Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness speaking at the Feb. 22, 2018 debate on the budget. (Screenshot)

Chilliwack-Kent MLA critiques B.C. child care, comes under fire for year-old comment saying parents can just stay home

Laurie Throness said the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Liberals have ‘ideological’ differences for child care

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness is condemning the provincial government for being “hopelessly behind on its (child care) commitments” — but others have taken to social media to express their concerns about Throness’s statement that there is already one full-time child care provider for each kid.

A release from the B.C. Liberal Caucus Thursday (March 2) said that Premier John Horgan was “failing B.C. families” by only bringing in 3,061 new spaces in the child care plan’s first year. (The plan aims to provide 24,000 childcare spaces over three years.)

“John Horgan and the NDP touted an ambitious child care plan, promising thousands of new fast-tracked spaces for B.C. families,” Throness said in the release, in his official role as Childcare Critic.

“But only one year in and the NDP has revealed it is hopelessly behind on its commitments – so far behind, in fact, that it will be impossible for them to catch up.”

He also criticized the NDP for “favouring non-profit providers for ideological reasons.”

“After blatantly breaking his $10-a-day childcare promise last year – calling it a mere ‘slogan’ – John Horgan is now showing B.C. families his commitment to new spaces was no more than an empty promise as well,” Throness said in the release.

But others, many of whom were connected with the B.C. NDP Caucus, are bringing up concerns about Throness’ statements from over a year ago, when he said that B.C. already has a form of universal child care in its parents.

RELATED: B.C. MLA says child care isn’t needed, parents should stay home

“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.”

That still isn’t stopping critics from questioning why Throness is the official critic for child care in the B.C. Liberal Caucus, and whether his views represent the B.C. Liberals as a whole.

Others are criticizing the idea that all parents have the option to stay at home and raise their children.

“What a nifty notion, unless you’re a single parent, a family that can’t afford to have a parent stay home or those that have a career they enjoy,” Langley’s Stacey Wakelin wrote on Twitter.

Back in 2018, Throness told the Chilliwack Progress that his statement was a reflection on his belief that parents should make the decision on who takes care of their child.

“The NDP is saying ‘we want everybody in public daycare,’” he said at the time.

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, and in a conversation with the Agassiz Harrison Observer over the phone, Throness reiterated his thoughts from 2018.

“I only believe that the government should help parents raise their kids however THEY want to raise them, not how the government wants to raise them,” he wrote.

“The question is who takes care of the child?” Throness said over the phone.

“The NDP have an ideological bias towards care in the public sector” he said, adding that he and the B.C. Liberals believe care should be the decision of the parent and based on need.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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