$40 a day: fiscal magic

Finance minister thinking outside the box in terms of education

Who knew we were harbouring a genius in our provincial government? Finance Minister Mike de Jong has solved a national problem by his brilliant solution to the dispute between his government and B.C. teachers.

Those of us who have struggled to implement a child care program failed to see his solution: shut down the education system and transfer a portion of that budget, say $40/day, directly to parents.

Mind you, there may be a few problems not yet worked out. For starters, who is going to take in those quarter million or so kids under 13? Has he asked the police how they will handle the influx of more than 100,000 applications for criminal records searches they will be receiving in the next few days?

We have already heard from a few teachers who intend to switch from education to child care and even throw in a modicum of teaching as a bonus. Then there is the question about equipping these new entrepreneurial facilities. But that shouldn’t be a big problem for the flood of business start-ups: even a small group of say 20 kids per business, produces an income of about $800/day. The banks, struggling with their bottom line of only a few million dollars of meager profit each quarter, will surely welcome the new business loans.

Still, the $4 million plus daily injections into the economy will no doubt stimulate employment opportunities. The minister can even make a major contribution to reducing the Living Wage costs for families. And, of course, he is making a good start on reducing the deficit.

Talk about thinking outside of the box.

John Olsen


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