Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau speaks during a campaign stop in Vancouver, on Monday, September 28, 2020. The ideal outcome of British Columbia’s looming provincial election would involve another minority government, the head of the province’s Green Party said Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Greens’ election proposals include 4-day work week, free child care

Furstenau says parents with young children in B.C. are facing tremendous pressure

British Columbia’s Green party wants to see free child care for children under three and free early childhood education for three- and four-year-olds.

Campaigning in Vancouver on Tuesday, Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau says their plan would also have financial support for stay-at-home parents of $350 a month.

She says taking care of a child needs to be recognized as a real job that counts as time in the workplace, not as a relaxing time out.

Furstenau says parents with young children in B.C. are facing tremendous pressure as costs skyrocket and household income stagnates.

She is also proposing that the government launch a consultation process with business and labour to explore a four-day work week, saying there are a number of tools the government can use to help employers shift to a shorter week.

The Green leader says the pandemic has reminded many people that they need to take time away from work to enjoy a better balance, to take care of their mental and physical health, and to look after their families.

“We are now well into the 21st century, yet despite significant changes in the nature of work and technology, we haven’t moved beyond the standard five-day, 40-hour work week that was established in the context of factory work in the 1900s.”

She says research from around the world shows that shorter work weeks can make people happier, reduce stress and boost productivity.

Furstenau says the cost of the early education program would go from $674 million in 2020-21 to $897 million in 2024-25. That would include expanding education spaces and prioritizing partnerships with public schools and First Nations.

The program would involve training more early childhood educators in certified programs and paying professional wages.

“We need to value the work they do and we need to ensure that they are operating as highly qualified professionals,” Furstenau says.

READ MORE: BC Greens pledge $1B for ‘comprehensive suite’ of mental health supports

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC GreenBC politicsBC Votes 2020Green Party

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Father Charles has devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats and has inspired generations of volunteers to work together to protect and preserve forests and rivers. Photo submitted
Valley environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks near Comox

A Comox Valley family had a meeting with a humpback whale family… Continue reading

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

The Bernice Friesen novel, “Universal Disorder,” will be launched via Zoom on Nov. 14. Photo supplied.
Fat Oyster Reading Series hosting online launch of new novel by Comox Valley author

Fanny Bay’s Fat Oyster Reading Series is going digital, for the launch… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Starting Saturday and continuing until April 3, the Comox Valley Farmers Market will operate at the Native Sons Hall and the parking lot between the hall and the Sid Williams Theatre. (File photo)
Comox Valley Farmers Market secures space

Starting Saturday, Oct. 31, the Comox Valley Farmers Market will expand its… Continue reading

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Most Read