Sunday, October 30, 2005

Liberal babysitting - post-Quebec exemption announcement

The federal Liberal (pseudo)government recently announced Quebec's exemption from the regulations other provinces will have to follow. Apparently, because Quebec has been running a childcare program for a number of years, it wouldn't 'make sense' to treat them the same way as other provinces. I have a number of thoughts and questions (I'll only pass along the ones that I can express without profanity).

Firstly, I think I see now who is being bought with the daycare money: Quebec, as a whole, who will now receive an extra transfer payment (with no strings attached); and well-to-do families where both parents work and farm out the kids to daycare - that's quite the support base, Paulie. To be fair, Liberal fortunes have plummetted in Quebec, and they've been in need of some new cash-cow program to begin rebuilding their base there. Why shouldn't it come at the expense of families like mine (see my last post on the subject)? Is it fair to comment along the following lines, "If Quebec has been a net recipient of transfer payments for years, and their current childcare program has only been possible to fund through these transfer payments, perhaps they shouldn't receive any new funds at all?". Anybody know how much they've spent over the years already, and how much of this can at least loosely be considered paid for by transfer payments?

Secondly, apparently Quebec is receiving 25% of the funds for the overall program. Is this based on overall population? On the population of children eligible for the funds? These two are probably not the same, as Quebec has had a notoriously below average birth rate for many a year now. I haven't searched for data on birth rates in the various Canadian provinces, but would bet that Alberta is well above average and Quebec is probably at the bottom of the heap. I guess I'm curious about the funding formula for the various provincial allocations (I'm trying hard not to swear, in the absence of real data).

Well, I thought I was pretty controlled about all this - I'm looking forward to answers to my questions, and will post them if I come across them (no guarantee that I won't swear at that point, however).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My irrational rage towards the Liberal day-care plan.

I'll admit it outright - I become a raging idiot whenever I hear talk of the Liberal day-care fiasco. I'm not sure who exactly they're buying off with this garbage-from-beginning-to-end deal, and I don't much care. I'm not a profanity-type man, but I find many expletives come quickly to mind whenever it's even mentioned in passing. Why?

As a family man who has made many sacrifices to enable my wife to stay home with our children (and she's made sacrifices to be there as well), I find it incomprehensible that any thinking person would even consider, let alone draw up a plan and execute it, taking some of my tax money to pay for childcare for people who have two incomes. Income tax laws in Canada already penalize my wife and I because we don't shack up and work two jobs. Instead, we make do with one and find ourselves taxed to pay for those who have two incomes. To be momentarily rational, there are many people who have two working parents simply because they cannot afford to keep one at home. However, this bastard plan (oops, let one out) won't help a single person stay home to watch their own children, and it will further tempt people to get the second income, because it makes more financial sense, now that the Liberal government is rewarding people to farm out the kids and go out to work. Well, [expletive] you, Liberal government! We can pretty well decide for ourselves how to best care for/raise our own children. We don't need any [expletive] program to entice us to earn more money at the expense of home child-care. To mandate that provinces spend the money only on accredited child-care makes a mockery of the far-superior child-care my own kids receive at home - telling us that government knows best when it comes to what my kids need. Well, [expletive] you, once again!

I'm pretty mild-mannered, very 'Canadian' in a way. In fact, I'm becoming more and more aware of the many travesties Canadian governments have inflicted on us - and becoming less 'Canadian' by the minute. I may even come to hate the word 'tolerance' in time.

Cyrano's kids - heartwarming little varmints.

When I arrived home from work today, my third son came running up to me to tell on his oldest brother. I found a note with the following message on my computer desk (how did he know where to leave it to get my attention?): "I'm really sorry that I broke the mirror in the main bathroom. here is thirty-one dollars to pay for it. love, [son #1]

P.S. I broke the mirror accidently but the real problem is I was looking for smarties. I'm sorry."

Now, it may be that he was trying to avoid me flying off into a destructive rage, but hey, it worked. My heart is warmed and I find myself impressed with my little responsibility-taking son.

The other anecdote comes from son #2, who was doing some work at the table last night, and asked me to spell 'me' for him. After saying the letters, I noticed he'd written it incorrectly, so I repeated them to him - he double-checked and said, 'ok' without changing anything. I said it a third time and realized he'd reached a pivotal moment in his young learning career - his second language (French) was finally beginning to interfere with his first - so he though 'm', 'i', when I said 'm', 'e', owing to the pronunciation of these letters being the same between the two languages. All the frog-hearts in the blogosphere should be duly warmed.