Critique of All Party Platforms in Canada’s Federal Election

Earlier today I published a tweet in which I tried to summarize and reframe the various promises and funding allocations that would reveal each of the parties’ basic values and beliefs. Here, I further break down what I was trying to demonstrate.

Liberals value: care/education for children 0-10, innovating a national ecec system, parents’ up-front financial costs regardless of SES/working conditions, family-leave; believe families deserve access to childcare.

@kimpbarton via Twitter

It appears the Liberal party has strategically thought out a potential solution regarding: families’ lack of access to care for young children by investing in the creation of more spots/; lack of access to care for school-age children by investing in the availability and options for after-school programs (but not necessarily quality); establishing a national early learning and care system through the creation of the secretariat role; reducing initial costs to access childcare and taxable benefits for family leave; and making initial funding changes that respond to Canada’s diverse population of parental needs.

2) Conservatives: value parents’ overall financial burden regardless of SES.

@kimpbarton via Twitter

Theoretically, the conservative approach would be to reduce the overall financial burden for families by refunding taxes for parental benefits/leave, including those who use EI at the time of taking a leave, but not reducing any initial costs. This approach delays financial support to families, and although (again, theoretically) it can offer choice to families in terms of how to use the refund, this money is irrelevant without access to quality childcare options. This platform does not address the current national framework which is substantially outdated in terms of investing in childcare, parents’ access to childcare for children of any age, nor any social justice initiatives. Nor does it respond to the layered issues regarding access to quality childcare and the reality of financial burden that is represented by our diverse families and range of parental working conditions. Further, without changes to our need-based subsidy approach that is failing many, many families, this platform does not exemplify its care for the rights of all children.

3) NDP: believe families deserve the right to access quality childcare; value educators’ working conditions and family-leave.

@kimpbarton via Twitter

These three concerns go hand-in-hand and demonstrate that through access, supported parental leave, and investing in educators, the NDP value family, the rights of the child, and adult well-being. Parents and educators require support in order to foster the relationship-based and responsive care/education that our pedagogical approaches preaches. Although the details of this approach are vague, these priorities will clearly guide appropriate funding allocations and policy.

4) Green: believe families deserve the right to (specifically physically) access childcare; are fighting for equality/ to meet minimal expectations for federal investment

@kimpbarton via Twitter

The Green party’s stance exemplifies their beliefs through social justice, prioritizing investing in physical access to childcare, and increasing Canada’s economic contribution to childcare to bring us in-line with other industrialized countries.

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