It takes a village to raise a child, yet in 2018 very few of us live in villages in Ontario. As a result, child care is an essential service for families with young children. There is no question that Ontario needs a universal, affordable, and high quality child care system. As a soon-to-be working mom, child care is central to my ability to participate fully in the workforce, build my career and achieve my personal goals – pretty lofty stuff.
As a dual citizen who dutifully votes in US presidential elections, I’m bowled over by the profusion of childcare commitments, comments and analyses emanating from south of the border. Childcare is quite the election issue in the US, taking up much more space in this election campaign than in any other I remember. Canadian women and families—faced with our own unrelenting struggle for quality, affordable childcare here in the True North Strong and Free—should take note.
It wasn’t surprising that child care was one of the topics Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pressed about last Sunday on CBC’s Face to Face with the Prime Minister. There are millions of families in all regions—families like that of the CBC’s representative young middle class mom Jenna Fray— who are struggling with child care. Parents cannot find and afford good quality child care for love or money.
The best line of the Trudeau government’s first day— widely reported and praised in the international media—was the new PM’s. In response to a reporter’s question about why he’d chosen to create a gender-parity cabinet, he rather matter of factly observed “because it’s 2015”. This ostensibly simple statement summed up a complexity of attitudes, beliefs and even world views in three words.