VICTORIA – The BC Liberals’ ongoing refusal to support Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) made childcare less accessible and more expensive for families, says Minister of State for Childcare Katrina Chen.
“When the BC Liberals were in government, they refused to properly invest in a trained workforce of Early Childhood Educators,” says Chen. “This contributed significantly to the shortage of licensed affordable spaces and drove up the cost of childcare for families.”
And now in opposition, the BC Liberals continue to fight against childcare fee reductions, including investments in ECEs. BC Liberal Childcare Critic Laurie Throness has suggested that ECEs aren’t even necessary:
“To me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay an ECE worker to take care of a child instead of paying their own mom or dad to do the same thing.” [Hansard, April 24, 2018]
In fact, Throness appears to believe childcare is pointless because parents are legally obligated to care for their children:
“I can tell you how many child care spaces we have right now in B.C. We have one full-time, 24-hour-a-day space for every child in B.C. By law, child care is now, and always has been, universal and 24-7.” [Hansard, February 26, 2019]
And instead of creating affordable spaces so parents can enter the workforce, Throness thinks we should replace jobs with robots that work for free:
“If the government really wants to grow the economy, then instead of shoehorning people in the workforce, it will provide incentives to employers to replace labour with capital. That is, to replace human workers with software and machines that automate boring, repetitive tasks. That don’t get tired or ill or make mistakes. That don’t ask for wages and that happily work 24 hours a day.” [Hansard, February 26, 2018]
Chen says that the BC Liberals have promised to give tax breaks to the top 2% but are opposing new investments in childcare.
“The BC Liberals are fighting our investments in childcare including Early Childhood Educators while advocating for tax breaks for people with $3 million homes,” says Chen. “Those giveaways to the top 2% will mean cuts to services like childcare. I’m extremely concerned that if given the chance, Andrew Wilkinson would cancel our investments in creating more licensed affordable spaces.”