This collapses into a huge pile of absurdity when you remember a fact that no Patterson seems to have realized: how low on the food chain Elly really was. As others have pointed out, she seems to have been given a grandiloquent-sounding title to hide the fact that she was little more than a glorified temp that they had to pay. When the province cut back their funding, it seems to me that they were forced to do something that they didn't want to: take away a bone that they threw to a bored housewife because they felt sorry for her and replace her with a series of temps and interns. That way, the quality of service could be maintained for less money.
Sadly, though, Elly seems not to have figured out or especially wanted to that she would have been let go had she successfully pressured John into having a vasectomy after Elizabeth was born. Rather than admit that she was simply the victim of a budget cutback, she blames her being let go on her enforced absence from the career that only existed in her mind and the child who, to her mind, enforced it because she hated the idea of her mother being free because that's what children are all about.