Kenney points to study from late U.S. Democrat on income-splitting promise

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OTTAWA - Jason Kenney is citing a famous American Democrat in his defence of the Conservative government's income-splitting pledge.

In a phone interview from Germany where he is studying apprenticeship policy, the employment minister defended recent remarks he made linking "stable families" as critical to the future economic success of Canada's kids.

Kenney says he wasn't suggesting the children of single parents stood a diminished chance of success.

It's not about the configuration of the family, Kenney said, it's about having a "strong family unit" to support children as they're learning. That should entail ending what he called discrimination in the federal tax code against single-income, two-parent families.

Kenney says a litany of "social data" to back up his remarks made two weeks ago at a conference of conservative Canadians.

In particular, he points to former U.S. senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's study in the 1960s that warned about the consequences of the breakdown of the African-American family.

Moynihan, at the time a sociologist and research assistant at the U.S. labour department, called for more government action to improve the economic prospects of black families.

Follow Lee-Anne Goodman on Twitter at @leeanne25

Geographic location: U.S., OTTAWA, Germany Canada

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