By Shane Dingman
It is very rare when anything coming out of Winnipeg can be called “visionary.”
Winnipeg is home to Manitoba’s provincial legislature, which recently passed a law allowing people to sue parents for the crime of their children. The parent or guardian of a child who deliberately destroys, damages, or steals the property of another person can be sued in small claims court and be forced to pay up to $5,000.
This is where the “visionary” part comes in. No one expects sensible or even constitutionally valid ideas to come out of the Manitoba legislature, but this time even the most cynical critic was shocked into silence.
Make parents pay when their kids play a little too hard. Pure genius. What if the movers and shakers of our world were to take it to the logical extreme?
Maybe we could pass a law which allows universities to sue the parents of those punk-ass students who renege on student debt. This seemingly ludicrous suggestion is the miracle cure for the cash flow problems facing administrators across this great land. After all when the University of Western Ontario closes public washrooms on campus and calls it fiscal restraint, drastic action must be taken.
Premier Mike Harris would rush this law through Queen’s Park faster than cheese through a dog. Why, with a little contribution from the university administrators into the “Re-elect Ontario’s Tyrant” fund, Mike Harris would leap at the chance to put another nail in the coffin of Canadian social values.
The technocrats at the universities could take the final step into total amorality and begin suing the pants off the hapless parents of irresponsible students. It would certainly boost Ryerson’s enrollment if the penny polishers at the financial aid office accepted every flimsy excuse for financial assistance that came their way.
The guarantee that they could sue parents after the new grads travelled to Peru or Australia would have the legal department salivating.
Conning money from students for worthless degrees would be raised to a high art under such a system.
Slaughtering the golden geese of established and financially viable parents (who under the new law would be accountable for the lifestyles of wastrel students) would become the newest part of the Common Sense Revolution.
If we could apply his superb idea from the crafty members of the Manitoba Legislature, universities could stuff their coffers with the nest eggs of parents. Students could live in truly obscene luxury while at school and still make their way through life without the painful burden of conscience.
Parents might feel a little pooch-screwed by ungrateful kids and rapacious universities, but if we can’t take advantage of our fellow man for our own selfish ends then why have a market economy protected by democratically elected windbags?
I say, let a bunch of inbred bumpkins from Manitoba show the way as they have so many times before!