Peter MacKay thanks moms for changing diapers, dads for shaping minds

WATCH: The Morning Show debates whether Peter MacKay’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day messages were appropriate or too stereotypical

OTTAWA – Five days after Justice Minister Peter MacKay publicly defended his comment that women don’t apply to be judges because they fear the job will take them away from their children, the texts of a Mother’s Day message and a Father’s Day message he sent to employees of the Justice Department this spring were released.

The two messages similarly strive to recognize hardworking parents, equally wishing mothers and fathers a weekend full of love and lasting memories.

But they have their differences: Mothers are thanked for changing diapers and contributing as public servants, while fathers are praised for shaping the minds and futures of the next generation of leaders.

Read the two messages and tell us what you think in the poll below.

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Mother’s Day Message

As we take the time to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize our colleagues who have two full-time jobs: as hardworking Department of Justice employees during business hours and as dedicated moms and caregivers around the clock.

Now as a father of an active toddler myself, I have a new appreciation for how busy and hectic a parent’s life can be.

By the time many of you have arrived at the office in the morning, you’ve already changed diapers, packed lunches, run after school buses, dropped kids off at daycare, taken care of an aging loved one and maybe even thought about dinner.

Yet you come to work every morning ready to make your contribution as a public servant for the benefit of all Canadians and their families. And for this, we are all thankful.

For all our colleagues who are mothers, or have mothers, I hope this weekend is full of love, appreciation and lasting memories!

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Best wishes,

The Hon. Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice

Father’s Day Message

As we pause and take the time to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I wish to take this opportunity to recognize our colleagues who are not only dedicated Department of Justice employees, but are also dedicated fathers, shaping the minds and futures of the next generation of leaders.

Watching my young son grow, learn and change a little more every day, I marvel at the tremendous gift that my family and I have received. Yet, needless to say, it can also be daunting to consider the immense and life-long influence we have over our children.

Our words, actions and examples greatly mould who they will become. We can only hope that the moments we spend teaching, guiding and loving them will sustain them throughout their lives.

From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this special day with your loved ones, complete with lasting memories to be cherished.

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Best wishes,

The Hon. Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice

NDP Industry Critic and Toronto MP Peggy Nash said MacKay’s comments are out of line with a modern family structure.

“It seems to hearken back to a time long, long ago when June Cleaver ruled the household as mom,” said Nash.

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“It’s not gender-specific that the mom takes on all of the housework. …. He just seems woefully out of touch.”

MacKay’s spokesperson said both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day messages were a “recognition of the incredible efforts all parents make each and every day to balance work and family commitments and ensure the well-being of their children” in an email to Global News.

“As Minister MacKay clearly said in a statement just this past weekend, ‘Each family embraces their personal responsibilities and the challenges in their own way and I respect that. Again, this reflects the fabric that is our country and that is something we all value and share,’” wrote press secretary Paloma Aguilar.

With files from The Canadian Press

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