While government officials in the 1890s claimed that forcing families to take responsibility for caring for the aged was in the interest of the elderly, Edgar-André Montigny reveals that government policy had more to with saving money than a desire to serve the aged. He provides a harsh critique of Ontario government policies toward the elderly and their families at the end of the nineteenth century and highlights similarities between what happened in the 1890s and current policy reforms in the area of long-term care. Montigny argues that government played a central role in determining how society viewed the elderly and family obligations to them. Using census data, municipal records, and institutional case files, he demonstrates that the government created and promoted an image of the aged population that bore little resemblance to reality and manipulated the concept of family obligations to justify policies to reduce social welfare costs. The effect of these policies, passed in the name of helping the elderly and their families, was almost universally negative. By dispelling the myths that continue to influence public policy concerning the aged, Montigny provides a useful warning of the negative consequences of policies that are enacted to cut costs rather than to serve the population they are supposed to help.