NDP leader Tom Mulcair and North Island-Powell River candidate Rachel Blaney greet one of 250 supporters who attended a Town Hall meeting in Courtenay on Dec. 14.

Mulcair addresses affordable childcare

Mandate to create 400,000 affordable, quality childcare spaces

  • Dec. 15, 2014 8:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record Staff

Touted as a ‘made in B.C.’ solution to the childcare crisis, one Comox Valley advocate had the opportunity Monday to present her plan to a Parliament Hill decision-maker.

Charlene Gray, an early childhood educator speaking on behalf of the $10/day childcare plan, told opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair it is essential working families have access to affordable care.

“I think childcare is the biggest expense families have, second only to mortgage payments or rent for families. If you have more than two children, it’s the highest level,” she said in a meeting with the leader in Courtenay.

Mulcair was in the Valley Sunday night for a town hall-style meeting and met with Gray early Monday prior to continuing his tour of Vancouver Island.

In an exclusive to the Record, Mulcair said affordable childcare is a top priority for the federal NDP heading into the next campaign.

“It’s a vision that’s concrete … people are tired. It’s been over 30 years that they’ve been promised childcare in Canada and they’re going to get a government that from day one is going to make this a priority.”

He noted his first mandate is to create 400,000 affordable, quality childcare spaces, and in eight years, to create one million spaces with a maximum cost of $15 a day.

“We know we can get it done. I come from a province where I was actually there when we put this together — in Quebec City — and it can actually be done,” he added.

Mulcair said a person shouldn’t pay more than an hour’s wage for childcare a day, and advocated the return on affordable childcare for everyone is a strong, multifaceted return on investment.

“It’s a return socially, because a lot of kids are taken away from problems that would cost society a great deal if they’re steered in a direction that allows them to perform, that’s good for them personally. It’s good for the family, it good for the child, and it’s good for society as a whole.”

He said it is essential that families are earning a living wage, and noted $15 a day childcare is tied to increasing minimum wage to $15 and hour, a proposal Mulcair put forth earlier this year.

While the minimum wage would only apply to workers in federally-regulated jurisdictions such as telecommunications, transportation and financial services, it could affect up to one million workers, which he said would be a signal to provincial governments across Canada

“It’s leading by example. The federal government would say ‘we consider this is what’s minimum to live.’ In Canada right now, if you have a couple that are working full time at minimum wage and have two kids, they’re below the poverty line. We don’t find that acceptable.”

Gray added while families struggle to find jobs outside entry level ones in the Comox Valley, having affordable childcare means families can survive.

“For right now, and even with a higher minimum wage, having childcare that’s publicly funded, means that they will have money in their pocket that can support them to feed their families and spend money in their communities.”



Just Posted

Single vehicle crash on Old Island Highway sends driver to hospital

A single-vehicle crash just north of Courtenay early Friday morning sent one… Continue reading

Driftwood Mall hosts Christmas tree silent auction for YANA

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — at the Driftwood… Continue reading

Annual Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program is underway

A fundraising dance will be held for the program next Saturday at the Native Sons Hall.

Hornby Island Co-op to stop selling plastic water bottles

In a bid to think globally but act locally, a Hornby Island… Continue reading

Virtuality Reality comes to the Comox Valley

Two new VR gaming centres opened locally last month, coincidentally on the same weekend.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Cubs move onto semis

It’s been a roller-coaster ride in Florida, but the Comox Valley Cubs… Continue reading

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Most Read