung, and the month of May is upon us. May 8th is Mother’s Day, and so in addition to taking the time to appreciate and thank mothers and all that they do, I thought it appropriate to consider the history of Mother’s Day as well.
The first Mother’s Day observances began in 1908 in West Virginia and were organized by a woman named Anna Jarvis. Jarvis’ own mother was heavily involved in peace activism, and when she died, Jarvis began organizing to have Mother’s Day recognized as a holiday. By 1914, Mother’s Day was finally proclaimed as a national holiday in the United States. This wasn’t enough for Anna Jarvis, however: in the years that followed, she often criticized the commercialization of flowers and greeting cards that she felt overwhelmed the holiday.
Our government is committed to supporting families and building strong communities. I’m proud to say that Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir introduced the Alberta Child Benefit to support low-income families. Once fully implemented, this benefit will help 130,000 families. I’m also very proud of the work my colleague Deborah Drever has done with Bill 204, the Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence Amendment Act, which helps survivors of domestic violence escape unsafe living situations. Our government is also increasing supports for organizations taking initiatives to end violence against women and within families, and is working with community partners to break the complex cycle of family violence and protect the health, safety, and dignity of all Albertans.
Our government’s cabinet is leading by example and has established the first gender balanced cabinet in Canadian history – including a new mother, the Honourable Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women and Service Alberta.
I hope you’ll join me on Mother’s Day and celebrate not simply with cards, flowers, and gifts, but by also supporting the women and mothers in your life every day.