Thinking about Family

This has been an exciting week for Canadian families – my own in particular. At 5:39 am on Wednesday morning, July 22, my wife gave birth to a perky and healthy little boy who we named Judah Clement. And across Canada, parents welcomed the first disbursement of the Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. Family is the cornerstone of society. As a father of two, the opportunity to stand up for families was central to my decision to run for office.

Our birth story is a bit unusual. Baby Judah came so fast that I had to deliver him at home before we could get any help or drive to a hospital. It was a scary time for me, as someone with no medical training. But it’s a moment I will always treasure. (I had some help from EMS over the phone).

The delivery was so unusual, that CTV did a little story on what happened. Check out the video here. We also gave an interview on CBC radio, which you can listen to here.

Family has been on my mind this week for another reason. Like all other families across the country with children under 18, we received a cheque for the Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. The new enhanced benefit is worth $1,920 for each Canadian child under the age of 6. And for those children between 6 and 17, parents will receive $720 per year.

You wouldn’t let someone tell you how to raise your children. So why would you let someone decide the best form of childcare for them? Support for families will be an important part of the debate in the Fall Election. Other parties believe that we need a big, new national bureaucracy to provide childcare. But the problem with that approach is simple - different families make different kinds of childcare choices.

Some parent use a community day-home while others rely on grandma and grandpa. Some parents stay at home or work flexible hours so the other is available and some put their kids in a local play programs or rely on traditional daycare. There are lots of options out there. And I see no good reason to increase taxes on all parents while only funding one option among many.  

We don't support a national one-size-fits-all approach to childcare - we support an approach that empowers parents to make their own choices. 

Check out our Prime Minister speaking about the new benefit on my Facebook page here.  

Our support for families doesn’t stop at the UCCB. This government has made great improvements for all types of families across Canada, including these three key programs:

  • -We introduced Income Splitting - first for seniors, then for families.
  • -We introduced, and then Doubled, the children's fitness tax credit.
  • -We increased the tax deduction for Childcare Expenses by $1000.

I believe in families and these measures are what will help Canadian families most.