Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rona Ambrose on Childcare

Macleans has this article on childcare that I'm sure most people have (like me) gone to from Paul Wells's page.

I'm waiting to see how the plan would accomplish directing more help to lower income families but so far it looks like an excellent idea. At first I thought that this debate was dividing along the tired lines of city vs. country with each of the two major parties playing to their respective strongholds. The Liberal plan would give a better programme to those living in centres with populations big enough to support centralised care while the Tory plan would allow for more flexibility for rural Canadians. Ms. Ambrose makes the interesting points that families from ethnic minorities (more likely to live in cities) seem to choose relatives as caregivers and therefore would benefit more from the Tory plan. Seems pretty accurate.

I'm wary about this idea of emphasising workplace daycare because I feel, quite strongly, that when very necessary auxillary benefits like childcare, and health benefits are attached to employment we see economic distortions because people are forced to hold onto their current job for dear life. It also makes retraining and continuing education more difficult.

That being said on balance this plan is much better than the piecemeal, government controlled idea that the Liberals have been driving for the last decade or so. As it is the public education system (especially at younger levels) is saddled with a desire to be (unsuccessfully) consistent instead of effective. Children (and their parents) have enough pressure to meet the social desires of government through education; there is no good reason to force them into similarly socialist society-building roles at an earlier age. Leave parents with a choice before this becomes another out-dated sacred cow that no one is ever allowed to consider changing.

This is one policy area where I quite wholeheartedly support the CPC position.

P.S. I tend to agree that Ms. Ambrose is a bright light in the party. I don't mean to objectify but she looked particularly fetching during QP yesterday when she was grilling the Liberal goalie on this issue.


Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

Sorry, but this is just a baby bonus called "childcare". I plan to comment fully when the policy is officially released.

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