Pro-life ads asking how there can be too many children appeared on transit buses in Vancouver on Sunday.
The ad—funded by donors to the Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan Conservatives Riding Association—features three toddlers and an infant, and quotes Mother Teresa asking, “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.”
The ad came as a response to World Population Balance’s (WPB) ads on population control that ran in Vancouver in September. WPB is a U.S. non-profit group that seeks to convince people to have small families in order to save the environment.
“Ads countering the false population control narrative are now live on buses in Vancouver,” Conservative MP Garnett Genuis wrote on Twitter.
— Garnett Genuis (@GarnettGenuis) November 1, 2020
In September, WPB launched its One Planet, One Child campaign in Vancouver, saying that “reducing human numbers plays an essential role in addressing climate change, deforestation, species extinction, fresh water crises and depletion of fertile soil.”
Its ads advocated a “small family norm” with slogans such as “We Chose One!” and “We Chose Childfree!” One ad has a smiling black baby with the words, “The most loving gift you can give your first child is to not have another.”
The ad generated lots of controversy from the public, with Genuis bringing up the matter to Parliament on Oct. 8.
“This ad reminds us of the racist undertones that have often been associated with the population control movement, targeting minority communities in particular with the message that they should have fewer children,” Genuis said.
“It also perpetuates the false and disproved idea that large families are bad for society. In reality, parents who make the sacrifice of raising children into productive citizens should be celebrated and not stigmatized. Honestly, parents of large families have enough to worry about. Having a larger population of younger people entering the workforce helps to ensure that there are enough taxpayers supporting the needs of our seniors,” Genuis continued.
The Epoch Times contacted WPB for comment in regards to Genuis’s remarks, but they did not immediately reply.
On Oct. 1, WPB had issued an apology for “creating an ad that could too easily be misconstrued.”
“We were running six variations of this ad, depicting children or families of different nationality or skin color,” said Dave Gardner, Executive Director at WPB.
“The infant in the particular ad spotlighted by the TV report was Black. That, combined with the text encouraging the viewer to consider choosing a one-child family, allowed some to form the wrong impression that the campaign is ‘targeting’ people of color to have fewer children, ignoring the rest of the population.
“Also, it’s not our intention to tell anyone how many children to have; that is a personal choice. We want to offer information so that when choosing your family size you are informed and empowered to make the best decision for you and the planet,” Gardner added.
Pro-life advocacy group LiveAction likened WBP’s campaign to China’s one-child policy which states, “Less births will be better for your child,” and “Fewer and better births, happiness throughout your whole life.”
“Eventually, the constant presence of those advertisements convinced Chinese young people that having one child was the right thing to do, not something they were being forced to do,” wrote Nancy Flanders, a contributor writer for LiveAction.