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

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

Scales of Justice
Court awards woman $167K after vehicle was struck by White Rock taxi in 2016

Plaintiff’s knee injuries and resulting chronic pain disability are genuine, judge rules

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey Police Service hires first three inspectors as ‘next layer of leadership’

Three men have more than 80 years of combined experience

An officer collects forensic evidence from a police SUV following the July 18, 2015 incident that ended in the police-shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (File photo)
UPDATE: Verdict, recommendations in coroner’s inquest into 2015 police-shooting death in South Surrey

Review of force options among recommendations out of coroner’s inquest into death of Hudson Brooks

(Photo: Now-Leader).
Surrey Schools seeking community input for 2021-22 budget

Majority of it is pre-allocated, but room to address priorities in the community

TEASER - SAGAís Gift Shop Manager Barbie Warwick wearing The Summons while sketching in Facing Time exhibit. Photo by Pardeep Singh.jpg
‘The Summons’ face masks created as fundraiser for Surrey Art Gallery Association

Image of magnolia flower and poetry printed on specially designed mask

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read