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).


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