Feminist Mom in Montreal: Transitions

Well, I’ve moved to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. I was thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Feminist Mom in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue,” but I’m still on the island of Montreal so I don’t think that will be necessary. If anyone would like some helpful tips about moving with a toddler, the only

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Feminist Mom in Montreal: Transitions

Well, I’ve moved to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. I was thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Feminist Mom in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue,” but I’m still on the island of Montreal so I don’t think that will be necessary. If anyone would like some helpful tips about moving with a toddler, the only

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Feminist Mom in Montreal: How to get a spot in a $7 a day daycare

We have subsidized daycares in Quebec that charge $7 a day. That’s fantastic. A $7 daycare is a wonderful lifeline for low-income families. But how do you get a spot in one?

If you’re a parent in Montreal, you know how long the waiting lists are. They can be anywhere from two to four years long. Some people put their names on waiting lists as soon as they find out that they’re pregnant. They call the daycares up and say, “Okay, I peed on a stick, can I put my name on the waiting list please?”

I recently found myself in a difficult position when I decided that I was going back to school. I had my son’s name on waiting lists in my neighbourhood, but now I’m moving to a different town to be closer to my school. This was not something that I had anticipated when I was pregnant, so I was not on any of the waiting lists there. I put my son on the waiting lists for the $7 daycares in the area before I had even received my acceptance letter. It looked like there was absolutely no way that my son would get into one of these daycares before I started school in September.

I started looking for private and home daycares. A lot of them seem to charge $25-35 a day, but there is a tax credit available for people who are unable to find a spot in a subsidized daycare. All of the non-subsidized daycares that I found were also full.

So what’s a single mom returning to school supposed to do? How do you find a daycare?

I went to the CLSC and asked to speak with a social worker. A nurse spoke with me and I told her about my situation. She said that she would speak to the social worker who works with the daycares and get back to me. She called me back today and told me that the social worker had found a spot for my son in a $7 a day home daycare close to my school.

Some of the $7 a day daycares are required to keep emergency spots open. The daycare directors are not allowed to fill these spots without a reference from another organization such as the CLSC. If you are desperate for daycare and low-income, you may be eligible for one of these emergency spots. I strongly encourage you to see a social worker or a nurse at your local CLSC if this is your situation. The CLSC has many resources that are there to help people; use these resources.

Since we’re on the subject of daycares, I visited Whiteside Taylor in Baie-D’Urfé last week. Whiteside Taylor is another $7 a day daycare. It’s in a beautiful location and it looks great, but it has a four to five year waiting list. The director wants to open another daycare; she has the funding and she’s ready to go. The only roadblocks for this new daycare opening are politicians. If you live in the West Island and you think that the director of Whiteside Taylor should be allowed to open another daycare, contact this person and tell him:

Geoffrey Kelley
Place Scotia
620, boulevard Saint-Jean
Bureau 206
Pointe-Claire, Quebec
H94 3K2
Telephone: (514) 697-7663
Fax: (514) 697-6499

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Feminist Mom in Montreal: Joining the chorus by not shutting the fuck up

Canadian feminists have been pretty pissed off lately, and with good reason. Debra over at April Reign has a pretty good explanation about why we’re angry:

Throughout history those who seek to reign despotically first seek to silence and disenfranchise the women, this current PM scrabbling after a majority like a junkie jonesing for a fix is no different. He started by all but completely destroying SWC and has continued to show disdain for women with quotes about “left-wing fringe groups” and Bush style gag laws on abortion for women in war-torn countries, and of course he continues to defund women’s groups and programs.

Senator Nancy Ruth caused a furor when she told aid groups “to “shut the fuck up” about abortion funding, or risk a government backlash.” She speaks the truth. Harper wants nothing more than for women to shut the fuck up and let him get on with destroying healthcare, social housing, women’s groups/shelters, eroding human rights, forwarding a right-wing fundamental christian agenda, and creating a climate of war, building prisons in place of social programs and spending all our tax dollars on funding corporate welfare payments.

My Canada is not a place where women shut up and do as they are told. My daughters are not incubators. We will continue to work for a Canadian society where all are valued and cared for and welcomed.

We will not Shut the Fuck Up!

Nasheen at Feministing warns us not to be complacent and tells that we can’t afford to shut the fuck up while Pogge asserts that silence is assent. Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe is pissed off at the Conservatives too:

The uproar coincides with the release of Marci McDonald’s book, The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada:

What’s more, The Armageddon Factor, which examines the religious right across the faiths and how Stephen Harper’s government has forged bonds with it, comes after weeks of reports on Conservatives opposition to abortion and family planning, the defunding of activist womens’ groups, the withdrawal of subsidies to gay pride events across the country, the cuts to KAIROS and the publication of an unprecedented amount of grants to Bible schools.

“My problem was, as my book went to bed, headlines were coming daily,” McDonald says over the phone from her Toronto home. “All my worries about having to prove my case that this government is intent on cultivating the social conservative constituency in this country were nothing to worry about. They were doing it so openly that you could hardly keep up with the headlines.”

These recent developments have opened a can of worms. Pro-life campaigners are seeing this as a great opportunity to get some anti-abortion laws in place:

Heartened and emboldened by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand on foreign aid, thousands of pro-life campaigners flooded in unprecedented numbers to Parliament Hill on Thursday, daring to hope that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government will take further steps against abortion at home as well as abroad.

The debate that Harper says he doesn’t want to reopen in Canada arrived literally on his doorstep on Thursday, with high spirits and demands for the Conservative government to do much more to discourage abortion in this country.

There were MPs at the rally, too:

Dean Del Mastro, an Ontario Tory, said he’s ready for a renewed abortion debate in the House of Commons.

“Maybe the first step is to determine when this place believes that life begins,” he said. “I’m prepared to put my case forward. … I’m prepared to have that conversation. Is the other side?”

Well, unrepentant old hippie has a pretty good response for Dean Del Mastro:

In a word, Dean? Fuck no. We’re not prepared to have “that conversation” because… *rimshot* …it’s none of your business. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t have one. Dean.

As you can see, many Canadian feminists have already said this and I’m just joining the chorus; no, we are not going to shut the fuck up. We have absolutely nothing to gain by being silent.

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