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A DIFFERENT KIND OF INFLUENCE

by Gerry McCarthy

Maclean’s magazine recently ran a cover story entitled the "50 Most Influential Canadians." Many of the usual suspects were chosen: Jean Chretien, Moses Znaimer, Adrienne Clarkson, Ralph Klein, Izzy Asper, David Dodge, Ted Rogers, Brian Mulroney, and Anne McLellan.

     But as I contemplated the magazine’s idea of influence something gnawed at me. Then I realized what it was: Maclean’s was shrinking my vision. Nowhere on this list was anyone directly connected to the day-to-day welfare of children.

     Of course, many of the influential Canadians selected by Maclean’s are parents. But they’re celebrated for their power in government, law, or media. Children are never mentioned. It’s as if they’ve been airbrushed from the picture. But don’t parents have influence today? Don’t they affect the kind of society we’ll have 50 years from now?

     It’s been said our culture reveres children, but doesn’t support them. It’s true. Even though we’re bombarded with syrupy political homilies about family values, children are expendable when it comes to high-powered career paths, ambitious lives, and Wall Street’s
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