B.C. Liberal MLA defends remarks calling parents staying at home with kids ‘universal child care’

The B.C. Liberal critic for child care is defending controversial comments he made over child care spaces.

Comments from Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness were tweeted by NDP staff on Thursday arguing B.C. currently has “universal and 24-7” child care because a parent can stay home with their child.

“I can tell you how many child care spaces we have right now in BC. 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,” Throness said.

After the quote was posted online, Throness was quick to respond, describing the post as “stereotypical sliming.”

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“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,” Throness wrote.

WATCH: John Horgan on what’s to come with the NDP’s child care plan

Click to play video: 'John Horgan on whats to come with the NDP’s child care plan'
John Horgan on whats to come with the NDP’s child care plan

The Liberal MLA has been known for controversial comments on how children in the province should be taken care of. Throness took direct aim at early childhood dducators (ECEs) last year in a statement to the legislature.

“To me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay an ECE worker to take care of a child instead of paying their own mom or dad to do the same thing,” Throness said on April 24, 2018.

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Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen responded to Throness’ comments, calling the MLA “out of touch.”

“What did Mr. Throness mean by these statements? That women should just stay home to take care of their kids?” Chen asked.

The B.C. government has been focused on providing affordable and universal child care for parents and kids.

In question period Thursday, the Liberals said the government is “woefully behind on their child care commitments.”

Throness said the B.C. government committed to creating 24,000 child care spaces over three years, or 8,000 spaces a year. Last year the government created 3,061 net new spaces.

“John Horgan and the NDP touted an ambitious child care plan, promising thousands of new fast-tracked spaces for B.C. families,” Throness said. “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.”

The Liberals said the NDP is favouring non-profit providers.

Chen said the B.C. Liberals ignored the child care issue for “16 years.”

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“We have been finding every way we can, every tool possible, to make sure we are making child care more affordable,” Chen said.

“In only several months we have created [and] funded over 4,000 new spaces.”

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