Thursday, March 15, 2007

Conservative's new Child Care Plan???

So, it looks like the Conservatives plan to abandon their "tax breaks for business-created childcare spaces" plan because they've realized that what everyone with half a brain has been telling them for well over a year is true. It won't work. So instead, they'll give the $250 million to the provinces to fund their institutional childcare programs.


It's like everytime you turn around these days the Conservatives are announcing their implementation of some Liberal policy (with less funding) and expecting credit for it. They scrap 3 billion dollars in Liberal money for the environment, and then crow a few months later when they introduce $1.5 billion dollars for the environment. They mock the notion that maybe we need to tax income trusts, then they anxiously await applause for their fiscally responsible plan of introducing a tax on income trusts. They decry the Liberal plan to transfer significant funds to the provinces for increases in institutional childcare (instead of just offering tax breaks to businesses and crossing our fingers) and when they realize how stupid that was, they simply transfer (less significant) funds to the provinces to MAINTAIN their CURRENT levels of childcare spaces.

Why didn't Harper just tell us back in January of 2006 that he planned to do everything the Liberals campaigned on, just on a smaller scale??? I bet he would have won more seats if he had.

That said, I just don't know how I feel about this. "Everything the Liberals promised, only less ambitious" is certainly much better than what most on the center-left would have expected from a Tory government, but then again, it's transparently a ploy to win a majority, after which I expect the Tories would stop pretending to be so moderate. I say, don't be fooled. And more importantly, don't be satisfied with WATERED DOWN Liberal policies. Canada's New Government is increasingly looking to me like a student writing an exam who reads the answers off of his neighbour's paper, but doesn't copy down every single answer exactly correctly. It's admittedly not the right-wing Tory governance I feared. But frankly, it's hardly "governance" at all.

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Psychols said...

Personally I am not convinced that institutionalized day care is the panacea that we hope, but that is neither here nor there. A half assed progressive policy platform is better than a full-assed conservative platform but Harper would probably return to his historical beliefs if unfettered by the limitations of a minority government and a potential upcoming election.

There are still a few Progressive Conservatives labouring under Harper but the social and economic conservative (regressive conservatives?) still seem to be guiding the ship.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I certainly agree that institutionalized daycare is not a panacea, but for those who need it, it should be easily accessible, affordable, and high quality.

And I'm pretty sure we were never going to get ANY of those things by offering tax breaks to businesses.

Still, the conservatives never cease to amaze. I don't see why their election slogan in 2006 wasn't just a picture of Paul Martin, with the slogan "everything he says, just later, and less".

Dave said...

I agree completely LKO. Given a majority I believe we'd notice a very sudden veer to the right by the Harper Conservatives.

I guess the point is, Harper had to move to the centre because he noticed that not being there upset Canadians. now the question is, are Canadians willing to recognize why he did it and do they comprehend that it's not where he wants to be.