Remember this little promise from Harper back in December 2005?
The Conservatives' two-part plan includes money to help create child-care spaces as well as the $100-a-month "choice in child-care allowance."Yes. That's part one. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist, an economist nor a tax accountant to quickly realize that the families which benefit the most from this little vote-purchasing measure are those who have a stay-at-home parent. And there is the little issue of causing an increase in the taxable income of anyone with children under the age of 6.
With the new allowance, families would receive $1,200 a year for each child under the age of six.
But then there's part two of Harper's plan. (Emphasis mine)
The second part of the Conservative plan calls for $250 million a year to be set aside for investment in community child care. The money is meant to increase the availability of child care by offering tax credits for capital investments in child-care spaces.And he predicted it with some confidence, if you remember. Confidence.
Harper predicted the plan would create 125,000 spaces over five years.
Well, Harper's government, awash with excess cash, seems to have a problem. Early childhood development is going the way of Status of Women Canada.
A much-touted promise by the federal Conservatives to create 125,000 new child-care spaces may not be doable, suggests Social Development Minister Monte Solberg.Solberg went on to lay it all at the feet of the provinces. The same provinces which had a deal with the previous Liberal government. And of the spaces that were created during the Harper government?
The Conservatives have been slammed by critics who say the government's approach won't create nearly that many spaces over five years.
"We have to be realistic," Solberg said Wednesday when asked if an election vow made 18 months ago can be kept.
Martha Friendly, executive director of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, has lost her $250,000 budget since the Conservatives came to power.And she provides a comparison.
"My resource library's in boxes," she said from Toronto.
Friendly noted that Canada ranks well below European countries of less wealth that are doing much more for young families.Friendly is correct and that's the problem. Harper doesn't like European countries. In fact, he doesn't like Canadians who look longingly at anything European. He said so.
Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.Confidence. Harper is a lying con-man in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.
Buckdog has more.