Monday, 4 May 2015


A long-time friend of mine has a personal reason for changing the Canadian government, particularly the Prime Minister.

The Universal Child Care Benefit was rolled out in July 2006 as a cash payout in an election year: scrap the national child care program plans, and hand out $100/child under 6 years old, per month, instead.  Her son was born in July 2000 and she stayed out of the workforce at first because it would cost more to put both her young children in daycare than she could make in a day, and there was no point in spending money on a paycheque.

After her son was in school full-time, she had to stay home because whenever she did have a job, *something* happened with his behaviour, and she had to quit.  She realizes now this was deep-seated anxiety, because whenever he knew his Mom was at home as his safety net, he was fine.

In July 2006 she got her "welcome" letter, a cheque, AND dismissal from the program all on the same page, because he had just become eligible, AND had just aged out of the program.

Then in April 2015 she received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Universal Child Care Benefit had been extended to families with children UNDER THE AGE OF 18.  If the information given was correct, there was no need to contact CRA, the money would flow starting July.  Please correct any errors before May 1, however, so that she could receive the money she was eligible for.  BUT... the one who really could have benefited from the help was dead - her son had committed suicide in January.

According to her, that money could have helped defray the cost of his weekly psychotherapy for the last four years.

This was typical of everything in her son's life: too old for this, too young for that, too rich to qualify, can't afford that...  She even created a Lego club at his school so he could have something social that interested him, and the school board aged him out of it the following September.  He Beta-tested the Lego Universe MMOG, and it fizzled the next year.  The archery club where he and his sister went to day camp closed the year after.  He got the twilight of everything good.  This just HURT.

To her it felt like the government waited for her son to die before saying "Okay, let's get this ball rolling again."  Yes, she knows that this is classic narcissism - there was no way any politician could know that her son even existed, except by social insurance number.  But it still hurt.

And the Prime Minister still has earned a swift boot to the buttocks for everything, from the Alberta Tar Sands to reneging on the Kyoto Accord.

No comments:

Post a Comment