Universal Daycare Cost

Okay, I'm just going to tally up what it costs to pay the staff wages  at my daycare center, figure out how much parents would be paying if we all went to a system like in Quebec ($7/day), and then let you know how much all you fine taxpayers would be shelling out to help run my small 21 child center.

Current monthly fee per child (second lowest in my city): 630/month
Number of children: 21
Total current monthly income: $13,230/month

Number of staff: 4 (minimum number of staff needed to comply with regulations of child:staff ratio)
Full Timers: 3 @ $12/hour, avg 178 hours/month (based on 8.5 hour days X 21 working days)
                  = $6408/month in wages (not including holiday pay, months with more working days, etc)
Part Timer: 1 @ 12/hour approx $1500/month (fluctuates with need)
Total Wages: $7908/month in wages (which is about 60% of total income)

If parents start paying $7/day, the total income would change to approx $147/child/month (based on 21 days attendance)... 21 children = $3087 total income under a universal daycare program similar to Quebec.

So right off the bat, $4821 has to come from the govt (aka Tax Payers) just to pay our staff wages every month. Just for one small daycare in a small city that is about half the cost of care in larger cities. That is over $57,000 a year. And we have not even added in the cost of food, running the business itself (building lease or mortgage fees, license costs, food permits, utilities, etc). And we also do not know how much our wages would be. Would they be increased? Decreased? No mention of that, as far as I have seen.

According to CBC news last year, over half of the children in Canada aged 6 months to 5 years were in the care of someone other than a parent. By 2004, there were over half a million daycare spaces in Canada (this does not include dayhomes, kincare, etc). The supporters of national daycare obviously want this number to increase, because they want more families to be able to afford care and go back to work, but let's just say it's at 500,000 spaces across Canada for this program - how much money is that going to cost? I only make $12/hour as it is to help parents be able to afford care but people in larger cities cannot afford to live on that amount, so the funding to those centers would be even higher.

There are 15 centers in my city, and mine is the second SMALLEST. Just using my center's tally as an example, that would mean well over $800,000 a year would be given to centers in my city alone in order to pay low staff wages(again, keep in mind, that was done WITHOUT the cost of food and business costs). My city is the 7th smallest in my province. You do the math yourself. Even if all the cities in my province received the same amount of funding, that is over $5 million dollars a year - but that is a preposterously low amount. I'm just trying to make it easier for you to expand to the Big Picture on your own. What would the cost be in Vancouver? Toronto? Ottawa?

If you still think this would be a sustainable program - also keep this in mind. Every center in my city is full with long waiting lists. It's not like when/if this program goes into place, everyone will magically be able to put their kids in care and go back to work. None of the centers in my city will be able to help you with that. You can call us every day if you like, but we are completely full and will remain so. We are not allowed to take any more children or we would be in direct violation of several regulations, and then we would be shut down. So go ahead - be told that you can pay only $7/day and get all excited - but good luck finding a place to take your child. We would be completely inundated with calls when we already have a waiting list that is longer than how many spaces we have - and that's with parents having to pay several hundred dollars a month; imagine what our waiting list will look like if parents can pay a fraction of that?

It all looks good on paper until someone whips out their calculator......

Poll Tracker - March 31, 2011

Once again today there was only a single new poll released today to be incorporated into our poll tracker and that was the Nanos poll that showed the Liberals up to 32.7% and the NDP down to 15.9% with the Conservatives steady at 39.1%. That boosted both the Tories and the Liberals in my poll tracker, but since the poll doesn't take a straight average the Liberal gains were moderated.Not to be a

Poll Tracker - March 30, 2011

With the beginning of the election, I'll be tracking the polls and reporting here on a daily basis or whenever there is something interesting to report. I'll post more details how I am compiling the data later.There has only been one poll released that contains data from after the election call and that is the recent Nanos poll that showed the Tories in the lead with 38% and the Liberals trailing

Mayor running for Liberal MP spot

I have often wondered what political parties my municipal govt members side with. In recent years, I made a wild guess that our mayor was a liberal, and today he announced his plans to take a leave of absence as Mayor - to go after the Liberal MP seat for our district. Wow what a surprise.

I wonder how he will fair, because while he won the spot of mayor again in our last city election, the Liberals do not do very well around here. If some of the mayor's buddies decide to vote for him as our MP, it will most likely be the first time in their lives that they put a little checkmark next to 'Liberal'. I cannot decide if this guy thinks that he is so loved, people will forget the party line and vote for him, or if he just thinks his chosen party needs a new leader and he will take his defeat with grace. But if (when) he doesn`t win, we will officially have a Liberal party candidate working as our mayor - as it seems to be his intention to slide back in as mayor if (when) he doesn`t become our new MP. To put this in a little more perspective, the last federal general election ended this way:

Con MP: 26, 949 votes
Lib MP:   2, 540 votes (ouch)

Even the NDP had almost double the Liberal count with 4, 187 votes
and the Green party was close with 2,338 votes.

So, our Mayor thinks that he can maybe beat that? Does he think we love him so much he is going to pull off a 20,000+ coup of votes in the district?

If you go back to the 2006 general election, the Con MP (Monte Solberg back then) had over 35,000 votes, while the Lib candidate had 3,737 votes. Going back further, in 2004 the Cons took over 60% while the Liberals had less than 25%. And it's looked like that for, oh, at least 30-35 years now? I believe since 1968 actually. Good luck Mr Mayor, I will be interested in seeing if the normal number of votes for the Liberals goes up or if it manages to stay along the same dismal path. Or if people will decide to vote for the person (aka a mayor vs in the past a pretty much unknown candidate) instead of the party.... will they be standing there with their little pens shakin, confused and bewildered? Unsure of what to do? Or will they just pretend they will support their buddy and tick off Conservative like very other year of their adult voting lives? I am seriously interested to see the results.

My other interest is in wondering if people will think about this when the next civic election comes around. What if this mayor runs again? It was pretty darn close last time, between him and a pretty well known conservative candidate (44% for him, 42% for her) - but now we KNOW he is a Liberal and he might find a little wee problem in the future.

As an add-in, and I do not mean to diss this person if they still happen to have the link to my blog and read it LOL, but I clearly remember when this mayor won the last election, and a guy I know's wife had a fit. She said something very close to this on her FB or Twitter: "OMG are you that scared of having a female mayor that you would vote for that militant son of a bitch????" ... and now comes a wee moral dilemma. This guy is a Liberal voter and now must check off the name of someone his own wife was clearly disappointed in just 5.5 months ago.... He did admit that the mayor is not his favorite person, but is a strong candidate to run against the current Cons MP. Yes - that he definately is. He is not only known as Mayor, he was also the police chief for many years. He has a lot of friends in all sorts of circles - but will it be enough to turn such a major tide? Will his friends, who voted Cons allllllllll these years despite their friendship with him, and doubtless political debates from time to time, give up their usual voting beliefs and choices just because they know HIM.

In this election especially, if these same people want the federal Conservative Party to win a majority instead of being stuck in a minority or lose, are they going to risk losing a seat to the Liberal party just because they know the mayor/former police chief? Will they REALLY take that risk, even if they do think he is a better representative for our city directly?


A little update,,, the news only just broke today but I read through comments at our local news website and in the calgary herald and by far as of right now, the people are not happy. I'm sure I will see some positive comments soon, but so far I have not seen ANY in our local news, and only a couple in the herald. Oh boy - I might actually be excited about our local section of the election for once. I really want to see what will happen. In all my past years it was only 'yup, the Cons won by a landslide again'... now I will be paying much closer attention to the Liberal tally and comparing it with past years.

No Boots. Just Bombs.

I was reminded of a slogan from the movie 'What Women Want' with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. At one point, while working a Nike commercial, they came up with the slogan 'No Games. Just Sports' for their women's athletic clothing line. It was a big hit.

I couldn't help but think of that when watching the speech last night and prior announcements and speeches that no US troops will be put on the ground in Libya.

No boots. Just bombs.

ooooooh that's okay then.

Name that party

The Ottawa Citizen has reported on today's resignation of Senator Raymond Lavigne, who finally quit after being convicted of fraud and breach of trust. In light of the feeding frenzy going on in parliamentary committees right now over the government's alleged "contempt of Parliament", it seems odd that nowhere in the Citizen's nine paragraph story does reporter Althia Raj see fit to mention the Senator's party affiliation.

For the record, Senator Lavigne is a Liberal. He was elected as MP for the Quebec riding of Verdun-St Paul in 1993 and again in 1997 and 2000. He was appointed to the Senate by Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 2002 to allow former Quebec cabinet minister Liza Frulla to run in his riding for the federal Liberals.

The Citizen does report that "Lavigne, 65, has come under fire for spending $315,355 in travel expenses, on top of his $132,300 salary, despite being barred from doing any work in the Senate or its committees". This is serious unethical behaviour, and it seems to me that people might be curious about how it reflects on the Liberal Party which he represented for years in both the House and the Senate, and indeed the judgment of the Liberal Prime Minister who appointed him to the upper chamber.

The opposition parties, led by the odious Pat Martin, are worked into a lather over the Bev Oda affair and the Government's crime bill. In both cases, the Citizen didn't hesitate to identify the political party involved. Reporting on the crime bill, the Citizen mentioned not only the Conservative Party but also its leader:
The release of hundreds of pages of federal documents on Wednesday has sparked new warnings from opposition parties that they are losing confidence in Stephen Harper's minority government for not sharing enough details about the price of its agenda.

Facing accusations of contempt of Parliament, the Tory government released the thick binder of notes that reveal over $600 million in new spending estimates associated with its heavy law-and-order agenda.
On the Bev Oda issue, the Citizen reports:
Federal politicians have approved a plan to draft a report finding the minority Conservative government in contempt of Parliament, setting the stage for a confidence motion that could provoke an election.
Let's call together a parliamentary committee and put Michael Ignatieff on the hot seat. He's the leader of the Liberal Party; what did he know about l'affaire Lavigne, and when did he know it? Contempt of parliament indeed.

And while we're at it, let's get Althia Raj to testify why she doesn't think it's important that readers know that Raymond Lavigne is a Liberal.

Politically correct dilemma: does Islamophobia trump homophobia?

A few weeks ago in the UK, stickers appeared in various locations around London's East End proclaiming it a "gay free zone" and quoting passages from the Koran. In response, gay rights campaigners in London have organized East End Gay Pride and plan to march through the neighbourhood on April 2. Said one of the organizers: "We simply want to say: ‘Hang on. You’re wrong. The East End is NOT a gay-free zone’.”

So what's a politically correct gay activist to do when forced to choose between conflicting gay and Islamist agendas? Cry "Islamophobia", of course. The organizers of East End Pride have now been urged by members of London's gay community to cancel the parade for fear of "scapegoating Muslims":
The march, to be held on April 2nd, has been organised by six friends as a response to anti-gay stickers plastered around the East End.

But opponents say it is an “emotional reaction” which “risks antagonising and scapegoating” Muslims.


Although the parade has been backed by local police and Tower Hamlets council, some local campaigners are calling for it to be cancelled.

An open letter signed by Out East chair Thierry Schaffauser and Terry Stewart of the Hackney Community Engagement Board claims that the Pride march may “divide our communities” or be used “to oppress other marginalised groups”.

Out East organises Hackney Pride and the letter has also been signed by Denis Fernando of Unite Against Fascism and the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils.

It says: “We believe that the most appropriate response to the stickers is to liaise with Muslim communities and others to create bridges and communicate with each other.

“We want both homophobia and Islamophobia addressed as a collective problem and not feed one against the other, we do not recognise these as distinct categories.

“We will refuse any attempt to divide our communities or take the risk that an LGBTQ event is used to oppress other marginalised groups, in particular LGBTQ Muslims who will be the most affected by this rising antagonism.”


$4 a gallon gas? I wish

The price of gasoline in the U.S. is now hovering around US$4.00 per gallon, and pundits and politicians are screaming for the government to do something about it. Release crude oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve! Lower federal taxes! ANYTHING to ease the consumer pain of expensive gas. Nothing like this ever happens in Canada; we quietly put up with similar prices that we consider "normal", and no one utters a peep except Liberal MP Dan McTeague who pops up with tiresome regularity denouncing "speculators".

Four dollar a gallon gas in Canada? I wish. I filled my tank up today with regular gasoline at a price of CAN$1.179/liter. At 3.785 liter to the U.S. liquid gallon, and at today's Bank of Canada exchange rate of US$1.03/CAN$, that works out to US$4.59 per U.S. gallon. $4.59! There would be civil unrest in Los Angeles at those prices.

Even at prices that Canadians would consider reasonable, say CAN$1.02/liter, the equivalent American price would be - get this - US$4.00/gallon.

The difference between Canadian and US gas prices is of course taxation. Gas is taxed at exhorbitantly high rates north of the border, but Canadians don't seem to mind. In typical Canuck fashion, we meekly accept that it is our patriotic duty to pay higher taxes.

So I'm planning to take my vacation road trip to the U.S. this summer. No matter what the price of gas is down there, it will be a bargain compared to driving around Canada.

Libertarianism explained in two minutes

Dr. Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University explains libertarianism in this two minute video. A sample:
The liberal and conservative perspectives are fundamentally different than the libertarian perspective, which is really unique. Liberals and conservatives are at some level the same; they are authoritarians. They both have views on the right way for people to run their lives, and they want to impose that on people, whereas libertarians want to let people choose for themselves how to run their lives rather than having government tell people that there's one right way to do things and other ways that are not legitimate.

Miron must be pretty lonely at Harvard.

(HT: Reason Online)