Kid you not
From today's emailed news releases, some missives from, first, the Liberal party of Canada:
September 17, 2008
Conservative Broken Platform Promise of the Day
Creation of Child Care Spaces
"A Conservative government will: Help employers and communities create child care spaces in the workplace or through cooperative or community associations by allocating $250 million a year in tax credits to employers who cover the full cost of creating spaces. We will provide similar support to non-profit associations to create spaces. We estimate that this program will create 125,000 new child care spaces over five years and make it easier for working people to juggle child care and work responsibilities. The program will be designed to ensure that small business and rural communities will be able to access it as well as larger employers and cities."
-- (Conservative Party of Canada Federal Election Platform 2006, p. 31)
Hmmm. Well, the Conservatives prematurely called an election before that five year period was up, so, in fairness, they didn't get a chance to fulfill that promise. But did they even talk about it, between their $100/month childcare tax benefit and their bill to put reproductive freedom back on the table?
And now, the NDP:
September 17, 2008
Layton Announces New National Child Care Plan
"As Prime Minister, I'll deliver for you and your kids"
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2008) - Today, New Democrats' Leader Jack Layton announced that as Prime Minister, he would begin building a comprehensive national child care plan that will provide good quality, affordable child care spaces across the country.
"I believe that high quality public child care will be as important to building Canada in the 21st century, as Medicare was in the last century," said Layton.
The New Democrat leader blasted Prime Minister Harper, pointing out that "not a single child care space has been created by the Harper Conservatives."
"Everyday, families across our country struggle to find good quality child care they can afford; they shouldn't have to worry whether they can pay the bill at the end of the month," said Layton.
"We will work with the provinces in a careful, step-by-step fashion to build the affordable spaces your families need," said Layton. "We're committing to invest $1.45 billion dollars in the first year and as finances permit we'll steadily build on that funding until the program is fully phased in."
The plan calls for an initial 150,000 spaces, with the longer term goal of a space for every child needing one.
"Canadian families deserve a Prime Minister who will stand up for you and your children, not for giving away billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts," said Layton.
"Canada can't afford not to invest in our children."
Not that NDP have a hope of forming a government but I am glad they're putting this out there.
In the last general election, the Liberals campaigned on a $5-billion childcare plan that was based on multiyear agreements signed with the provinces in 2005.
Yeah, to those of you who complain to me that you don't care to subsidize other people's children, I hear you. But I have to say, if women can't work, they'll be on public assistance -- and that not only is conducive to unhealthy and unsafe environments for children, it also comes out of your pocket.
Malnourished kids drain the health care system. Municipal housing takes a big chunk out of our tax dollars. Crime kills us all.
We need to raise sturdy children to strengthen our workforce and our nation.
It's so simple, any four year-old can understand it.