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

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

The slopes and lifts of Mount Timothy, which will require the use of face masks this year. (Photo submitted)
Mount Timothy ski hill set to open season on Dec. 18

Preparations are just about done and a COVID-19 safety plan is in place.

100 Mile RCMP dealing with serious accident at Highway 97 near 103 Mile (file photo)
Men involved in BMO incident ‘remorseful and horrified’ by how they were perceived: police

The two have come forward to the RCMP and said their actions were misunderstood

Ken O’Connor is one of many 100 Mile House residents who rely on the 100 Mile House Food Bank to help support and feed their families. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Food Bank anticipates busy season

Numbers are already rising again.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Clinton fire hall, date unknown. Photo credit: Submitted
Clinton Volunteer Fire Department seeks funding for gear, equipment

More equipment needed after successful recruitment drive.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Most Read