OTTAWA, October 27, 2004 ( – In Canada, where the Liberal government provides generous handouts to parents who send their toddlers to daycare so both parents can work, families who choose to have one parent stay at home to raise their children are doubly penalized.  Beyond the sacrifice of a second income, these families are penalized by deliberate government policy.  Not only are they denied the childcare handouts, they are penalized by Canadian tax regulations for their decision.  In the House of Commons yesterday Calgary Conservative MP Jason Kenney presented the case for fairness for parents who choose to have one spouse stay at home.  In his speech, Kenney asked why the Liberals opposed a Conservative Party proposal “to allow for a $3,000 per child tax deduction, which exists in other developed western democracies.”  He explained, “It would be a tax deduction that would say to parents they could use the $3,000 per child economic break to decide whether to pay for third-party day care out of the home or give up a secondary income and have one of the parents stay at home.”  Liberal MP Maria Minna responded suggesting that Canada must commence full time governmental child care earlier – at age three – for “all kids at all times”.  Apparently assuming that parents are not able to educate their young children appropriately, Minna stressed that state-controlled “early education” programs are “very fundamental to the development of the child.”  Adding insult to injury, Minna said that since Canada does not mandate full-time education from age three Canadians are “sticking our heads in the sand.”  Kenney responded by expressing the painful frustration of many Canadian parents with the decades of on-going federal goverment hostility to traditional family life and choices.  He said, “Essentially what she is saying is that the state must intervene to take kids out of the home as early as possible to teach them in a way that parents cannot do themselves. “What I hear in that comment is the shrill ideology of a radical point of view which says that the state and the institutions of the state know better how to educate children than parents themselves.”  Using the language of ‘choice’ against one of its foremost proponents, Kenney concluded, “I find it profoundly offensive that the member is anti-choice. She is not willing to allow parents to make the right choices for their families, for their kids and for their values. I believe in parents having the right to choose what is best by their kids. If parents want to pay for out of family day care so they can be raised in the early childhood learning out of home environment that the member loves, then they should have the right to do that. I fully honour and respect that right. However if parents think they can do a better job raising young kids at home, then, by golly, we should give them that choice. It is called freedom.”  See the full exchange from the Federal Hansard:   jhw


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