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

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Real estate has been moving very briskly in Kimberley since last summer. Bulletin file
Hot Kimberley real estate market leads to tightened inventory

Real estate sales in the entire Kootenay region have been brisk for… Continue reading

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

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

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read