Living in crowded, unsafe housing. The inability to afford a diabetic diet. Not filling a necessary prescription. Missing out on opportunities for early childhood learning and higher education. These and many other challenges related to poverty and low wages can result in poor health outcomes for kids now and into their adult lives.
Whether it's the "fact" that women earn 75 cents or 79 cents (or whatever this year's figure is) for every dollar men earn, we are regularly inundated with these catchy, but essentially meaningless, statistics. While it may be true that there is an overall wage gap between men and women, there is no great inequity that needs righting.
This is why people hate politicians. No, not Trudeau. The Conservatives using this nannygate non-scandal against him as a cheap political ploy to puncture his post-election popularity. The accusation of hypocrisy over government-paid nannies to help with the Prime Minister's three young children feels petty and penny-ante. But as a parent, it's also incredibly insulting because of what it reveals about the lack of value and importance that these people put in childcare.
Not only will I have to pay more than double the fee I am currently paying, other kids in the same daycare with families that have a lower income base will still pay $7.30 for the exact same service that my kids are getting. I already pay more in taxes, why do I have to pay more for the exact same service?
Caught up in its contradictions, the NDP hopes nobody will notice. There is the Sherbrooke Declaration NDP, which promises a condition-free right to opt out for the Government of Quebec. And then there is the centralist NDP, which unilaterally sets its childcare plan according to a rigid model incompatible with the contemporary practice of Canadian federalism.
The childcare issue tends to bring out moments of aggressive and illogical emotion. Thankfully, my running partner never suggested that I actually harbour anti-woman sentiments, or any such nonsense of the variety politicians bandy about with regularity. She simply asked reasonable questions. Ironically, in a world increasingly fixated on diversity, we shy away from diverse discussions.
UNICEF recently released a report card ranking child well-being in the 29 richest countries on earth. Canada came 17th, placing us in the bottom half of the pack on factors such as child poverty, emotional well-being and life satisfaction. It's time to have a frank conversation about how our country approaches early childhood.
As a woman and a mother, who has been both a SAHM and working mum, here's a few suggestions as to how you can really repay your beautiful wife. I apologize in advance if you are already doing all of this. You sound like a great guy, so it's quite likely that you are. If you're not, here's what you could do.
Having both parents at work is the norm, which means that childcare obligations must be balanced, often precariously, with workplace duties. At the same time, our population is aging and people often end up having to look after their elderly parents. Effectively, those in the workforce are stuck in the middle, caring for the generations before and after them -- the "Sandwich Generation".
As part of her attempts to win the womens' vote for this election, Christy Clark and her various women and mom-focused ministers have been inviting moms and working women to small round table discussions to raise awareness about what the Liberal government can do to help mothers and working mothers in particular. The biggest issue that was brought up over and over was childcare. Due to love of career or by pure financial necessity, more women are working AND raising families and AFFORDABLE childcare has to be part of this juggling act. However what was emphasized also was FLEXIBLE childcare. Why? Because working mothers are not settling back into traditional 9-to-5 positions or even the few remaining shift work employment available out there. What are working mothers doing now? We are creating our OWN work.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark's sentiment is that the burden of daycare is a "temporary" one for families. I disagree. Many families cannot afford to purchase a home because of it. Many women (and men) take themselves out of the workforce because of it. Many families go into debt because of it. Many couples decide not to have children (or more than one child) because of it.
A Canadian federal court upheld a human rights tribunal's finding that employers have an obligation to try to accommodate employee needs as they pertain to childcare. That means if your boss can reasonably let you work the day shift so you can drop your kid at daycare, then she has to. This isn't about every parent trumping every non-parent. It is designed to protect those who would otherwise be forced to leave their job. Having children may be a choice, but taking care of them is not. Juggling work and childcare is hard enough for working parents on a typical schedule.