Friday, 1 April 2011

Harper Likes Families, Eh? Or the Return of Dick and Jane

It's taken me a while to consider what Stephen Harper is proposing to aid Canada's families. The proposal to allow income splitting once the deficit is paid down seemed laughable to begin with, but the more I think about it, the worse it becomes. Taken with the other electoral promises, it becomes clear that what the Harperites want is women at home, and taking care of the kids.

Income splitting is only good when there is one good income and two partners. Families living on the edge with both parents working at low wage jobs are going to reap no advantage, nor are single parent families.

Tax credits for sports and arts programs for kids also only help those who've got enough time and energy to enroll their kids in such programs.

The current $100 a month child care credit doesn't do much for families who must pay for someone else to care for the kids. It doesn't even cover Quebec's $7 a day charge in the only government-run, inclusive day care system in Canada.

Harper's Canada is an attempt to return to world where Dick, Jane and Sally lived in a suburban house with a stay at home Mom and a Dad who wore suits to work. I found that world alien decades ago when I was a child, and I certainly don't see any of the young families I know living in it.

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

Terrifying postwar illustration! Channelling MadMen?

La Fédération des femmes du Québec and other Québec women's groups were swift to speak out against this sexist, classist measure. I haven't seen anything about it on the NDP website or statements - I'll be asking my NDP candidate about this oversight. The Bloc was swift to take up the feminist criticism.

The tax credits for sport and arts are also antisocial, as we need public sport and arts programmes, through the schools and community centres, to ensure access for all young people - all not so young people too.