Child Care and the Harper Agenda: Transforming Canada’s Social Policy Regime
Keywords:Child care policy, social policy analysis, gender equality, democracy
AbstractThis article examines the changing child care policy landscape in Canada, as indicative of the fundamental shift that is happening in Canada’s social policy regime under the Harper Conservative government. It begins by reviewing the policy choices made by the current federal government in the area of early learning and child care, including the cancellation of the Bilateral Agreements on Early Learning and Child Care and their replacement with the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and the Child Care Spaces Initiative (CCSI). It then argues that through these approaches social reproduction, federalism, and advocacy have been recast to promote familialism, residualism and exclusion in Canada’s welfare state. As a result, rights related to gender equality, social citizenship and representation have been seriously undermined. Cet article examine le contexte changeant des politiques sur la garde des enfants, comme étant représentatif d’un déplacement fondamental du régime de politique sociale au Canada, qui a eu lieu sous le gouvernement conservateur de Stephen Harper. Les choix de politiques sociales qui ont été pris par le présent gouvernement fédéral reliés à la garde des enfants et à l’éducation de la petite-enfance, incluant l’annulation des accords fédéraux-provinciaux en matière d’apprentissage et de garde de jeunes enfants, remplacés par la prestation universelle pour la garde d’enfants (PUGE), et l’initiative sur les places en garderie (IPG). Je propose qu’à travers ces approches, la reproduction sociale, le fédéralisme et la mobilisation ont été ré-imaginé afin de promouvoir le familialisme, le résidualisme, et l’exclusion dans l’état providence canadien. Ceci a eu comme résultat que les droits reliés à l’égalité des genres, la citoyenneté sociale et la représentation, ont été gravement compromise. Mots-clefs : Politique de la garde des enfants; analyse de politique sociale; égalité entre les genres; démocratie.
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