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

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Former Lumby councillor fondly remembered

Ben Winters served on village council from 2005-11

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

‘Overwhelming, incredible’ support for foreign workers following West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

‘…Our team seems to be recovering well — symptoms are resolving’

VIDEO: Shuswap family in isolation rises to musical challenge

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine used to share efforts to avoid spread of COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Most Read