Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau speaks during a campaign stop in Vancouver, on Monday, September 28, 2020. The ideal outcome of British Columbia’s looming provincial election would involve another minority government, the head of the province’s Green Party said Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Greens’ election proposals include 4-day work week, free child care

Furstenau says parents with young children in B.C. are facing tremendous pressure

British Columbia’s Green party wants to see free child care for children under three and free early childhood education for three- and four-year-olds.

Campaigning in Vancouver on Tuesday, Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau says their plan would also have financial support for stay-at-home parents of $350 a month.

She says taking care of a child needs to be recognized as a real job that counts as time in the workplace, not as a relaxing time out.

Furstenau says parents with young children in B.C. are facing tremendous pressure as costs skyrocket and household income stagnates.

She is also proposing that the government launch a consultation process with business and labour to explore a four-day work week, saying there are a number of tools the government can use to help employers shift to a shorter week.

The Green leader says the pandemic has reminded many people that they need to take time away from work to enjoy a better balance, to take care of their mental and physical health, and to look after their families.

“We are now well into the 21st century, yet despite significant changes in the nature of work and technology, we haven’t moved beyond the standard five-day, 40-hour work week that was established in the context of factory work in the 1900s.”

She says research from around the world shows that shorter work weeks can make people happier, reduce stress and boost productivity.

Furstenau says the cost of the early education program would go from $674 million in 2020-21 to $897 million in 2024-25. That would include expanding education spaces and prioritizing partnerships with public schools and First Nations.

The program would involve training more early childhood educators in certified programs and paying professional wages.

“We need to value the work they do and we need to ensure that they are operating as highly qualified professionals,” Furstenau says.

READ MORE: BC Greens pledge $1B for ‘comprehensive suite’ of mental health supports

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC GreenBC politicsBC Votes 2020Green Party

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Lotto winner Erwin Espiritu. (submitted photo: BCLC media relations)
$1M lotto surprise for Surrey dad buying takeout food for son’s birthday

‘When I went to show my son, he said that there was six zeros on the screen, not three’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read