Skip to main content

Canada Canadians react to Tories' child-care benefit: 'Vote-buying' or 'Christmas in July'?

Three billion dollars worth of government cheques were sent to millions of Canadian parents on Monday morning – just a few months shy of election day.

The cash infusions, going to roughly 3.8 million families, are due to the recent changes to the Conservative government’s universal child-care benefit.

While the MPs and Conservative cabinet ministers were touting the news across the country, Canadian parents and non-parents turned to social media with their reactions.

The changes

Last fall’s announcement included a couple of changes to the universal child-care benefit, including:

- $160 a month (up from $100) for children under six

- a new $60-a-month payment for seven- to 17-year-olds

- catch-up payments for the first six months

The reaction

The online campaign has been going strong for the past few weeks, with announcements and press releases, including countdowns to the payments. It has included videos explaining the changes to the program, a visit to the cheque printer in Winnipeg and attempts to find families not registered for the program.






Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers also took to social media to publicize the change, especially Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre.




Parents and non-parents alike took to social media, as asked, with their reactions. The hashtags #YourKidsYourProblem and #UCCB started trending, although, not necessarily with the tone the Conservative government may have hoped for.

The online tide started to turn, targeting the use of the phrase “Christmas in July”.




Others took issue with Poilievre’s use of “Moms and Dads”.





Some people were thankful for the extra boost to their bank accounts.





Many others, however, condemned the policy, calling it vote-buying.




The universal child-care benefit was first proposed by the conservative government in 2006 as an alternative to Liberal prime minister Paul Martin’s call for a national daycare program. Some parents rebuked the payments and instead, called for a national childcare program.





With files from Barrie McKenna and Bill Curry

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...