Sto:lo (À:lmèlhàwtxw) Early Education Centre supervisor Jenn Carman (left) speaks with Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen on June 29, 2018 during Chen’s visit to Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson / The Progress.)

B.C. Liberal MLA criticized by NDP for claiming childcare can be ‘harmful’ to children

Childcare critic Laurie Throness says Quebec universal childcare has ‘some ill effects’ on children

The provincial Minister of State for Childcare and the NDP are piling on Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness, who is the BC Liberal childcare critic, for his comments suggesting childcare is “harmful” to kids and that mothers should just stay home.

The NDP’s caucus issued press releases on March 4 and March 5 calling out Throness and asking BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson if he agrees with the childcare critic’s comments.

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness speaking on Feb. 22, 2018. (Screenshot)

In a committee meeting, Throness pointed to studies he says claim that while childcare benefits low-income families, there is no short-term benefit and questionable long-term benefit to universal childcare for children of middle-income families.

His latest comments build on what Throness has said in the past, namely, that if one parent were simply to stay home, government-funded childcare would be unnecessary.

“I can tell you how many child care spaces we have right now in B.C.,” Throness said speaking against universal child care on Feb. 22, 2018. “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.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack-Kent MLA critiques B.C. child care, comes under fire for year-old comment saying parents can just stay home

In the committee meeting on March 3, Minister Katrina Chen reiterated her government’s position that more affordable childcare reduces costs for families, helps parents return to work, and grows the economy.

“I would simply remind the minister that it’s not about parents going back to work or about growing our economy,” Throness responded. “It’s about what’s best for our children.”

The Progress asked Throness to comment on the NDP caucus press release, and he pointed to his comments on Twitter, adding: “My concern here is that the government wants to pay for the cost of child care in part by sending more parents to work, but this must not be done at the expense of child welfare. In the light of studies that show some ill effects of universal care in Quebec, the program must be carefully designed.”

A Twitter spat ensued in which Chen said in a press release the next day, that Throness doubled down.

“Does Andrew Wilkinson agree with his critic that childcare is ‘harmful’ to kids?” read the headline of the press release.

“On Tuesday, Throness claimed that childcare is ‘not about parents,’ suggesting that reducing costs for parents and helping them return to work were not good reasons to invest in childcare,” the release stated.

“To sum up, Throness believes: Childcare is ‘harmful’ to children; Parents (often mothers) should just stay home; We shouldn’t reduce childcare costs or improve access for families. Despite these views (and many others, including being anti-SOGI and anti-abortion), Wilkinson kept Throness in his role as Critic for Children and Family Development and Child Care when he shuffled his critics in September.”

Chen insists that the BC Liberal leader “and his hand-picked childcare critic are out of touch with B.C. parents.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness speaking on Feb. 22, 2018. (Screenshot)

Just Posted

Lions extend organ donation campaign

Organ donation something to consider

108 Mile Heritage Market open for business

Vendors and clients are welcome to attend and visit the site

100 Mile House Council adopts COVID-19 Re-opening Policy for next 12 to 16 months

An increased focus on sanitization and cleanliness is the main focus of these new policies

Hospice campaign going better than expected

‘We’ve been quite surprised with how many people have wanted to get involved’

100 per cent of Cariboo businesses have had to reduce employee hours or lay employees off, study finds

This survey was conducted by the BC Chamber of Commerce called the COVID-19 Impact Pulse Check #3

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read