Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Publisher's Circle reception | Main | It doesn't pay to be a Jackson »

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dryden on daycare

Canada is abuzz with talk about daycare. Considering my predilections on the issue I certainly welcome this discussion. Trudeaupia links to a speech delivered by Minister of Social Development Ken Dryden on November 24, 2004 on this subject.  The speech is pretty long so I will only pull out a couple of highlights here.  (there is plenty more at PoliticalStaples here.  In fact my daycare blogging was so long I split it into two parts.  The second part is here)

...We are lagging behind, failing our children, short-changing our future. Despite the great work, despite the studies that show the importance of good early learning, despite the embarrassing international comparisons in child care, we seem in effect, stuck.

Here Minister Dryden establishes the link that by raising your own children you are failing your children and short-changing their future. In Liberal ideology you are not as capable of raising your on child as the government is.

...Furthermore, we know how important the early years are to our learning life. We want and need our kids to do better. And we know how. It's time to see the writing that is so clearly on the wall. The debate about child care is over. There will be an early learning child care system in this country. It is not a matter of if. It is only a matter of when. We need to see it that way. Understand it that way. Approach it that way. Go on the offensive. Put the critic on the defensive. Get on with it and get at it.

The debate is over? The debate never began! Typical we are right, you are wrong, now shut-up and get out of my way rhetoric from the Liberal Party.

...But how do you build a system when you don't have one? When you are nowhere near having one. When nobody is willing to pay for it.

I thought the debate was over Minister Dryden? If the debate is over and nobody is willing to pay for it then could you please move along to some other boondoggle?

When, even if there was the money to do it, there isn't the capacity to build it. When you are committing yourselves to pay only a portion of the cost of it, for only a portion of the time it takes to build a system.

He justed admitted that the Liberals will hang the Provinces out to dry once the system is started.

...[In his book] I created this imaginary scene of a fan of 2003 going back to 1979 and talking to a fan of 1979, and the fan of 2003 said "Isn't it crazy about how much players get paid?" And the fan of 1979 saying "It's nuts, isn't it. I mean isn't it nuts? I mean, a player being paid $110,000 Canadian as an average salary in the NHL? I mean, it's nuts. It's unsustainable. There is no way that teams can stay in business this way. They're killing the game. It'll never last." "And the ticket prices." And the fan of 1979 saying "Yeah, isn't it crazy? I mean, at Maple Leaf Gardens, the top ticket price, $12?" "I mean, who would ever go and who will ever come back? It just can't work. They are killing the game."

And then the man, the fan of 2003, saying "Well, I've got a little story for you. Actually, in 2003, that average player is being paid $2.3 million, on average, Canadian. And that fan who now attends at the Air Canada Centre, not Maple Leaf Gardens, in that lower bowl of 9,000 seats, there's not one ticket under the price of $140." And that fan of 1979 would have said "You are nuts. You are completely nuts. It is impossible. There is no imaginable way that one could get from where we are in 1979 to where you are in 2003. It cannot, it simply cannot and will not and would not and never would happen."

What just got cancelled today Minister Dryden? Be careful what analogies you use!

Posted by Greg Staples on February 16, 2005 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dryden on daycare:


I consulted a fortuneteller recently. She brewed a pot of tea from shredded Red Books and Hansard transcripts, and read the following from the dregs of a very bitter cup: if the daycare program is underutilized, we will be told that more funding is needed in order to make it more attractive to parents. If the program is swamped with applicants and there is a waiting list, more funding will be required to meet the demand. If the money for daycare is wasted or stolen by politicians and bureaucrats, the answer will be - this is where she started cackling - more funding, in order to enforce standards and make the system "more accountable". She also said that the Liberal government had a very long life line, and advised me to short-sell the stock of any company currently receiving government assistance.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-02-16 4:46:48 PM

Substitute gun registry for daycare?

Same results.


We are brain-dead. Unconscious. Hopeless. Fodder for left agenda. Unless ....

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-16 7:04:05 PM

What is really bad about his analogy is that it is totally false. Nobody in 1979 was saying that the game was unsustainable. The NHL had just absorbed its only competitor, 4 new teams had joined the league - 3 of them in Canada with sold out buildings, and ticket prices were reasonable.

The game and salaries really only spun out of control after Gretzky was sold/traded to LA in 1988. That's when salaries started to escalate and the NHL, seeing success south of the border in the formerly moribund LA market, started expanding into places it never should have been.

That makes a better analogy for day care - government expanding into places it doesn't belong and creating something unsustainable.

Posted by: TimR | 2005-02-16 8:59:43 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.