They marked International Women's Day on Wednesday with meetings, demonstrations and news conferences urging the federal government to retain the child-care agreements signed with the provinces by the last Liberal government.
The Liberal governemnt had decades to implement their child care promises. They didn't actually do anything until an election came up. Then they started signing everything and promising billions of dollars in an all out shopping spree, trying to bribe us withour own tax dollars. And these people think our new goverment, one that seeks to repair the fiscal damage of our previous one, should keep those promises? Did they really think the Liberals would have kept them in the first place?
They say Harper's pledge to replace those agreements with direct payments to families of $1,200 a year for every child under 6 doesn't cut it.
"While families welcome financial support, it is not child care," said Monica Lysack of the Canadian Child Care Advocacy Association.
Ah, of course. The Day Care advocate's ultimate weapon. If it isn't in a daycare centre, duly licensed and regulated by the government, it's not child care. Therefore, anything that actually helps parents directly is a bad thing. Parents, you see, don't child care their own children. Only day care works do child care.
Harper's plan is a *child care* plan, not a day care plan, and by giving parents money directly, *all* parents are helped, not just the minority that can use government sactioned day care. No, $100 a month isn't enough to pay for a day care space. IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO. It might, however, just be enough to allow a parent to stay home full time (because having a job costs money, which people conveniently forget). It might also be enough to pay for the occaisional child care needed by someone who works part time, or who does shift work, or *gasp* whatever the parents decide is the best way to use that money. If these people really believed in child care choice, they would be supporting parents in making the choices the work best for them, not just the ones they approve of.
"Child care is the ramp to equality and a right that women have been fighting for for decades," said Nancy Peckford of the Feminist Alliance for International Action.
"For working women, child care is all about equality," said Barbara Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Ah, equality is it? How 'bout this for equality. How about treating stay at home moms as equals for a change, rather than as objects of contempt? How about changing the tax system so that a single income family isn't penalized for choosing to have a parent at home? Two income families pay far less in taxes per year than the same size family with the same income coming from only one source - for a family that makes about $50K a year, I'm told it works out to a difference of about $7000 a year.
Oh and of course, the only "working women" are ones who work outside the home. Us stay at homers, we don't count. In the eyes of the so-called feminists, we're throwbacks to a patrairchical society, and most definately not equals. Only those who have "real" jobs count.
She said Harper's promised child-care money falls far short of what is needed: "Help with diapers maybe, but not child care."
Duh... helloooooo!!!!! Getting diapers is *part* of caring for your child, so yes, it counts, too! and for some families, having enough money to pay for those diapers and other such necessities is enough to keep one parent home with their kids. Does the money fall short? Well, yes, I suppose it does, but I'd rather see that made up in areas such as ending the tax penalties paid by single income families, which would allow us to keep more of our money in the first place. As a stay at home mother, I don't see what's equal about having my tax dollars subsidize a two income family's day care expenses, only to get penalized for choosing to stay at home.
Byers said women will fight for their right to accessible and affordable care.
"This government has its focus on the family all wrong," said Byers.
Personally, I think it's Byers who's got the focus on the family all wrong. Her focus seems to be targeted only at those women who work 9-5 jobs outside the home - the only ones that would be able to make use of the Liberal vision of child care. In fact, I don't see their focus as being on the family at all. Their focus seems to be entirely on jobs and careers, which are often at odds with a healthy family.