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Diane the Dinosaur.

Diane Finley can come up with some doozy statements – scratch that, she can come up with some rather hard-right conservative statements (which often are the same thing). Not too long ago, when rejecting the calls to temporarily raise EI benefits to help struggling people who’ve lost their jobs, she in essence said Employment Insurance – you know, the thing we receive when we’ve been laid off of work – make people lazy. In essence, she was attempting to demonize the people who’ve lost their jobs and equate them with welfare recipients, who have long been stereotyped as being “lazy”.

And now comes this incredibly eye-popping statement about why she and the Conservatives are opposed to a national childcare program:

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley has accused the Liberals of wanting to revive a national child-care program so that parents don’t have to raise their own children. “It’s the Liberals who wanted to ensure that parents are forced to have other people raise their children. We do not believe in that,”

So in Finley’s eyes, those like the Liberals who want a national childcare program are basically a bunch of Stalinists. Can you imagine what she’d be saying if we were trying to instill universal medicare? She’s dredging up fear-mongering hyperbole I’d expect from Tommy Douglas’s era and which I thought had long disappeared. I’m not the only one who thinks Finley’s statements show off dinosaur thinking:

Child-care expert Martha Friendly said Finley’s remarks reflect a view out of sync with modern-day reality. “I’m stunned to hear a government official say this in the 21st century,” said Friendly, who is executive director of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit. “The view that women who work ‘give their kids to someone else to be raised’ is an astonishing one. I’m sure that hardworking mothers and fathers who are employed believe they’re raising their own children and are just hoping for some support to help them do so.”

There are are some pretty hard right Conservative ministers with extreme views.. Dinosaur Diane is one of those with the wackier ones; not quite the Sarah Palin of Canada, but close.


65 comments to Diane the Dinosaur.

  • Stan

    Still haven’t figured out that whole ‘choice’ thing, huh?
    That’s just pathetic.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Stan, ha ha this coming from a man with an argument so weak, so filled with holes that he has to resort on the shock tactic of namedropping abortion for effect.

      What’s going on at Con College Stan? Are the teachers not as good now that Finley is busy in court?

    • Redrum

      @Stan, are you really that stupid?

      Sigh. I’ll spell it out one last time:

      (1) ‘$100 (taxable) per month per child under 6 to make what arrangements you will’ OR (2) ‘Access to one of an increased number of subsidized provincially regulated daycare spots’ = MORE choice than just (1) alone… which WILL remain an option under the LPC, last I heard, so they’re not taking anything away, they’d just be ADDING daycare spaces (and choices).

  • Stan

    Too simple to understand that 9-5 daycare STILL doesn’t help shift workers?
    If you want to bump up the cash amount, go ahead, that’s a good idea.

    In the real world people work shift work or have small businesses without set hours.
    Ever heard of real estate agents?
    The person best able to make the decision on what is the best childcare option is the parent, not the government bureaucrats.
    Give parents the cash and let them decide.
    If they decide to use the cash to send them to a daycare, great.

    BTW, daycare isn’t free, even if the gummint pays for it…it’s that whole money/trees thingy again…

    • Redrum

      @Stan, Careful: with all these swipes at straw men, you’re bound to get hay fever.

      NO ONE has claimed that making more licensed day care spots available is a complete solution.

      And, again, NO ONE is saying that parents MUST avail themselves of that option (or that it is up to “government bureaucrats” to decide what option should be followed — except, yes, there ARE laws about not abandoning children under a certain age or leaving them entirely to their own devices while the parent(s) are away: I hope you’re not advocating that).

      And, again, the Libs’ aren’t saying to DO AWAY with the revamped baby bonus for those who still want or need to keep that option over alternatives: they’re saying it’s ‘way too incomplete a measure & the feds should be doing more.

      So, sure, a lot of parents work shift-work & non-standard hours, but not always by choice: sometimes that’s necessitated by the lack of affordable daycare, and they’d gladly switch if the latter were available. But for those like the realtors you mention, well, the now-Optional Child Care Benefit would still be available for them to help pay sitters or whatever they’ve been arranging now.

      But focusing just on them and saying that the status quo is therefore the best is like saying there shouldn’t be more or better buses or LRTs or subways or rapid transit or whatever going downtown or to university campuses because…. not everybody works or goes there. I.e., it’s just dumb.

      • Stan

        Seems you still understand the simple fact that giving the parents cash gives them the most options and choices.

        You still haven’t addressed that simple little problem with your big union daycare plan.

        They may not be forced to use 9-5 daycare, but that in no way means they are being helped.
        So by offering the 9-5 option and the cash you have the problem that it is unfair since many can’t use the 9-5 option.
        It’s really very simple, and I think you are being deliberately obtuse. or you are simply blinded by your dogma.

        Why over complicate it?
        Give everyone the baby bonus and let them decide what works best.
        Why is the only time choice is important to the so called progressives is when they are choosing to kill fetuses?
        Why not allow a little choice in their care after they escape the abortionist?

        • Redrum

          @Stan, Abortion? WTF? Why don’t you drag Hitler into it, too, while you’re at it, you moron.

          Read my lips: the Libs. are proposing to PRESERVE whatever ‘choice’ now exists for parents to leverage into some sort of child care arrangements for the measly $60 or so that now exists, PLUS they’re going to channel an extra billion dollars towards extra licensed child care spaces which people are now on years-long waiting lists for, which has been severely LIMITING the choices wrought by those token payments, so that they actually CAN choose between some real options instead of scrambling for some unsafe, overcrowded, unqualified neighborhood arrangement, or sticking some tired relative with it, who just plunks the rugrats in a crib in front of the TV the whole time, etc.

          So, is it unfair that not everyone with pre-school age kids needs, or can use, licensed day care (which no one is saying is going to be FREE, BTW: just more AVAILABLE than it currently is)?

          I suppose; but that doesn’t mean we should bugger things up for those that COULD use it just because some cannot. Or is that the Conservative way: level it off to the lowest & worst common denominator rather than trying to make everyone as well off as they can be? Ugh.

          And let’s not pretend that the CPC is such a staunch defender of universality that it wouldn’t introduce a program that not everyone can take advantage of.

          Think, for example, of the bus / transit tax credit: not everyone does — or can — take public transit to work, but those who can & do get a nifty little tax break cuz of it. And there’s lots of other “boutique” tax cuts like that. Now, go crawl back under your bridge, you hateful little troll.

      • Stan

        @Redrum, Speaking of straw men….

    • Redrum

      @Stan, p.s., for someone pretending to know so much about “the real world,” you’re pretty clueless about daycares’ actual hours of operation: which are more like 6, or at least 7, to 6 – not 9 to 5.

      • Stan

        Well by all means that changes everything, doesn’t it?
        Instead of 9-5 it’s 7-6!

        How does that help anyone working nights or anything other than a 9-5 shift schedule?


        Psst, your partisanship is showing….

        • Redrum

          @Stan, again, all this shows is that it shouldn’t be called a “universal child care” program, but just a “national day-care program,” for the time being.

          But instead of doing something constructive — highlighting an area that needs MORE help (i.e., overnight care, for shift workers) for some — you’ve pig-headedly chosen to opt for LESS help for everyone. Ostensibly in the name of “fair”ness, but actually for a “poor” and mean-spirited policy.

          And BTW, it needn’t be a partisan issue to want to give families with young children more help (AND far more of a real choice than a token net $60 or so per child per month can bring).

          Here’s what another, wiser & more public-spirited Conservative, Brian Mulroney, promised (but never delivered on, beyond commissioning a report) in 1984: “Canada shall, under a Progressive Conservative government, have an effective national system of child care.”

        • Jon Pertwee

          @Stan, you’re lack of smarts is as obvious as the sky. Your partisanship just as obvious. But please keep pretending to be objective. Your jabs sure give you intellectual fortitude.

  • Stan

    Wanna explain how 9-5 daycare helps single moms working the late shift?

    Cash helps her, but 9-5 daycare hurts her since she has to pay for it through higher taxes but can’t use it.

    Wake up, maybe leave your mom’s basement and have a look at the real world.

    • Redrum

      @Stan, wanna explain how that piddly amount of cash — $100, but just $60 or $70 after taxes — is of any more help?

      That pays for ONE night of a sitter…. leaving, like, 21 more per month with nothing?

      And last I heard, the Libs aren’t going to do away with that option, either, for those who do manage to get a neighbour to let their kids stay overnight with, or something, in exchange for that token payment.

      But by using that case to support making that the ONLY option the feds. are going to help with… you’re just being a wanker. And the only one who’s made a juvenile post on this has been you.

  • Niles

    I’d like to know what new dangerous experiment is going on should the Liberals launch a program that standardizes and makes available enhanced environment childcare so that people who are a/working for a living or b/need to go somewhere for the day absent the kids but with no trustworthy personal social circle available won’t be deprived of chances people without kids gloss over.

    I grew up rural in Saskatchewan. Both parents had to work as well as work the farm, just to meet costs. The grandparents worked as well. Our baby sitter was often tracts of land we couldn’t immediately kill ourselves on until the adults got home. And you’re worried about the possibility of women being able to put their kids in a safe learning centre until they can get home to be with them again????

    Our societal model is set up so that men’s work is considered more priority, even as we’re seeing more crap science than ever about how working women are ruining RUINING their children by not being personal servants to the smallfry day in and day out and yet not being able to afford to get them stuff they need.

    A model that includes women’s realities, which is “KIDS HAPPEN AND THEY POP OUT OF WOMEN” should include opportunities for women to be able to do work outside of mothering when they desire to pursue it, and society valuing the ability to make that pursuit possible in a far less stressful and far more enhancing way then is being exhibited by methods presently offered.(frankly, that includes monied pursuits and non-monied pursuits). Gay parents of either gender are being faced with the same concerns. Medical dysfunction in the family can put all careful planning out of whack even for those able to be at-home caregivers. Better and easier access childcare would take a layer of stress off such events. Parental “child security” needs being met by community builds *all* of society in direct and indirect ways.

    I’m a bit surprised someone working in a campus environment is not taking into account adult students acquiring education while juggling kids. And what of daycare models where with more daycare set-ups put into place, the parents might be located fairly close to the kids and can drop in on breaks or the like?

    That’s not mentioning the inverse of the family squeeze. What of elder daycare? It’s not so large a population need as childcare, but it’s just as pressing for some families and will grow in the coming years.

    • Namesake

      @Niles, Saskboy thinks the exp’t is _already_ underway, since the advent of licensed daycare in Canada, what, about 4 decades ago. He’s like Jack D. Ripper of Dr. Strangelove was re: flouride — blaming it for all the evils of society, like increased housing prices (damn working women!) and young people voting Conservative (even tho’ if he had just a scooch of self-awareness he’d realize he was one himself, what with the views I’ve outlined above & also being anti-gun-registry & also only very reluctantly pro-choice), and probably a whole lot more. He’s a real piece of work.

  • marie

    I know who you are Fred the Sask Boy. A young immature child living up to his SASK BOY name.You are all over the blogs with your idiotic pandering and having no idea what people need or if they can afford day care and maintaining a home with one income. You are most likely still living at home in Your parents basement, not paying a dime for your upkeep and never had the experience of having to maintain a home on one wage alone or raising children. That Fred Boy is why both parents have to work in today’s tough time. Not everybody has a high paying job and Fred, once you have those children, you cannot send them back where they came from to raise later in life like you seem to think.

    Get this through your thick skull Freddy, Today both parents have to work to meet mortgage payments, put food on their tables regardless if they did do not have children but SaskBOY if they happen to have kids they need to be able to access reasonably priced day care which would help tremendously towards meeting those needs. I see their is no sense in arguing with you because YOU KNOW IT ALL BLOW HARDS HAVE NO IDEA what raising families cost and take away from household expenses even if they did not have children. Fred, you cannot send children back to where they came from and Fred once they are born, some able working fathers abandon their wives and children so cut the crap already.

    Another thing Fred. No one expects the government to raise their children for them like mouth piece Findley seems to think. I am totally done with your smart aleck remarks and insults. You are so full of BS with no experience obviously so why would any of us listen to you?

    And FRED SASKBOY time to grow up. Take a long hike and please take those blinders of your eyes and take a few deep breathes to let some air into your brains.

    • @marie,
      “A young immature child living up to his SASK BOY name
      You are all over the blogs with your idiotic pandering
      Get this through your thick skull Freddy,
      I am totally done with your smart aleck remarks and insults.”
      “take a few deep breathes to let some air into your brains.”

      I’m sure you’re familiar with the psychological concept of “projection”? I don’t think I could be bothered to think up as many insults as you’ve come up with in just this one comment, but it was fun pointing them out to you.

      I’m proud of my name and identity online and I don’t think you can stand as tall Marie. I only wish you had a more unique name too so I wouldn’t feel great hesitation before reading comments from unrelated commenters on blogs who are also named Marie.

  • marie

    What’s wrong with people having children according to what they can afford? You’re on Octomom’s side? Fred sometimes children happen even if you didn’t always plan on it. You were likely one of those children once yourself.


    NO Fred, I am retired. When I did work, it was for minimum wages so I do know how difficult it is to raise a family on next to no funds. If you think living on next to nothing on CPP with the little I earned towards CPP which is next to nothing as I did not have child care and did not work long enough to get more then $80 dollars a month on CPP. I am on OAP so you see Fred, I am living well below the poverty line and I know that I am not the only one. I have 3 children of my own who are grown up now and have children of their own. BTW, Fred I do not need someone like you lecturing me or others. Good for you that you have had the opportunity to have a good paying job and you can choose when to have a family but all Canadians need to have a fair wage, an opportunity to earn an income to help raise their children and provide some monies for their educations past secondary school. And the opportunity to have affordable child care and spaces to do such.

    Can you honestly say that you have any idea how much having a babysitter come into your home to baby-sit 2 or3 children cost? Grandparents are traveling, going south for 6 months of the year, neighbors and family members work too so that leaves teenagers after school at about $12 to $15 bucks an hour per child. See what happens here. The parent have to work night shifts because baby sitters are in school so is it not better to have your children in day care during the day and at least be able to be with them in the evenings?

    No one is asking the government or anyone else to raise their children. What they are asking for is affordable safe day care spaces so that they can be home for the children at least in the evenings.
    And don’t give me that bull shit about having children when you can afford them. I do not think I would like to have had children when I could have afforded them. Raising children is for young parents, not those in their 40s because to be honest with you. In this day and age, that’s about the time they could afford them.

    • Namesake

      @marie, yes, Canadian women are increasingly having children later in life:

      Table on Distribution by age groups and census family status of mothers of children aged 4 years and under, Canada, 2001 and 2006:

      http + ://

      which isn’t necessarily a good thing, both for the energy & quality of the parenting, as you say, but the health risks to the babies if they’re had in the 40s

      Study: Older mothers of pre-school children:
      http + :// (and see the longer article in CST linked at the bottom)

      In fact, younger Canadians in general (except maybe in SK, eh, ‘Fred’)) are delaying all kinds of transitions to adulthood, now, compared to the Boomers & preceding generations.

      http + ://

      And of course, there’s a lot more Canadian women in the workforce in general, now, compared to decades ago. (42% of all Cndn.females 15+ were employed in ’76, 58% in ’09)

      Plus a lot of mobility b/w the provinces.

      All of which make saskboy’s suggestion that more people should just do what some of his young friends have done, and get the GRANDPARENTS to help take care of the pre-schoolers: hair-pullingly frustrating!

      That’s simply not an option for many parents of young children, since: the grandparents — many of whom would be in their 60s or beyond, these days — may be in different cities, or working, or too old or unhealthy to keep up with toddlers, or simply not inclined to, or not in the picture (perhaps even expired).

    • @marie,
      My name isn’t Fred, it’s Saskboy to you.

      You’re using odd logic. Parents need lots of money to pay the most expensive baby sitters so they can work in the day? But if both parents didn’t work in the day, they wouldn’t need to pay babysitters or a day care.

      “No one is asking the government or anyone else to raise their children. What they are asking for is affordable safe day care spaces (where others raise their children in the day, by DEFINITION)”

      You contradicted yourself there.

      Namesake, you only highlight the unsustainability of North American culture; we outsource child rearing away from families, and then complain that we have to work too many hours to pay for services that would normally have been done in the home by family anywhere or anytime in the world previously.

      Hair pulling I can get behind, you two deserve the frustration you’re putting yourselves through by contradicting yourselves and refusing to see the anti-family nature of a state run daycare-economy.

      • Namesake

        @Saskboy, part of my hair-pulling is over why you even think you are, and are listed on the blogrolls of, a ‘Progressive.’ You’ve been standing up for Finley, you’re socially conservative, you’ve spoken out against gov’t services & regulations, you’ve complained about too many in the workforce driving up housing prices, and counselled that at least one of the parents should always remain in the home raising children — and a garden. You’re a total throwback. Maybe you’ll find marital bliss someday… on a Hutterite Colony. Or with a mail-order bride. But please be as up front with your prospective mates as you have been here, to save everyone involved a lot of grief.

        • Namesake

          BTW, Elizabeth May & the Green Party “are committed to a high-quality federally-funded child care program in Canada, accessible to any family that wants to place children into early childhood education,” too

          http + ://

          www +

          So, unless you’re endorsing something which you’ve been too chicken to say so far — like maybe the QC plan that got floated a while back, about paying women a sustainable amount of social services allowance to stay at home as long as there are young children,

          then all I’m hearing out of you is that only those with either very high salaries for one spouse, with the other one willing to put their lives & career on hold, or VERY low expenses &/or a lot of free support from friends & family, or willing to work different shifts and not see much of each other all week… for, like, 5 to 10 years (depending on how many children & their spacing)…. should have children.

          Which is pretty hard to take from some kid who was lucky enough to get a high-paying job straight out of school in an extremely low-cost small city that was virtually untouched by the recession, and so has no conception of how it is for most people in this country.

        • @Namesake,

          “Which is pretty hard to take from some kid who was lucky enough to get a high-paying job straight out of school in an extremely low-cost small city that was virtually untouched by the recession, and so has no conception of how it is for most people in this country.”

          Again, you’re guessing, and wrong I might add. With some of these comments, you and Marie are getting close to crossing a line from political debate, and right into insult and libel territory. Don’t worry, I’m no Ezra and am not threatening you, I’m just pointing out that you might like to try another debate tactic other than making stuff up about your opponent (who to some extent is playing devil’s advocate).

        • @Namesake,
          My fiancee is reading this right now, and shaking her head at you. She didn’t come from a Hutterite Colony, sorry. She was raised by a single Dad, though, and also attended a daycare. She didn’t get one-on-one attention at a daycare, and neither did the other kids. Sure, they socialize (in rural SK), but kids learn to trust their peers more than parents, as confirmed by psychological studies. You want “educated” people with 2 year ECE certificates to raise kids instead of parents; and you’ll probably get your experiment. Will you like the results? We’ll see, won’t we?

          Daycare is a weird phenomenon in the world, if you look at the majority of cultures. Who wants to spend more of the day away from their kid, than with them? You say it’s because that’s reality? I say that’s your opinion, only.

      • Namesake

        @Saskboy, whatever. True, I don’t know how long it took you to land the job which you yourself noted you’re making good money at… I just took you at your word at still being boy-ish. But you are in or near Regina, which has pretty much the lowest unemployment & lowest cost of living of any Cndn city; & the various Conservative views I attributed to you — or at least your online persona — are from your own posts here & elsewhere. But if you’re just “playing devil’s advocate,” well then, I’m just playing Hellboy, vanquishing your cartoonish views.

        • Namesake

          (cont’d): You mention psychology — projection. Well, what I see in you is a lot of denial, over what your true position on the political spectrum is. And what marie & I saw, quite clearly is: you’re a latent Conservative. Which is your right, of course, but you can’t have it both ways and say you’re just being a devil’s advocate & be indignant when we slam conservative views from a progressive perspective. And I’m not imagining it: I poked around, and besides the public spats you’ve had with progressive bloggers on feminist issues, found you declaring quite explicitly that you’re not a Liberal supporter federally, but Green; and that you support the SK Liberal party. But the latter has cut all ties with the LPC and is pretty much a Libertarian party, now. (Plus you posted the other day about attending Preston Manning’s lecture, and even chatting with him after about the possibility of attending his right-wing bootcamp in a Con-Curious capacity.)

          Anyhow, as for the substantive issue here:

          if you’d just said, all things equal, it’s probably much better from a societal & child development point of view to have a full-time parental caregiver for the first 5 years than use daycare, if the parents are fit parents & able to provide the necessities of life….

          well, apart from some quibbles (like, what if the parents are in an isolated area & there’d be too little socialization with other kids their age leaving them maladjusted for the real world… in which case, you could say, ok, all things aren’t equal, then, so there may be some exceptions…),

          most would be okay with that: it’s a pretty unexceptional thing to say.

          But it’s also nearly IRRELEVANT to the current realities of life.

          It’s like saying, “Home-baked bread & meals prepared from scratch are probably a lot better for people than store-bought.”

          Yes, that’s nice, but how many have — or are going to make — the time & patience for that? “Meanwhile, back on Earth,” as Woody said to Christopher in Annie Hall…

        • @Namesake,
          “Plus you posted the other day about attending Preston Manning’s lecture, and even chatting with him after about the possibility of attending his right-wing bootcamp in a Con-Curious capacity.)”

          As a progressive person I’d expect you to observe Canadians’ freedoms, including those of association. Just because I attend a university lecture by Preston Manning doesn’t mean I’m “Con-curious”. I’m more centrist than you are, so you see me as right wing because I don’t accept left wing ideology without question, and challenge it when I think it may be off the mark.

          I’m flattered that you’ve poked around my online past even, and I suspect why Marie came in with guns blazing is because of that “public spat” I had several years ago with some ProgBlogs feminists over their disagreement with how I helped organize a blog awards. To be clear, it was not over feminist issues, it was over a blog awards.

          “what if the parents are in an isolated area & there’d be too little socialization with other kids their age leaving them maladjusted for the real world…”

          As someone from a rural community, I have to point out your bias is that rural Canada isn’t the “real world”. I know a great many people from rural backgrounds who are well suited to both rural and urban life, and some who are not, and vice versa.

          “Yes, that’s nice, but how many have — or are going to make — the time & patience for that? ”

          If you aren’t willing to strive to do that for your children and aspire to make it happen, then what’s the point? That’s hardly a progressive viewpoint you know. That’s pretty much the definition of Conservative (leave the economic system alone, everything’s fine if you keep the economy on track by getting parents back to REAL work, which is what state provided daycare for everyone is going to accomplish).

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, by “the real world” I didn’t mean urban: I meant outside the bubble of one’s own home (where the child’s only interaction is with their loving, patient, and forgiving parents) and… in the schools or workplaces with people closer to their own age that they’re going to need to get along with to make a go of it for most vocations.

          And I didn’t see the details, but besides the awards thing, I see there was also bad blood b/w you & some folks in 2006, leading some to ask you not to comment on the feminism forum any more.

          www +

        • @Namesake,

          A yes, I’d forgotten about the Babble background to why those particular bloggers wanted to cause a scene at the CBAs. They’d been saying untrue things about Elizabeth May’s position on abortion, and because they didn’t like being corrected and have a clique mentality at Babble, some of them probably did ask me to stop posting there, so I did.

          How exactly is that relevant, or were you just interested?

  • SM

    We’re talking about a child care SYSTEM, not compensation to the parents who don’t require that system.

    A parallel of the $100 to all parents would be like, my neighbour needs to use the health care system, but I am well, so I receive money, even though I am not sick, and the level and availability of care for my neighbour decreases, and somehow that makes things fairer? That makes no sense. It requires a structural solution, not a piecemeal payoff.

    • @SM,
      I’m opposed to the building of new prisons. It’s obscene that $9B is going into that, instead of building better schools and day cares. I know that with more prisons, there will be a vacuum to fill. The same will happen with day cares, they will be filled, even if that’s not the ideal place for children to be raised.

      • Namesake

        @Saskboy, Sigh. First of all, you’ve got the corrections expenditures wrong; the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates “a cost of $1.8-billion for facility construction and an additional $3-billion a year for operations and maintenance. Mr. Page suggests that by 2015/16, annual prison expenditure will have increased to $9.3-billion from the current $4.3-billion.”

        Second, you’ve got the direction of causality wrong; it’s not ‘If you build it, they will come’ — it’s, ‘We need to build because they ARE coming, thanks to their changes’:

        “The main reason for the explosion in prison building is the government’s tough on crime agenda, including the abolition of the two-for-one pre-trial custody credit, which will lead to a significant increase in the number of criminals incarcerated.”

        The gov’t estimates these changes will result in 3,400 federal prisoners a year, while Page puts it at 4,200.

        http + ://

        Third, it’s pretty specious to apply that ‘Field of Dreams’ mentality to the daycare situation, as well.

        First of all, the Libs aren’t talking about building facilities, anyway, but about providing more funding to existing nonprofit licensed daycares so they can hire more staff to open up more spaces.

        Second, you seem to be assuming that there are lots of people now who are electing to stay at home with their kids thanks in large measure to that bountiful $100 a month who wouldn’t — who’d abandon them to the daycares, if that Lib program were in place. But that ignores (at least) two important things:

        1) as I noted above, it’s entirely possible that the $100 benefit will remain, on an optional, non-universal basis, so no one will feel compelled to switch; and,

        2) plenty of people who you might think are doing just fine now because they’re not using daycares are actually having to settle for non-licensed, substandard daycare at the piecemeal & neighbourhood level, in one of the worst of all poss. situations, and their children would be much better off in a licensed, monitored facility with qualified ECE staff in proper ratios.

        I.e., probably a lot more youngsters than you realize are being farmed out & quasi-institutionalized already, but badly… such that when it’s all said & done after the Lib program was in place, there may be no net change in the % of children who were staying at home or with at least one parent 24/7, but a HUGE change in the quality of care among those who weren’t.

        • Namesake

          p.s., your blog post linked below in which you argue that daycare is harmful due to stress is also fairly bizarre and misses the point:

          first, yes, stress can be harmful to babies, sure: but how long does that stress of being separated from the parents & going to daycare really last, anyway, and how quickly do they adapt and even look forward to it?

          second, what about the stress of being cooped up with an over-harried, over-stressed, and very possibly depressed caregiving parent who’s stuck with them pretty much 24/7 because they can’t afford daycare?

          third, read my lips: NO ONE WILL BE FORCED TO USE DAYCARE AND GIVE UP TAKING CARE OF THEIR KIDS THEMSELVES under the Lib. plan — so it’s a complete red herring.

        • @Namesake, “will lead to a significant increase in the number of criminals incarcerated”
          You’re saying the same thing as I, except I have a more cynical or high level view of it.

          No one is literally forced to use provided services like daycare, but once it’s there (just like more prison cells) it’d be a shame to see them empty. Nature abhors a vacuum, it’s a law 😉

        • @Namesake,
          And I certainly don’t think that the Cons’ token taxable $100/m is a serious boon to stay at home parents.
          And I certainly do think we don’t have enough child care available to over-stressed and isolated parents.

          Building a pre-school system does remove kids further from parents, undeniably. It enables parents to work at a job other than child raising, and that results in inflation and homes that cost a lot and are out of reach for single parents. How a society raises children is a very touchy, and important subject, and there isn’t a venue set up in Canada for touchy and important subjects to be debated intellectually. (Parliament hardly qualifies and blogs certainly do not either.)

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, Um, no; that was a quote from Ivison, paraphrasing the PBO, underscoring the fact that your reasoning is entirely backwards here:

          the prisons need to be expanded because there’s already going to be more need for them, since with the loss of the credit for time served, they’ll be in longer; and with the introduction of longer sentences for things like bawdy houses & some drug offenses, there’ll be more of them getting time.

          so that’s not a case of there being a vacuum to fill at all: it’s a glut or surplus, necessitating increased storage to accommodate it.

          And as I’ve argued, in the daycare case, there’s no increased facility expansion in the offing (at least not from the modest funds the Libs are talking about), only a reallocation in the type of provider (from black market neighbourhood sitters to licensed daycare spots).

          I.e., the ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ idiom is pretty much entirely inapplicable in BOTH cases.

          Stay in school!

        • @Namesake,

          I go to school every day, BTW.

          The artificial rise in prisoners due to legislation changes are just as easily turned back. What can’t be turned back is time, to fix broken people raised in stress filled and dysfunctional communities. That is what will populate prisons, regardless of legislative tinkering. If we collectively raise people with less stress, and put parents in less of a financial bind/stress if one or both stay home with the kids, we’ll depopulate prisons the best way possible. Institutionalizing pre-schoolers does not very much to help the problem if they grow up thinking a daily commute away from their family and home is the only/best way to live.

          I’d rather the neighbourhood sitters, and limit the amount of government interference in how pre-schoolers are raised. It’s more efficient and safe to hire a sitter or grandparent you trust, than to involve the government as a middleman in a parent’s child raising responsibilities. The facility expansion you’re arguing for, is an increase in the state (enforcers of child care rules, tax processors, etc.). Look at how dysfunctional schools can be, and tell me you want parents to relinquish years 1-5 as well, if they are going to compete in our economy.

      • Namesake

        @Saskboy, So it’s the access day-care & pre-school that led to women working — and not the other way around?! — which led to inflation & the increased price of housing?!

        What a bizarro world-view & magical theories of backwards causality, you have. Don’t you think the reduction in fertility due to the pill as well as other factors had something to do with the increased number of women in the workforce, and that the increase in investor-class immigration had something to do with housing prices, for example?

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, come to think of it, belatedly remembering David Foot’s “Demography Explains Two-Thirds of Everything” lesson & book (Boom Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift),

          ironically, the most dramatic rise of house prices in Canada since the ’70s is actually MOST attributable to the fact that the last generation to do what you’re pining for the current one to do, en masse — have lots of babies and raise them at home, themselves — had so MANY of them that they all hit the housing market at once in an extended Boom, and the Law of Supply & Demand (which Nature adores much more than a vacuum) drove up the prices.

      • Namesake

        @Saskboy, maybe it’s still like 1956 wherever you live, such that there are still known, trusted, available, healthy teenagers, homemakers about willing to work for next to nothing (which certainly is, um, “efficient” compared to actually having to pay someone a living wage) who are also competent in child-rearing… but that’s not the case for a whole lot of people in the cities who don’t know anyone like that to help. And the Libs aren’t proposing making gov’t daycares: just providing more funding for the existing ones, esp. nonprofit ones, to subsidize entry. And sorry if you don’t like it, but tough: there is an important need for gov’t regulators to inspect, license &, if nec., close daycares to ensure they meet a standard of care. And to screen them of sex offenders. You’re pining for the fjords, imagining you can turn back the clock to the ’50s.

        • @Namesake,
          What have you got against 1956 I have to first ask 😉 And I don’t intend to turn back the clock, but you have to keep in mind that not everything that was done in the past was/is wrong or the worst way of doing things. And as I’ve said already to another, I’m pining for the fjords, because someone has to want what’s best, and not just what’s best given the crappy situation we’ve got ourselves into.

          That demographics book sounds very interesting, seriously.

          I don’t want my generation to have a lot of babies actually. I want to be able to raise children at home, and not “get behind” by being a single income family. I want our economy to not continue at the blistering pace we set in the ’40s.

  • Roll Tide

    “There is too much emphasis on sticking kids in childcare facilities at a young age so that both parents work 8 or more hours away from their kids”
    This is true.I have raised three kids, and seen other parents have a frazzelled two car cell phone lifestyle for the sake of a few extra bucks.
    We made do with less so my wife and I could split the duties (one old car, renting out basement etc). The Toronto Star had us at the poverty line, but if your resourceful it can be done.

    Harper’s extra 100 a month per kid, under 5, was not around for us at the time, but would have helped immensely.
    Extra help for single poor parents can be looked at.

    What you do not want is a middle class dumping of kids. A new costly entitlement, subsidized by those who made do with less. That is not necessarily better for society.

    • Namesake

      @Roll Tide, Speaking of subsidies, if you were just barely getting by when your kids were young, then I’ll bet that even if your wife went back to work & you got a better job down the line, the taxes you’ve both paid have come nowhere near covering the public costs of your kids’ education and health care — much less your own, through your life to date, and for the health care you’ll need and for what could well be a pension or GIC top-up down the line. Don’t pretend you’ve fully paid your full freight in society.

      And ECE is less of a subsidy than an INVESTMENT: it produces more cognitively developed, better socially adjusted, and ultimately way more productive — and less troublesome — citizens down the line. (The same arguments for having a public school & health care system, BTW).

      • @Namesake,
        “it produces more cognitively developed, better socially adjusted, and ultimately way more productive — and less troublesome — citizens down the line. ”

        I’m interested in reading studies or experiments that back those views.

        What I see in my generation is a lot of people who aren’t troublesome (so they don’t get involved in anything like politics), and are so productive that they can afford unsustainable lifestyles that make it impossible for most to keep up with the Jones’. They’re cognitively and socially adjusted well enough to accept our Conservative government as legitimate, and be doubtful of climate change.

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, If you’re really interested (which I doubt), start here, with The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU):

          www +

        • @Namesake
          “The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) focuses on research and policy resources in the context of a high quality system of early childhood education and child care in Canada.”

          Their focus is only on a system of child care, not what makes suitable child care, institutionally or at home. Their bias is clear. That said, they probably have a lot of interesting resources about how to best care for and educate children away from their parents.

  • SM, I’m talking about what we should shoot for, and you’re focusing on how to deal with the situation right now. If we don’t keep our eyes on what we want, then we’ll never figure out how to get them.

    • Namesake

      @Saskboy, “I’m talking about what we should shoot for” — you are? And what is that, exactly, and how does it differ from what’s around now?

      ‘Cuz all I saw was a vague complaint that young children shouldn’t be left unstimulated for up to a third of each day, which of course is a complete straw-man since none of the Parties are advocating that.

      • @Namesake,
        I don’t know if Scott will ever get to unmoderating this comment so here it is without hyperlink.

        I never said “left unstimulated” or implied that. I said it’s an extreme experiment to separate kids from their parents for more than half of the kid’s waking hours, and part of the time they are with their parents are in a car spent fighting rush hours. If anything, kids are overstimulated in the wrong ways.

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, your social circle & experience of modern Canadian realities are clearly limited. When I was working downtown, I saw mothers & young kids traveling by bus, dropping them off to daycare on their way to work or school, & picking them up again on the way back, and the toddlers were having a ball, having their mothers’ undivided attention. And a lot of people will stagger their work times to avoid those rush hours. Just cuz you’re turned off by some of your Yuppie friends who may’ve chosen an out-of-the-way daycare out of snobbery, or maybe cuz they’re relatively scarce in your area, doesn’t mean that’s by any means a universal experience.

          (and I saw your lame blog post and the link to it below, which is why I commented on your stress argument, below; and I’m guessing Marie’s ‘Fred’ might be to ‘Flintstone,’ as per the original ‘Dinosaur’ post starting this thread & your throw-back views.)

        • @Namesake,
          You’re quite mistaken about my social circle, and experience.

          Isn’t that cute? The kids got undivided attention from their parents for the duration of a bus ride, and then not again for 9 hours. And they were having a ball while they were focused on by their parents? Imagine that. How those kids do when they are teenagers will be interesting to see, as it will when they are expected to adapt to whatever economy and job market we have in 20 years. You can say “I told you so” at that point, or perhaps I will.

          I have no friends that could be described as “yuppie”, or snobby, although many acquaintances that are perhaps one or the other in your snobby view. The friends who are urban professionals with children have childcare with a grandparent, and the mother took 2 years off work to have 2 kids (and would probably have liked more time off to raise them herself during the days).

          So to summarize, your assumptions about me are as out of touch, and insulting as your views on the importance of institutionalizing the majority of Canadian children. We both want what’s best for children, we just have different views on how to go about it, so keep that in mind before you start name calling (a trait you possibly picked up in day care? I kid, I kid).

          Comparing me to Fred Flintstone is laughable, I’ve never once pedaled a vehicle with my feet, or bowled on my tip toes (oh wait, never mind). Now I’ll take myself back to my lame blog and have some dino ribs with my snobby friends. HAHAHA!

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, um, you’re a Yyuppie — a young, urban professional — and so it’s only natural to assume your acquaintances are, too, and from your complaints here & by you & others about the 2 income, 2 cars, & the dreaded car commute to the day care, it sounded like you’re complaining about other yuppies choosing not to take more time off work, too: which, again, isn’t all that feasible in most major cities where it costs at least $1,000 or more in rent or mortgage in somewhere big enough to raise a child… not incl. utilities (or food, of course), and as I’ve countered, not all parents drive their kids to daycare, or drive more than five or ten minutes, and your claims about how stressful & counterproductive the whole daycare experience is, is just you making stuff up on the fly.

  • SM

    Ha, that’s funny. Just try to be a single stay-at-home parent and see what support you get! You’re a welfare bum at best!

    The conservatives, and even Sask Boy, seem to forget that a massive migration happened looking for jobs. We all left the rural areas where you could get your in-laws to help with the kids for free, you had access to a huge garden for free food, and housing was cheap. Then grain prices stayed low, cost went high, and instead of raising a family of four on a section of land, now you need 10 sections. The small towns empty out, and there you are in Toronto or Calgary, needing 2 or 3 jobs just for rent, and having no family around. But the solution isnt forcing parents NOT to work because they can’t get daycare. Raise the kids in the roughest part of town and malnourished? Check the household income against the rate of youth crime and tell us about the correlation.

  • I think several Progbloggers are too extreme on this issue.
    Should there be more money directed at child care in this country?
    Heck yeah.
    Should it all go to daycares instead of stay at home moms and dads?

    There is too much emphasis on sticking kids in childcare facilities at a young age so that both parents work 8 or more hours away from their kids as little as a year. Their babies brains haven’t come close to developing, and a 1/3 of the day is spent apart from them? That’s an extreme experiment, and people like Finley aren’t convinced that it’s not harmful, and neither am I.

    • Namesake

      @Saskboy, Uh-huh. Well, it might certainly be harmful if they were being abandoned for those 8-ish hours a day, rather than being — you know — stimulated and engaged in educational play by people who’ve actually received professional training in Early Educational Development

      …instead of being plunked in front of a TV, or left crying, or some of the other potentially far more harmful things that might be going on in the homes of the rest of us who are thrown into the deep end and literally learning (or not!) on the most important job we’ll ever have.

      But, fine, we can take your point that it shouldn’t have to be Either only the token $100 do-with-it-as-you-will home supports per child OR only a national day care program with no support for those who don’t want that option: it could be a choice of one or the other, for each parent (subsidized day care OR the (taxable) $1200 annual Universal Child Care Benefit for those under 6).

      Except that, for all I know, that IS consistent with the Liberal’s new intentions, which haven’t been fully revealed, yet.

      Anyhow, whether out of choice or necessity (or both), here’s the stats on how proportionally over twice as many women with young children are working now, compared to to the 70s:

      Employment rate of women with children by age of youngest child, 1976 to 2009

      www +

      (from ‘Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report,’ 2010)

      • Namesake

        p.s., and let’s not forget that if either parent was already in the work force with enough insurable hours, there’s a full year of Employment Insurance benefits in combined maternity & parental leave that they can take in some combination, to get plenty of FT quality time at home in that first year, if they want…. and that’s been around for quite some time. (at least since 2003)

        And the Libs certainly don’t want to cancel that.

        And for most people, $1200 annually per child (under 6) isn’t enough to make the difference in whether the primary caregiving parent would have to get paid work, or not.

        So it’s just crap, what Finley was saying, that introducing a National Daycare program instead of giving $100 per month per child under 6 amounted to “ensur[ing] that parents are forced to have other people raise their children” (along with the false implication that their $1200 benefit is enough to ensure that they will NOT feel they have to).

        • ck

          It’s taxable and from what I’ve been told, it actually comes out to 60$/month net. Bratty teen-agers charge more to babysit than that.

    • marie

      Sask boy, I have a sister who is 66 yrs old, and also taking care of her 2 grandchildren taking care of an invalid husband,loading his wheel chair in the car twice a day to bring the kids to school and again to pick them up. Their daughter is earning a pretty good wage but her son-in- law is working for minimum wage and between them, they do not earn enough for mom to stay home and look after the kids. BTW they also lost their house a few months ago because between the both of them, they could not make their mortgage payment and were forced to rent instead.BTW, she does not hold a driving licence and will not this late in her age and especially in Calgary with all the red neck drivers speeders on the highways and streets.

      Both parents working to make ends meet and having to rely on aged parents to take over the load. You obviously earn a great wage and most likely do not have any children because if you did, you would understand the need for child care assistance to even survive while raising children. I do not want to hear that BS about they should not have children if they can’t afford it. This is the 21st century, the cost of living especially in a large city instead of a farm where the mom could stay home. The facts are that this 21st century are that unless you are earning a super high wage, you can not afford to have a stay at home mom to make ends meet. THis sister also lost one of her pensions with nortel and you know what Fred? she is not the only one. The outrages prices of food are hard on everybody especailly with falies raising kids and you know what Fred, Moms would rather stay home and raise her own children but as you know by now the middle class Canadians have been downgraded to the poor in the past 5 years under the leadership of the dictator Pm. He’s a fool and apparently his supporters are to.

      • @marie,
        “You obviously earn a great wage and most likely do not have any children because if you did, you would understand the need for child care assistance to even survive while raising children.”
        The first two are correct, but I do understand the need for childcare. I have friends who use it, and have seen first hand what happens to single parents who cannot or will not.

        What’s wrong with people having children according to what they can afford? You’re on Octomom’s side?

        Don’t the Liberals have a family care plan? That’s a good idea, people shouldn’t go bankrupt caring for their own family. That’s exactly what I’m arguing for!
        The only fact is that this is the 21st century. What we make of it is entirely up to us, not a economic facts of life as they’ve been.

        Who is Fred?

        • Namesake

          @Saskboy, so, it turns out you live & make good coin working in IT (at the uni?) in Regina, which explains why you have such a skewed view of the realities of life for real families of young kids in the rest of Canada: since the cost of living (and child care) there is, like, HALF of what it is in Vancouver or Toronto.

          (and where the city’s only 45 sq. miles, w. 180,000 people and there’s an ave. commute of 20 minutes, and you have the gall to complain below about the kids being stuck in rush hour?!)

          www +

          www +

          where one user complains it’s $500/month for infant spots 400-450/month for toddlers in Regina… which is just a fraction of what it is in many cities!

      • @marie,
        “the middle class Canadians have been downgraded to the poor in the past 5 years ”

        It’s actually been a longer process than that, incomes have not risen since the 1980s, while it’s become the norm to spend $1.40 for every dollar earned.

        Another thing about the cost of food: if you grew more of it yourself, it costs less. Yes, it takes more time and time is money. A 4 day work week might help straighten that problem out a little.

        Canadians could also waste less food to make it less expensive. Canada’s food waste can feed the 32 poorest countries.

        If you’re calling me Fred Flintstone as Namesake suggested, you’re way off base. Find someone else to take your anger out on, preferably someone responsible for the Liberals or Conservatives running the economy into the ground the last two decades.

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