In a flaccid retort to Minister Greg Thompson’s call for MP Brian Murphy to speak the truth, the latter junior MP claimed that the investments of the the Conservative government’s Building Canada Fund were all ”originally Liberal government initiatives.” MP Murphy even goes so far as to say that the Conservative initiatives fall short of ”the plan that was already put in place by the previous Liberal government.”
Murphy’s claims that the current government’s programs are ’stolen policies’ simply do not mesh with the facts! Every federal government has provided infrastructure money to cities and regions; to claim that the Building Canada Fund is a recycled Liberal program is absurd. What Mr. Murphy calls stolen Liberal programs ended two years ago when Canadian voters kicked his party out of office for apparent corruption and fraud! Furthermore, the Liberals had a chance to defend their “principles” last fall when they faced a series of confidence motions in the House. Rather than take advantage of the opportunity to reclaim power and take credit for “their initiatives,” THEY CHOSE TO SIT ON THEIR HANDS FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS!
Beyond the obvious hypocrisy of Mr. Murphy’s statements, they are once again in error in fact. The new Conservative infrastructure program differs from the old, failed Liberal plan in very substantive ways.
- The Conservative Building Canada Fund respects the provincial spending powers set out in our country’s Constitution.
- Conservative funding gives cities a commitment for the next 7 years; Liberal funding was year-by-year.
- Most importantly, Conservative funding is substantially more money! In New Brunswick alone, funding is nearly double in 2008-09, and more than triple the Liberal offering in 2009-10.
The Liberals have always wanted to centralize power in Ottawa under the “He who has the gold makes the rules” mantra. The Conservative government believes in the principles of our federation which respect the authority of regional government which is the closest to the people they serve. Canadian taxpayers do not exist for the government, the government exists to serve and protect the people. Conservatives want to give us safer streets, allow us to keep more of our own money and allow us to make our own choices in childcare.
Speaking of childcare, the Conservative government gave New Brunswick $5.7 million for direct funding of new childcare spaces in the last budget. How much of that money has Brian Murphy brought home from Fredericton for daycare spaces in New Brunswick’s most vibrant metro region? NOTHING! It’s no wonder he looks so grumpy; if the voters of Metro ever figure out how he’s been coasting on his $150,000 salary while shining the light of criticism on the Conservatives, they will throw him out of office! If the media won’t hold him accountable, then we (as the temporary official opposition of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe) will.
The following is a statement by Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC) in the House on Tuesday, 20 Novembre 2007:
Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day and children and families are a priority of this government. That is why this government has provided all parents with choice in child care by implementing the universal child care benefit. I do not understand why the Liberal leader has said he would take it away.
This government created a new $2,000 child tax credit and provided an additional $250 million to the provinces, which has helped them announce the creation of more than 32,000 spaces.
This government is spending $5.6 billion this year alone on early learning and child care. This is the single largest child care investment in Canadian history, three times more than the previous Liberal government ever spent.
After 13 years of countless broken promises, even the former deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Sheila Copps, had to admit that her government did not create a single child care space.
It is fitting that this year’s theme is “The Right to be Active”, because getting active is what this government has done after more than 13 years of Liberal inaction.
On July 19, 2007 Conservative MP Jay Hill reported on the status of childcare initiatives since his party came into government in 2006. Here is a summary of his report.
- “…a fundamental shift away from a ‘government-knows-best’ philosophy.”
- “This not only applies to parents but to ALL taxpayers and how they choose to spend their hard-earned money.”
- “Our Conservative Government firmly believes that parents know what is best for their families based upon their own circumstances.”
- “With the direct financial assistance of $1,200 per year for every child under six, we are helping parents choose the type of child care that is right for their family.”
- “The Universal Childcare Benefit is providing $2.4-billion each year to 1.5 million families for 2 million young children.”
- “Our Conservative Government recognizes that in addition to the Universal Childcare Benefit, we also need to create more child care spaces to help those parents where that option is the best choice for their children.”
- “Starting this year, we have begun transferring $250-million to the provinces and territories for the creation of more child care spaces.”
- “In addition, in Budget 2007, we created a 25 percent investment tax credit for businesses that create child care spaces for their employees, up to a maximum of $10,000 per space created.”
- “We established a new $2,000 Child Tax Credit which will provide up to $310 per child for parents of children under the age of 18.”
- “Overall, in 2007-08, our government will provide nearly $5.6-billion in support of early learning and child care through transfer to the provinces, direct spending and tax measures.”
These are positive steps compared to the Liberals’ failed plan which left 86% of children in Canada without access to childcare – that’s not “universal.” The Conservative’s plan gives every family something, while providing the resources for the creation of childcare spaces for those who need it most.
The Conservative Government of Canada is getting it done for Canadian families and showing them that we care by giving them choice in childcare.
L’honorable Josée Verner, Ministre de la Coopération internationale et ministre de la Francophonie et des Langues officielles, participe au lancement d’un projet pilote avec des enfants à Edmundston.
Les enfants et les parents des communautés francophones en situation minoritaire de Saint John, Edmundston, Cornwall, Durham et Edmonton participeront à un projet pilote et se verront offrir des services de garde en français pour les aider à développer leurs compétences linguistiques et favoriser leur identification à la culture francophone. De plus, des ateliers familiaux d’alphabétisation offriront aux parents des conseils, des ressources et de la formation pour les aider à encourager leur enfant dans son apprentissage. Ce projet pilote s’inscrit dans le Plan d’action du gouvernement en matière de langues officielles. Le nouveau gouvernement du Canada s’est engagé à verser 10,8 millions de dollars pour ce projet pilote au cours des cinq prochaines années. Les projets se dérouleront de septembre 2007 à octobre 2009.
This month, Minister Monte Solberg gave Canadians an update on what the new government is doing for childcare.
“Canada’s New Government promised choice in child care and we have delivered. The Universal Child Care Benefit goes to the families of almost two million children under the age of six and will deliver $12 billion over five years directly to parents.
In Budget 2007, we invested an additional $250 million to help provinces and territories to create new child care spaces. This new funding is on top of the $850 million we already provide to provinces and territories for child care each year.
Governments are not the only bodies interested in child care. That is why our government introduced a new investment tax credit of up to 25 per cent (maximum amount of $10,000) for businesses that create new child care spaces in the workplace.
That said, no one is more involved with child care than parents. That is why we announced a new $2,000 Child Tax Credit for families of children under 18 so they can save up to $310 per year. The Child Tax Credit will give about $1.5 billion per year in tax support to more than 3 million Canadian families.”
Much was made of the formal Liberal government’s plans to invest $5 billion dollars in early learning and childcare. The question has been asked, “How much does the Government of Canada actually invest in child care and early learning each year?” The answer is as follows:
“In total, Canada’s New Government will provide nearly $5.6 billion in 2007–08 in support of child care and early learning through transfers, direct spending and tax measures.”
The fact is that we are already making a greater investment in childcare than the much vaunted Liberal plan. Canada’s Conservative government is getting it done for children and families!
Our local MP recently excoriated the Conservative government for “spending money hand over fist on things such as defence and tax cuts with no child care program or plan for the environment.” Setting aside his unwillingness to support our troops, this raises a question if Mr. Murphy really understands the basic dynamics of taxation.
A recent study reported in the Canadian Press indicates that Canadians are increasingly overtaxed. The study showed that an average Canadian family spends 45% of their income paying taxes, while only 35% is available for basic necessities like food, clothing and housing! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that helping Canadian families to better provide for their children by reducing the tax burden is an urgent need.
On the other hand, Mr. Murphy’s model of “free” childcare can only come at the cost of a massive federal tax increase. The Liberals’ purported “universal childcare plan” would have in fact provided childcare for less than 10% of the country’s 3 million daycare aged children. To provide truly “universal” childcare would cost over $55 billion per year! Surely someone of Mr. Murphy’s professional accumen understands that governments must overtax their citizens to pay for these huge Liberal social schemes to replace parents.
The first stage of the Conservative plan was to give parents an additional $100/month for each child under six years of age. As of January 2007 “Parents - regardless of income - have received $1.2 billion since the first payments were mailed in July, according to the government.” That’s about as universal of a benefit as you can get! In this year’s budget, parents receive a tax credit of $2000 per child resulting in an additional savings of $310/year per child.
In last year’s budget, the Conservatives provided $250 million to invest with employers and non-profit groups to create childcare spaces. What did Mr. Murphy do to help create spaces under this program? Nothing! This year, the government has provided another $250 million in new funding for the direct creation of childcare spaces. That amounts to almost $6 million for the tiny province of New Brunswick alone! What has MP Murphy done to make sure this money gets quickly into the hands of childcare providers? You guessed it, nothing but criticize the Conservatives and tell the public that there’s no money for childcare.
The Conservative government has taken the approach of helping families where we feel it most - by reducing the taxes we pay upfront. Now that they have a better idea of the stability of revenues, they are also increasing support for needed childcare spaces. We have all witnessed what the grandiose promises of Liberal politicians has produced - all talk and no action. The next time a Liberal offers you a “free” program, ask them who is going to pay for it.