Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What He Stands For

I've spent most of the past year and half clamouring for Michael Ignatieff to show Canadians what he, and the Liberal Party, stand for. So I'm very pleased to see some tangible policy ideas being put forward with today's Family Care announcement, which will make it easier for Canadians to care for their sick loved ones at home.

It's a positive policy. It's on an important issue. It's about families. It connects to people and is something they can understand and relate to.

All in all, this one is a winner, and it's great to see the Liberals puting ideas out there before the election campaign.


Michael Ignatieff announces Liberal Family Care Plan

OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff today announced the Liberal Party’s plan to stand with Canadian families by helping family caregivers with the cost of caring for sick or aging loved ones at home.

“Families look after each other,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “Canadian families want to shoulder the responsibility of caring for their loved ones at home, but they also want a government that stands with them.

“These are difficult economic times, so that means governments – and Canadians – must choose,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “Stephen Harper and the Conservatives choose tax breaks for corporations. We choose to help Canadian families.”

To enhance care for our parents, our grandparents and our sick loved ones, and to recognize the important contribution of family caregivers, a Liberal government will invest $1 billion annually in a new Family Care Plan to help reduce the pressure on hundreds of thousands of struggling Canadian families. The Liberal Family Care Plan includes two new measures:

A new six-month Family Care Employment Insurance Benefit, similar to the EI parental leave benefit, so that more Canadians can care for gravely ill family members at home without having to quit their jobs; and

A new Family Care Tax Benefit, modeled on the Child Tax Benefit, to help low- and middle-income family caregivers who provide essential care to a family member at home.
“Our Family Care Plan reflects the value of family caregivers – their value to our economy, our health, our families, and our communities,” said Mr. Ignatieff, who made the announcement at the home of a caregiver who has spent her life savings to care for her husband, who has a rare form of cancer.

“Canadians want choices when it comes to caring for their families,” said Liberal Heath Critic Ujjal Dosanjh, who joined Mr. Ignatieff at the announcement along with Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, who is a family caregiver. “Providing care at home allows our loved ones to live in dignity as they face their health challenges with their families. Making family care easier will also help to contain health care costs in the long run.”

“CARP members would welcome the promise of $1 billion in annual financial support for family caregivers announced today by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff,” said Susan Eng of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. “CARP has called for substantive and targeted financial support for the millions of Canadians who care for older loved ones - providing massive savings to the formal health care system while shouldering an extraordinary financial and emotional burden.”

“This is wonderful news for the millions of caregivers across the country who are providing care and support for loved ones at home,” said Nadine Henningsen of the Canadian Caregivers Coalition. “These measures minimize financial burden and are critical components of effective policy for family caregivers.”

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22 Comments:

  • This is a winner.

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 12:00 PM  

  • Easier said than done.

    "..millions of care givers.."?

    At $1 biilion a year the amount alotted to each family might be $200-500.

    A general tax cut would do much more.

    Universal daycare was expected to cost $1B/yr. In reality it never materialized and probably would have cost +10X the amount estimated.

    The new EI benifit will mean that more money is needed to fund it. The Libs have hinted that they are against any EI premium increases. None of this makes any sense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 PM  

  • It's nice to get some details from the Liberals. I wonder how this will play in the provinces, including Quebec; they might rather do these things on their own. I think the Conservatives and now the Liberals are also only making our tax system and EI etc. too complicated! But again, nowadays getting details from any party is something to be applauded!

    By Anonymous Jpols, at 1:56 PM  

  • It's the "national childcare" promise of the decade. I wonder if he'll promise to kill the GST while he's at it?

    By Blogger ridenrain, at 3:26 PM  

  • ridenrain - I don't think the grits ever promised this in 2004. As such, it's kind of hard to fault them for not implementing it when they haven't been in power at all...

    Also, I haven't heard the 6 weeks to 6 month extension of compassionate leave talked about before by any of the parties.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:34 PM  

  • Jpols - if the provinces are getting money for nothing, I can't imagine them raising any objections.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:35 PM  

  • I'll see your delay promise (Martin got the provinces on board eventually so it's not a broken promise) and raise you one promise not to tax seniors and their income trusts and one promise to create an Appointments Commission and one promise to hold elections on fixed dates and one promise to reduce spending (not set records budget after budget after budget after budget) and one promise to make only budgets matters of confidence and one promise not to appoint unelected senators and one promise to have "made in Canada" environmental policies and one promise to honour the equalization deals with NL and Saskatchewan and one promise to cut the gas tax when gas goes over 85 cents and one promise to get all of our money back on softwood lumber and one promise to vet all Supreme Court nominees through a Parliamentary committee and one promise to create a Budget Office responsible to Parliament and one promise to provide patient wait time guarantees and one promise to not permit lobbying by former staffers and one promise to release all government public opinion research automatically within 6 months and one promise to not to sole source bidding and one promise to appoint a director of public prosecutions and one promise to strengthen (not weaken) the Ethics Commissioners powers, strengthen (not weaken or ignore) the Information Commissioners powers and one promise to...

    And all that in just 4 years! Some even on the first day in office!!

    Do you really want to go down the broken promise route, ridenrain?

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 3:40 PM  

  • Yup Ted; all that and they have been in the lead in the polls for virtually all of those 4 years. Go figure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 PM  

  • What a "great" idea: someone lost their job taking care of a sick relative, so now they have to stop taking care of them, find a job, work for six months, and then they can qualify for benefits to take care of their dead relative.

    After all, Liberals believe that only the employed have sick relatives.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:30 PM  

  • Anonymous 4:00

    Yes, it's shameful how the conservative dominant media (Canwest, Quebecor Media, CTV) ignores the many broken promises of the Harper government.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 PM  

  • This is something that is long overdue. The problem is as I see it given the most recent betrayals on EI and the American war resisters bills,how can one trust anything the Liberals promise to do.

    The only difference that I see between the Liberals and Conservative parties is of tone, they both wholeheartedly embrace neo-liberalism despite it's ruinous effects on the majority of Canadians.

    Ignatief has bee content with pretending to oppose Harper's policies all the while aiding in their implementation, even going so far as having MPs scurry out the back door,allowing Harper to get whatever he wants.

    I definitely will not be holding my breath waiting for a Liberal government to overturn an y piece of Con legislation or bringing into existence any progressive policies such as this home care program.

    By Anonymous Kev, at 7:03 PM  

  • This is Iggy's moment. He should go for it!

    By Anonymous Joanne (BLY), at 7:55 PM  

  • So, are we still campaigning for a national daycare program because we can't trust parents to not waste their Harperbucks on beer and popcorn?

    By Anonymous Confused Liberal, at 9:53 PM  

  • It's right up there with Iggy's support of 360 EI bill. Remember that Ted? That was just a couple days ago.
    What happened?

    By Blogger ridenrain, at 10:39 PM  

  • a Liberal government will invest $1 billion annually in a new Family Care Plan

    That's misleading.

    a Liberal government will confiscate an additional $1 billion annually from Canadian taxpayers for the new Family Care Plan

    That's better.

    Plus, what's with the word invest? Do we actually get the money back, with interest?

    Please note that I'm not saying I'm against this policy, I'm just saying they're being misleading.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:07 AM  

  • Right, like how Harper confiscated $1.2 billion from the taxpayers for a weekend photo-op this past summer. Shall I continue on this path, starting with the $16 billion confiscated for F-35 jets?

    It's not about misleading terms, it's about where you think our tax dollars are better spent.

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 11:01 AM  

  • Funny how the conservatives complain that we can't afford it when it isn't military, prison, or photo-op related.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 AM  

  • First of all, not everyone who criticizes a Liberal is a conservative.

    Secondly I never meant to imply that the Liberals were the only ones guilty of this - apologies if I did.

    Third, Iggy never said that the money would be re-directed from other spendings (like the ones you mentioned) so it's natural to assume it was an additional confiscation.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 7:01 PM  

  • I think the Liberal position is that they'll cancel the corporate tax cuts to pay for this and other programs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:01 PM  

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