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Charlotte Whitton

1895 - 1975

Social worker, founding executive director of the Canadian Council on Child and Family Welfare, life-long activist for child welfare and disadvantaged women, pugnacious mayor of Ottawa. Whitton disturbed the leftist circles in which she worked most of her life by sporting a dose of realism with her advocacy. She was particularly disdainful of people who were undeserving of the public programs she advocated, people who took advantage of them when they had other choices.

There is a grave danger of the development, as a matter of course, of a general tendency to reliance on social aid that the inquiry regards with grave disquiet as destructive of personal effort, and self-dependence, and so disruptive of the very basis of initiative, enterprise, and strength of character that must be the greatest resource of any people.

1932 - quoted in Globalization and the Meaning of Canadian Life by William Watson (1998, U. of Toronto Press)