The $600 million Loss That No One is Talking About – The BC NDP Government

The $600 million Loss That No One is Talking About

A $600 million yearly  loss.

Six hundred million dollars.

$600 million is the amount the BC NDP government is actively trying to remove from the BC economy each year, through their 2018 budget, yet no one is talking about it.

Why?

Have they yet to figure it out?

Are math skills and economic skills so poor?

Or is ideology at the cost to the average British Columbian more important?

Let me fill you in.

The BC 2018 budget revealed a speculation “tax”. However, it isn’t a “tax”, it is a penalty. The properties affected already pay property taxes at about 30% more than a British Columbian resident who receives a “grant”; yes a nifty two tiered pricing that seems to never be questioned. This is a “speculation” tax ON TOP. But it isn’t a tax, is it? “Sin tax” or “luxury tax” are taxes that are applied at the point of sale. The consumer knows openly the financial commitment that is required of them and enter into the purchase and taxation in good faith.

This “speculation tax” tax is a fine, just like you are being fined for breaking the law. It is ALL it can be. This is a tax for breaking a law that doesn’t exist. The BC NDP government are trying to create laws of their own. The BC NDP government are making up imaginary and discriminatory laws, under the guise of “policy”, that breaks the Canadian Charter of Rights that ensures all Canadians are equal, have equal opportunity, and can live free from discrimination. The BC NDP Government are concocting fake laws that make it okay to fine people from out-of-province who LEGALLY bought property, in good faith, in their province years ago. The BC NDP government are trying to cleanse their province of the dirty out-of-province owners that they deem criminal for having invested in the province of British Columbia; “criminal” is all we can be as the owners are being fined. FINED.

So, The BC NDP government ramped up their xenophobic rhetoric, stood on their virtual soap boxes, and shouted to their people that the BC affordable housing crisis is the fault of “out-of-province” and foreign property owners. Every one of the 4.8 million BC residents are being destroyed by the “out-of-province” and foreign owners according to the government. And so they ramped up the campaign of dislike.

But here is what the BC NDP government didn’t tell you, this is the story of a $600 million per year loss.

Financial Post link: http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/fear-and-uncertainty-out-of-province-homebuyers-could-rush-to-sell-if-b-c-slaps-speculation-tax?fb_comment_id=1689902597766541_1690583327698468&comment_id=1690583327698468#f2522e3d4da2a62

According to the Financial Post story on March 12, 2018 by Geoffrey Morgan, there are approximately 15,000 residential properties targeted by this speculation tax. The government has fed a narrative to their population that these homes are just sitting empty while owners wait for the value to increase. Interestingly, the government is wrong on both counts. The properties were not bought for the purpose of speculation (some have been owned for generations). Nor do the properties sit empty, rather they are residences used in conjunction with other properties in other provinces. These owners identify as bi-provincial, and the ability to live freely anywhere in Canada again is covered under the Charter. In this era of self identity being so protected by the federal government, it is shocking that a provincial government would penalize these owners as identifying as bi-provincial; even more shocking for a left leaning government to discriminate against a population as to how they self identify.

The government may be fine with discriminating against the “bi” community, but what they are also doing is harming the ones that they profess to help.

What the BC NDP government have failed to tell their population, for fear that it will undermine their ideological xenophobic dislike of “out-of-province” owners, is that “out-of-province” property owners are actually INVESTORS. We invest in the province, we add to the economy, with “out-of-province” money. Through owning property, each year we spend a considerable amount of money on product and services in BC. For us personally, it is around $40K annually.

Here is the math.

15,000 targeted homes  X  $40,000 spent per household per year = $600,000,000 of investment into the BC economy with “out-of-province” dollars.

$600 MILLION per year…….and this is on top of the $1.4 billion in the form of the yearly Alberta tourism dollars.

What the government hasn’t equated, is that if these homes are either sold or locked up and left “empty” as their hallucination says they are, not only is $600 million of out-of-province investment removed from the BC economy each year, so are jobs. The $600 million is money that the BC NDP government can not generate from their population, this is money GIFTED by Canadians from other provinces to the province and citizens of British Columbia. The homes go, the yearly investment goes, and jobs go.

A $600 million yearly loss to the economy equates to a job loss of 20,000 entry level full time jobs.

Yes, a 20,000 person JOB LOSS.

20,000 PEOPLE PUT OUT OF WORK BY THE BC NDP GOVERNMENT THROUGH THEIR POLICY OF IDEOLOGICAL DISLIKE OF OTHER CANADIANS………. but the job losses will greatly exceed that, because all of this bad press will also impact the BC tourism industry, wine industry, and real estate industries. The BC NDP government is CHOOSING to put their province into a recession.

The BC NDP government have chosen to attack 15,000 property owners in an attempt to put 20,000 of their own residents out of work.

In an attempt to deport 15,000 “out-of-province” investors/property owners, the government will forcibly create unemployment for 20,000 BC residents.

Now when you take into account that in 2016 the average BC household had a 2.4 person occupancy, it means that the best case scenario is that these targeted homes, if all emptied, would house 36,000 people. Yet, 20,000 of those people will now be unemployed, which brings us down to 16,000 working people. Assume the 0.4 of the household count are children, and that reduces the buying power by another 6000 people bringing the total number of people potentially employed to be able to pay for housing down to 10,000.

So we now have 10,000 who will benefit from this xenophobic “speculation tax”, but we aren’t done yet.

Back to math class.

10,000 people employed to pay for housing (divided by) 2 (as at today’s house prices it is a two income purchase) = 5,000 homes.

Just to recap. The BC NDP government targets 15,000 homes, in order to put a minimum of 20,000 BC residents out of work, in an effort to fill 5,000 more homes.

But there is more to the story.

The BCHAF proposal that the “speculation tax” was based on was focused ONLY on the Lower Mainland area. This was the area of housing concern.

The homes needed aren’t the ones in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria or the Gulf Islands (islands of which some have no ferry or electricity) which is where the vast majority of the affected properties are. The properties they need are homes within spitting distance of English Bay in Vancouver.

Is anyone seeing a problem here?

The BC NDP government is consciously choosing to break the Canadian Charter of Rights, drive away investment, drive away tourism, create unemployment, create a self-created recession, and still not have housing in the geographic area where it is needed.

Problematic.

But we aren’t done……

There is one last piece to the puzzle.

People who own property are generally “numbers people”. Seriously, there isn’t a thing that isn’t spreadsheeted. They also tend to be competitive. Due to this I see a potential twist. I look into my crystal ball and I see some owners sticking it to the BC NDP government on the basis of “affordable housing”. I foresee owners of million dollar homes selling them to big off shore money, and in turn buying up the more modest affordable homes in BC to beat the tax. Cash sales. No chain. Bam. You think BC has an affordable home crisis now, well this will seal up the inventory for sure.

So there is the story.

  • A $600 million yearly loss of investment to the province of British Columbia
  • A 20,000 person job loss
  • Lost tourism revenue
  • Breaches of the Canadian Charter of Rights
  • A self-induced recession
  • No more affordable housing in the areas where it is required
  • The potential to encourage “out-of-province” owners to sell luxury properties and in turn buy “affordable” properties, thus reducing affordable housing inventory.

You have to admit, the BC NDP government are “pretty special” in coming up with such an amazing “speculation tax” policy. Personally, I don’t think this is the political legacy I would wish to be known for.

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Silent Right

silent-night

Silent right…………..

No, that isn’t a typo or spelling error, it is however an indicator of current social and political oppression.

This has been a year where social media, ceased to be that, and in turn became a propaganda machine. Social media stopped serving the function of shared ideas and networking, and rather attempted to become a powerhouse of social attitudes and political manipulation.

The first rumblings started last year when anti-left wing Facebook sites started getting warnings from Facebook, followed by temporary suspensions of their on line activity. As of October, Facebook had banned site after site that did not align politically with Facebook’s ideology. Facebook was banning sites in an attempt to twist the public’s political stance. Interestingly it was not only American sites, but Canadian too.

The Facebook suspensions started to align with other online comments, online comments on Canadian news sites on their Facebook supported pages. People making comments on political threads were starting to complain about their comments going missing. They would go back to read a thread and their comment would be gone. More and more this was happening.

As this situation continued, leftist hate started to rear it’s ugly head even further. Political trolls were everywhere, some traceable back to an actual political party (this happened with the Alberta NDP back in May 2016). It ramped up immensely in Alberta (Canada) in the fall. Unemployment was rampant with a leftist government bringing in one policy after another to put people out of work (plus some stripping of religious rights which are actually protected under Canada’s Charter of Rights). The highlight of this era was Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley calling Albertan’s “xenophobic” for not supporting her Carbon Tax; a tax that will destroy the province through inflation and further unemployment come January.

By November even I was starting to notice the dynamic becoming stranger and stranger. An off-base balance to social media. Social media was no longer echoing the attitude on the street. Social media was being overrun with crazed leftest comments from posters that could spend 6, 7, 8 hours going at it constantly, calling anyone who didn’t agree with them possibly every derogatory term you could imagine. The posts from the left remained in the thread of comments.

So Facebook was becoming stranger and stranger, and this is from the viewpoint of a Canadian following provincial politics. That’s a pretty small microcosm on the world scene; pretty specialist.

By mid-November I experienced my first banned posting, but it wasn’t what you would think…..it was a watercolour painting of a landscape. A note came back from Facebook that I wasn’t allowed to post it. I tried intermittently for over an hour, it wouldn’t let me. Facebook was working, people were posting, I was blocked. Blocked for attempting to post a landscape painting. Weird.

Now I had put that incident of being blocked completely out of my mind until this week when in the span of two days I faced two censorship scenarios .

The first scenario took place on December 21st. I responded to an item on the CBC Edmonton Facebook page. I wrote out a response that included no profanity or hate speech; what the article did feature was a political preference different to the ideology supported by Facebook. The comment was not allowed to post over and over and over. Was this CBC censoring with key words? Possibly. Was it Facebook censoring? Possibly. What my comment was ,undoubtedly, was against the leftist view that social media is trying to push so heavily at the moment.

So I copy and pasted my comment (it can be read in the previous blog post), and I sent it out into the world….and to CBC Edmonton. CBC Edmonton, in many transactions through personal messaging throughout the rest of the day, said they could find no trace of the comment, but they would investigate. So the question is, WHO blocked the comment and why?

By late that day I had remembered the banned posting of the watercolour painting; I had experienced two weird bannings in a little over a month. It left me wondering what was going on and what were the similarities? It was peculiar, as when you post a watercolour painting the text usually reads “en plein air, 5×7, watercolour on white paper”, with perhaps the name of the beach (which this was, we were out on the coast). The only two things that were consistent were either the poster, “me”……..or the fact that the term “white” was used in the text of both posts that were blocked. Was Facebook just simply targeting intermittently individuals that did not share their ideology, or was Face book blocking the word “white”?

Interesting.

The next day I open up my Facebook feed, and the news story for the morning is regarding the Alberta NDP government stating something needs to be done to save money in healthcare. I commented that the Alberta government basically shot themselves in the foot with their Carbon Tax as anything that uses heat or transportation is going to go up  in price. Their own tax is making the operation of their own departments more expensive; every piece of food or equipment shipped to a healthcare facility will cost more under the Alberta NDP’s Carbon Tax.

Out came the trolls. First it was one troll, then several hours in it became a second. But then the second troll started answering questions I asked the other one. Ah ha, same person, two accounts, never posting at the same time, alternating back and forth. I called them on it, and then things got nasty.

The troll threatened to call the police, then posted nasty comments on another Facebook page I have where I show photography and paintings. Then the troll started to stalk my husband’s social media, followed by her shouting that I need “meds”. Now please remember this is regarding the fact that I pointed out that the Carbon Tax was going to make everything more expensive, and that the government can’t expect to decrease costs when they implement a policy that is going to cause inflation.

Around nine hours into this scenario, yes nine hours, the troll decides to take a new tactic. She decides to create a fictional person, say it is my friend, then proceeds to say the language I am using in the comments is verbatim to the language I used to harass her and her son this summer. At this point I remind her that the healthcare story only broke THIS MORNING, how could I have possibly harassed you in the summer over this healthcare story? And then she went nuts….followed by me blocking her.

(Just as a side note, around two hours in another poster warned me that this troll does it all the time. So this is a reoccurring phenomenon.)

Guess what. This morning, message from Facebook, MY comments did not “meet posting criteria” and were deleted. My comments pointed out that a left wing government’s policy was going to be detrimental to their very own departmental budgets. I dared to oppose the left. I dared to challenge the left.

Another Facebook blocking for not supporting a left-wing ideology. Once on the 21st of December and the second for comments made on the 22nd.

Facebook is ensuring a SILENT RIGHT. They are attempting to manipulate social and political attitudes. Facebook is trying to create the illusion of left-wing support.

ILLUSION.

You see it is an illusion, and in the left’s overzealous and oppressive ways they have created a very dangerous situation, and that situation is the SILENT RIGHT. The left thinks if they silence other political views they simply don’t exist, but it isn’t true.

Why did the Scottish Referendum result the way it did? SILENT RIGHT

Why did Brexit result? SILENT RIGHT

Why did Trump get elected? SILENT RIGHT

When the those supporting left-wing politics try to silence those with other political leanings, it doesn’t make the voters go away, it doesn’t make them change their political stance, it just makes them quiet. People stop talking online (or are banned as is now a common practice), but they don’t change their beliefs. The left doesn’t silence the talk in the streets, on the playgrounds or in the coffee shops; support against left-wing politics is still there, it is just underground.

SILENT RIGHT

SILENT RIGHT is exactly why the polls, at the moment, are getting every large political decision wrong. Polls can no longer gauge public opinion accurately, and it is the oppression and attempted political manufacturing by supporters of left-wing politics that has created this scenario.

SILENT RIGHT, a situation created by overzealous left-wing supporters, has created a whole new dimension of underground politics. A political movement formed from bullying by the left. A political movement that frighteningly no one has a handle on as it has been pushed underground.

And so today I joined the SILENT RIGHT.

I closed out my Facebook accounts, all five……. businesses, art, personal.

Now I am one more choosing to go underground. The discussions will continue in the street, the living rooms, the schoolyard and the shops. We discuss the business policies and pricing that will be increasing and how our emails going out to our customers will indicate NDP policy as the cause for inflation. We discuss working on a barter system to avoid the government receiving taxation. We discuss how we withhold support from social situations that used to ease the government’s burden. These are quiet discussions, but they do not stop. They are the discussions of the SILENT RIGHT.

 

 

The Garbage Project – the background to our family experiment

neighbourhood bags of garbage not mine

neighbourhood bags of garbage not mine

We live in The city of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and recently the City of Red Deer has started to work toward passing a policy for “waste limit reduction”. The policy aims to reduce the garbage picked up at the curb from 5 units to 3 units with a unit equaling a 100L garbage bag.

The city indicates that they took a survey, a survey I was never aware of ( but that is besides the point….but possibly along the same lines as the bike lane survey….and we know how that went!), and 77% (taken from the City’s own press release) of those surveyed supported the initiative.

Now this may seem all well and good until you think about how a “one size fits all” limit on households does not make sense. Take a look at your neighbourhood, take a look at how many small households there are. For example on our block there are 11 households , 10 of which are small households.

Occupancy Per Household On Our Block

0 occupants – 1 (former heroin house)
1 occupant – 2 households
2 occupants – 5 households
3 occupants – 2 households (one multi-generational family, one communal living)
7 occupants – 1 household (ours)

Average this out and the 77% support rate makes sense as it is pretty easy for one or two people to meet the limits, or perhaps a family of three, but this is not the demographic that all Red Deer households are.

I wrote to the Red Deer City Council members voicing my concerns, the email reads:

Concern Over Waste Limit Reduction

April 13, 2016

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to voice my concern over the proposed waste limit reduction.

This proposal victimizes large families, multi-generational families and those who choose to live communally.

This policy is only feasible for small households which explains 77% of residents supporting the proposal. It is easy for 1, 2 or even 4 people to produce only 3 bags of garbage a week. However, how can a large family possibly be expected to live within the same restraints of garbage production as a single person? It is impossible.

Large families are already living more environmentally. Per person we use less fossil fuels for heating and electricity, fewer fossil fuels for travel as we always carpool, we consume less as we share items and use hand-me-downs, and we use less square footage per person for housing as it is 7 people in 1200 sq. feet compared to 1 person for 1200 square feet. We ARE doing our part, but expecting 7 people to produce the same amount of garbage is not feasible.

I think this policy needs to be fair. This policy needs to be based on household size (number of occupants). The city does a census so that they know the number of occupants per home. Base the limits on household size, otherwise you are discriminating against large families, multi-generational families, plus those who choose to live communally for social or economic reasons.

One size fits all makes no sense in this scenario. This proposal needs to be re-evaluated.

The short version is the limit, in my opinion, should be based on occupancy rather than one blanket limit. The city knows how many people are in each household, they take a census. Larger households stop urban sprawl, the city should support larger households rather than penalize them. Our neighbours,  three adult gentlemen, share a house of about 1100 sq. feet, they could easily be occupying 3 separate houses but instead share accommodation. A few houses away is a multi-generational home where again home sharing reduces environmental impact and urban sprawl. Our city should be encouraging larger households such as home sharing and multi-generational housing rather than victimizing it , and putting a blanket limit on garbage victimizes those who are already putting a smaller environmental footprint on our city.

neighbourhood garbage not mine

neighbourhood garbage not mine

Now let me continue. I sent the email to the City Council at 4:28 pm yesterday, and received a phone call from a councillor championing the reduction limits at 4:31pm. The message on the phone was to call him back to “talk me down from the tree”. Tied up with several commitments, my husband called back first and then I was able to join in on the call. While it is nice to have a conversation with an elected member of your municipality, this conversation left me with more doubts and concerns than I had before.

In explaining our concern with regard to household size, and mentioning we are a family of seven, the councillor responded with “you breed like rabbits” (this same councillor has expressed the same thought to me twice previously, it is a bias, not a joke). Well thank you very much for being scathing of our sexual identity, orientation and family values. My husband tried to explain it will also be hard for those sharing homes communally like our neighbours, and the response was to the effect that they wouldn’t care and would just pay the bill………this councillor has NEVER met our neighbours but felt free to make such a judgemental call. There was just no understanding as to the fact that Red Deer has a diverse range of households, in fact there was no respect for the diversity.

…..and then there was the councillor’s suggestion that neighbours should “share” garbage allotments. Yes indeed, after having a heroin house down the block from me (and the councillor truly knows about that house, trust me) why on God’s green earth would I dream of “sharing garbage”….yeah, I want to be implicated in that.

Now this response really made me start to think “What is the policy for a new waste limit really about?” or better “Is this just a typical left wing version of taxation in the disguise of environmentalism?”.….. you see, they allow you to pay $1.00 per extra bag……….

There are a few holes in the City of Red Deer’s garbage/recycling program that leaves me wondering about the true intent.

  1. garbage bags are not a standardized size, who is judge and jury on 300L of garbage?
  2. the City has expanded the recycling program but little information has been sent to households. If this situation was about reducing waste and saving the environment there should be posters and information regarding this in every school, grocery store and public building. Stickers of what can be recycled could be put on our recycle bins on pick-up days. Every time the city sends out an email, Facebook post or tweet there should also be the information and a link. The recycling information should NOT be buried deep in the City of Red Deer website. If they aren’t openly sharing the info and reaching out to the residents of the city, the policy for reduction is just a cash cow.

blog recycle

Here is the thing, our family is fairly “green” thinking. We compost. We recycle. We line dry clothes in good weather. We grow our own food. We don’t water our grass. We re-use. We use hand-me-downs. We walk to do errands. Our house at approximately 1250 square feet, houses seven people, that is 178.5 square feet per person, we are not the issue with urban sprawl. However even with our green tendencies, I do not believe a one-size-fits-all approach to waste limits makes sense. The limit should be based on household (note, household, not family) size.

Fact of the matter is most garbage comes from non-recyclable food packaging and unnumbered plastics from other consumables; items where consumption increases proportionately to household size. If the answer is a large family has to reduce use, which three kids are to skip a meal so that we produce less packaging “garbage”?

The other flaw in the whole blanket approach is that it is only the vast minority that will need to reduce waste. A single person can still pump out 300L of garbage a week, and they will, they do not have to make any adjustments to their lifestyle. I walk our neighbourhood a lot and often comment on how single people have more garbage bags than us. So small households will continue to pump out garbage at the current rate while larger households have to either alter the way they live or be fined…..because the charge is a fine. If the city wants to reduce the quantity of garbage reaching the landfill they need a policy that makes the majority reduce their production of garbage, and the only way to do that is based on household size. Only when small households are also required to proportionately reduce waste will the policy be fair and effective. If a household of 7 is allowed 300L of garbage per week, that means a household with a single occupant should only be allowed 42.8L per week and anything after that should be fined. That is what is fair. That is what would be effective. Isn’t being left and socialist, like our City Council is, about fairness for ALL? Well it should be about fairness for all. Any other system is simply an unfair cash grab.

The other factor City Council is failing to consider are young families and families with elderly members or family members with health conditions. I will be blunt here, but diapers, baby sized or adult sized, create garbage. If council members have never had children or been hands on with the care of their children they have no idea how much these life stages impact garbage production. Are we also to victimize young families, elderly people, those with health issues? And before we hear the crunchy words “cloth diaper”, let’s see the statistics on the environmental impact they create which includes a lot of electricity and water for washing, nothing is without environmental impact it is just how well you can hide it. I also highly doubt you will find caregivers to change and launder adult cloth diapers.

City Council is blinkered, they have no idea of their population and the diversity of households. Diversity is “not their circus and not their monkeys”; we are all to be 1-4 people living in suburbia with our matching tract houses, and our matching attached garages, and and our matching SUV’s ……basically city council thinks the only families that exist are the ones that exist in emoticons (which maxes out at two adults and two children).  City Council is out of touch. I strongly suggest the members of City Council take the time to get to know their neighbours, and get to know their electorate, rather than simply pass lefty loonie blanket policies because it makes them seem “progressive”. Fact of the matter, it is simply another fee, a cash cow, a way to meet budget in the disguise of being environmentally caring.

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So what to do? We’ve decided to embark on a project to get an answer on the feasibility of this policy.

blog garbage compost

Yes, this IS MY compost container. Yeah me!!!

The Project

We have decided as a household to embark on a project tracking our garbage, recycling and compost production for the next few weeks. We are going to track our real production, not an idealized version in one way or another. Throughout the week I will track how many small compost buckets are filled, how many garbage bags we fill, plus our curbside recycling (cardboard, plastic, paper, glass, tin, etc.). Each Tuesday I will document our production with pictures (garbage/recycling day is Wednesday). I have no idea how much we produce, but this is one way to find out.

I invite you to check back next week for the first tally.

I will also share in future posts what we have encountered in other municipalities where we have owned with regards to garbage, recycling and how residents respond to “difficult” policies regarding garbage.

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And just for those interested in what the City of Red Deer offers regarding garbage and recycling, here is the LINK. (I get a LOT of emails asking for information and opinions on Red Deer and what  Red Deer is “really like” so adding links helps the readers! 🙂 )

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17,800 views of my Mulcair/Trudeau Letter Today Alone

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I guess it pays to care.

I guess it pays to be vocal.

Today my concerns were heard by 16,609 people who care about Canada. Today my letter to Trudeau and Mulcair was read 17,800 times. The policies of Trudeau and Mulcair may make me feel worthless, but the tens of thousands of people who have taken the time to read my letter has made me feel that I am of some worth.

I thank you all for reading and sharing my letter.

The link to the letter can be found by clicking HERE .

daily stats sept 29 2015

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An Open Letter to Trudeau and Mulcair- Why am I so worthless?

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(Edited to add that as of October 24th, 2015 this letter had received 93,951 views and multiple incidence of hate mail – LINK for further post.)

Dear Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair,

Why am I so worthless in your eyes? For weeks I have listened to election coverage and not only do your parties make me out to be worthless, not only do your parties offer me nothing, but you want to take away the mere meagre offerings the current government gives to our family.
Dear Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair, I am a stay-at-home mom and a work-at home mom. Our family has made sacrifices in order for our children to be actually raised and cared for by their parents rather than outsourced. We have put family first yet your parties see no value in this. When the Conservative government introduced the monthly Universal Child Care Benefit cheque, and included families like ours, we felt the government acknowledged the value stay-at-home parents provided to Canadian society. When the Conservative government introduced income splitting it was again proof that stay-at-home parents were a valuable asset. The Liberal and N.D.P. governments plan to strip these programs from us, the only programs that indicate stay-at-home parents are of any worth. We, the parents that have selflessly sacrificed everything for the well being of our families are worthless in your eyes.

Dear Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair, I am about to give you a tour of our life.

Our family is a family of seven, a mother, a father, and five children ranging in age from 5 to 17. We live in Red Deer, Alberta. We live in a 3 bedroom 1250 square foot house, it wasn’t always this size as it was originally 666 square feet in size. The house we bought for land value and spent years upon years renovating and adding onto the house; sweat equity. Sweat equity that has quadrupled the price of our house. We are hard workers. Our children share rooms. Our two oldest share an 8’x12′ room, while our youngest three share a 9×9.5′ room. We live modestly and compactly and within our means. We have stayed in a small home so that we could afford for one of the parents to stay home and raise and care for our own children. We believe if we choose to become parents we also choose to take on the responsibility to raise our own children and not outsource the responsibility.

I am also a work-at home mom. There are thousands upon thousands of work-at-home parents across Canada, we are a hidden and forgotten portion of the economy. Parents who work from home are making the best effort to bring in an income while raising children at the same time. The scope of stay-at-home parents is broad: dayhomes, music teachers, dance teachers, photographers, tutors, bookkeepers, hairdressers, crafters, growers, dog groomers…and the list goes on. We have no benefits, we often do not make anywhere near minimum wage, we work late into the night when children are sleeping, and we often receive little respect from society as they think we are working for “fun” or it’s a “hobby” or it is “good to keep your hand in your career”. The fact of the matter is we are working to support our families. We are often working for a pittance yet every five or ten dollars adds up. We are hard workers. Income splitting made this worthwhile. On our personal tax return we saw how financially worthless we were even though we were trying to do the impossible and run businesses and raise our own children at the same time, yet when income splitting was allowed we had some degree of value. The Liberals and N.D.P. parties want to strip us of this tiny value we can provide our family with at tax time.

I am now going to provide you with a couple of real numbers for what a work-at-home/stay-at-home parent makes. I run two home-based businesses, one is photography and one is naturally dyed hand-knits. Every so often you closely cost a job or two to see where the profit is and the viability of continuing with a product. A few years ago I did a costing on a large wedding package that I offered, and instead of just looking at the material costs I incurred compared to the price the customers paid, I also tracked every single hour involved in completing the job. The concept was to see what I was actually making if I were working for an employer rather than being self employed. Once all the calculations were completed, material costs, shooting, retouching, meetings, etc., I had made $3.00 an hour before tax on the job. But this wasn’t an isolated event. I recently did a tracking on a knit item that is popular in response to a 50% price increase overnight in material costs from my local supplier in Alberta , this happened shortly after the announcement of increased minimum wage from the Alberta N.D.P. government. The item I sell for $7.50 wholesale, the new material costs came in at $2.25, the item takes 1.5 hours to make and package, not including prep or dyeing time (impossible to calculate, too many variables). The outcome, I am making $3.50 per hour. (As an aside, my wool now comes from P.E.I., 25% the cost of Alberta wool including shipping, and beautiful quality.) My numbers are not out to lunch, I’ve actually run costings on Canadian Etsy sellers marvelling at how cheap they are selling their wares, they too are making a pittance. There are photographers in our area charging $5.00 sitting fees, again just trying to add to the family income. They are making a pittance trying to subsidize their family’s income while raising their children. Income splitting helped us, as did the Universal Child Care Benefit cheque. The Liberals and N.D.P want to strip us of this.

In the N.D.P. and Liberal’s eyes we are just lazy and decadent because we don’t “go out to work”. We are not “hard working Canadians”; we deserve nothing. The reality is stay-at-home parents make sacrifices to make it work all in the effort to raise the best Canadians possible. Families like ours learn to cutback to live within their budgets, have savings, or work towards a better future.

A few years ago we decided that investment in a property was going to give us a better financial return than the interest rate of G.I.C.’s , R.R.S.P.’s or Savings Bonds. We crunched the numbers and decided to make it work we had to make changes. We got rid of our second vehicle, subscriptions like XM radio and extra TV channels, our landline, hockey tickets and activities. I hunted for cheaper website hosting and went with a less expensive yellow pages ad. We started going to the swimming pool that is $10.00 per family instead of $20.00, and stopped going to sit down restaurants. We cutback to be able to make an investment for our future. We are not unique. There are many families with stay-at-home parents that make sacrifices to be able to raise their own families and have a secure future. Income splitting and the Universal Child Care Benefit cheque both acknowledge that we, the stay-at-home parent and work-at-home parent have some value.

Dear Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair, have you ever thought about the other value the stay-at-home parent provides to society? Let me list a few:

1) We are the ones at the school when they need volunteers . We go on field trips, help with track meets, tie skates, help with swimming, and aid with school lunches.

2) We are the ones that will keep the children home from school when they are sick. Our kids are not infecting a whole class of children and this inevitably saves on healthcare dollars in the long run.

3) We have the time to feed our children well, we have time to cook from scratch, and some of us even grow our own food. We have the time to invest in the well being of our children and combat child obesity. Again we are lessening the strain on healthcare dollars.

4) Many of us choose to transport our children to school personally, we like the safety aspect and we have the time to do so. We are saving the school systems money allocated for busing children to and from school.

5) We do not have “latch-key” children roaming the streets and falling under bad influences . This will inevitably save on healthcare dollars plus dollars spent on the criminal system long term. I think you will find many stay-at-home parents were “latch key” kids themselves, they realize how damaging the lack of parental involvement and supervision was, how badly things could have gone, and they want better for their own children.

In closing, Dear Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair;

Could you please tell me why you think I am so worthless?

Could you please tell me why those who go out to work are the only ones that matter?

Why are you penalizing me for putting my family first?

Why are you penalizing me for making sacrifices so that I can take care of my family ?

Why is a mom who goes out to work to pay for a McMansion of more value than a mother that chooses to raise and care for her very own children?

Dear Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair, what could your parties possibly do for me other than strip me of the little I gain from any government program?

*** Edited on September 30th, 2015 to add: 

As a side note, readers may be interested to know for 7 years I worked outside the home and utilized childcare. I have seen the situation from both sides and realize just how important it is for parents to be there for their children. As a child I was a latch key kid, my mom was a teacher, at age 9 you were given the key to the house and you were on your own. It was a negative experience with lasting effects.

Our children deserve the best start to their lives, and that is spending a maximum amount of time with one of their parents. Parenting does not stop when a child enters school, if anything a child’s life becomes more complex as they age and experience outside influences. When we choose to have a child we should also be making a choice to parent our children, nurture our children and be accessible to our children. No government institution can replace the experience that a parent can give a child. If we as a society no longer value hands on parenting, we have simply turned the female population into breeders. I personally want to live in a society formed by parents, rather than one of breeders and state institutions raising our children.

*** Edited on October 1, 2015 to add a follow up link regarding a dark response to my letter: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/comments-harassment-spamming-by-the-liberals-and-oppression-is-a-female-voter-allowed-an-opinion/

**** Edited on October 1, 2015 to add: you know you’ve arrived when a Mulcair-Trudeau fan boy rats you out to police. Link: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/trudeau-mulcair-fanboy-rats-stay-at-home-mom-out-to-saskatoon-police-force/