Tory MP calls child care benefit ‘Christmas in July’, gets Twitter lashing

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre stands in the House of Commons during question period in Ottawa Friday May 24, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

TORONTO — A Conservative minister prompted a tsunami of Twitter backlash Sunday night with a tweet comparing the pumped-up Universal Child Care Benefit to “Christmas in July.”

Canadians with young kids should have a few extra bucks in their bank accounts as the benefits, accused by some as a ploy by the Tories to grab votes, began rolling out.

RELATED: Who benefits from Canada’s Universal Child Care benefit?

Minister of Employment and Social Development Pierre Poilievre tweeted in anticipation Sunday, comparing the boosted child benefits to “Christmas in July for Moms and Dads!”

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Reaction to Poilievre’s message was mixed, but much of the response was negative.

“Insulting & laughable,” said one woman, citing her sky-high child care costs. Another called his tweet “insulting.”

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READ MORE: Tory, suburban ridings to gain most from enriched child benefits

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There was the odd response of appreciation.

Clearly undeterred by any negative response, the MP later tweeted again asking parents to take to the social media platform when they received their money.

“Moms and dads, if you got your child care money, please let us know by posting on twitter! Want to make sure it arrived!”

There were again some positive responses, but those messages were dwarfed by biting backlash.

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A release from the feds Monday morning, “Today, parents get child care payments from Harper Government”, outlined the benefits, adding that more than 3.8 million payments had been made to Canadian families.

“Now that the Harper Government has balanced the budget, we are helping families balance theirs,” said Poilievre in the statement. “Starting today, parents should check their mailboxes and bank accounts to make sure they received Prime Minister Harper’s boosted child care benefit.”


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