I got a Very Special Communique today.
It was from Human Resources Development Canada.
The Guvviment of Canada has taken this opportunity to inform me that my youngest child has attained the age of six years. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? This means that we will, officially, no longer receive the “Universal Child Care Benefit”.
Remember that? The most heinously misnamed program in the history of government programs? Remember when the Conservatives were running for office, and they campaigned on, at least in part, providing “every Canadian family with a financial benefit for each child under the age of six living with them”? This program was the Conservatives’ lethargic and ill-thought-out answer to the Liberals’ ill-developed and never-implemented Universal Child Care platform. That they’d been saying they were going to make for something like thirty years.
So then the Conservatives come along and they’re all, “Universal Child Care? Nobody wants that.”
And then Quebec and Ontario (the only parts of Canada that matter) were all, “Um. Actually….”
And then the Conservatives were all, “FINE. We totally have that too.”
And then everyone else was all, “ORLY?”
And the Conservatives were all, “TOTALLY.”
And the Liberals were all, “Pfft. You’re going to give money to everyone in Canada with a kid under six? What the hell is that going to do? They’re just going to spend that money on beer and popcorn!”
And then the Liberals lost the election, and so Canadians with Children under six received $1200 a year for each kid under six. That works out, for those of you without Math, to approximately $100 a month. (Technically, it works out to *exactly* $100 a month.) While some people claim that it’s “better than nothing”, these are usually the same people who claim that Government should get the hell out of our business and do away with income tax and subsidies and benefits of all kind.
I’ll have you know that I have only used that $100 a month for beer and popcorn in bona fide beer and popcorn emergencies. The rest of the time, I have used that money for *responsible* things that contributed to my child’s welfare. Like prostitutes and gang memberships. And if you save up for a couple of months, you can afford a machete from Cambodian Tyre, and machetes are *totally legal* in this province. Which means it’s perfectly okay for kids to have them.
I always said, “since that Universal Child Care Benefit doesn’t actually benefit my child in any tangible way, and since it doesn’t address any child care isses that we face, I might as well use it for educational purposes.” And since learning how to live on the streets is a pretty important milestone, investing in their street education is going to be pretty instrumental. Because, let’s face it. On a $6,000 a year (per child) child care bill, $1200 doesn’t even begin to become synonymous with “support”. But it can buy a nice machete.
So anyway, the government has done its share in encouraging me to breed, which I have dutifully done.
You know, when my grandmother turned a million and six years old this past July, she received a letter from the Premier that said “Congratulations on still being alive!” She thought that was pretty spiffy. The letter was all embossed in gold…or at least it had been run through a colour printer. It had been hand-signed, or at least stamped with a stamp of Brad Wall’s signature. Anyway. It was nice.
I was kind of surprised that the letter I received from the Government of Canada didn’t have, like, balloons on it and something like “CONGRADULATIONS!” sprawling across the top in 3D block letters, with party hats and confetti shooting out underneath. And maybe a starburst “seal” in the lower right hand corner that had “6 Years Old!” on it in Comic Sans. But the Government of Canada does not approve of fun.
So what I received today was the equivalent of what happens at the crappiest neighbourhood bar you’ve ever been in where the woman who serves you at the beginning of the night looked a lot like one of the Golden Girls in a Catholic school uniform, with blue eyeshadow, too much blush, and a few missing teeth, and at the end of the night looks like Kim Kardashian. It’s like when she walks over to your table and says “last call was twenty minutes ago; drink up and get lost. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. My corns are killing me.” And you get a whiff of her breath and it’s just plain rotten.
I just got kicked out of the shittiest bar on the planet by the ugliest, meanest waitress ever invented.