LOG CABIN CHRONICLES

Can day care destroy Canada?

Posted 10.16.14
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Finally, a political party is awake. After years of talk, hand-wringing, and hypocritical concern for families, one federal party – the NDP -- has bitten the bullet and figured out how we can afford a national day-care program. Finally! Bravo!

Of course, on cue, Canada's right-wing establishment has jumped out of its hole and is shouting that helping kids and families will bankrupt the nation. After all, we have wars to fight,

Where? Syria, or is it Iraq? We have pipelines to push through, shale deposits to frack, and oil sands residue for the rivers and winds. Oh, no, we can't afford these feel-good services.

In fact, if we stopped funding education all together, privatized it, we'd save a bundle -- for, say, promoting religion in Uganda.

At least this is what the ‘think’ tanks insist, and they are busy thinking, double-time, assuring us of fiscal disaster if we adopt a national day-care program. No, they're not worried about what we're spending to send our military to the Ukraine or to Iraq -- that's not war, folks, it's good business. Canada's a big player in the arms trade.

The think tanks and corporate shrills also assure us that these ‘welfare’ programs weaken our moral fibre, create a population dependent upon ‘the state,’ and will stimulate a population boom in a world already over-populated with poor people.

Look around, does Canada have room for more people? Obviously not, that is, if you're looking around Nairobi or San Pedro Sula.

Again, why do we listen to these corporate blow-hards, the think tanks, Sun media, or the talking heads who won't seek honest work? They speak so clearly contrary to our interests as individuals, as families, and as communities -- why listen!

The day-care program, so far, looks flexible. There's no imposition of conditions and details on the provinces. Quebec will not have to change its day-care system -- the envy of Canada -- but could fund more places. The Quebec Liberals will be able to take their incredibly myopic eyesight off day-care and health and look at other areas to reduce spending.

This flexibility, we hope, might extend so far as to allow citizens to opt out of the national program, to avoid compromising their personal principles. If they detest helping others, especially these less fortunate, they can take themselves out of the program. This doesn't mean they don't pay taxes; after all, I may object to bombing refugees in Syria or Iraq, but I can't reduce my taxes. I pay, but I can take the moral high road and feel oh-so-wonderful; the beggar-thy-neighbour folks who oppose day-care can do the same, and feel equally virtuous.

But we can't let the fat cats and their flunkies kill a program as helpful as national child-care. How? Simply by being very careful where we place our vote in next year's federal election.

john@johnmahoney.com




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