February 3, 2011
When Christy Clark spoke to supporters Wednesday in Kamloops, she gave a bit of a preview of her Family First platform, which will apparently be released soon to the public.
She said it would mean that the government, whenever making any kind of decision, would have to consider whether it is good or bad for families. As an example, she described the Roots of Empathy program for schools. She seemed to think the program had been cut, although information about it can still be found at the B.C. government website.
It involves bringing a baby into the classroom and allowing students to observe the child develop over a period of months. Clark envisaged this type of interaction creating positive energy in students that would go out in waves into the community. According to the website:
“Roots of Empathy aims to strengthen young children’s capacity for caring and compassion while reducing bullying and aggression. The program is available in schools to children from Kindergarten to Grade 8. There are currently more than 640 programs in B.C.”
It’s hard to argue with those kinds of goals. But in latching onto them, it appears that Clark is literally playing to motherhood issues. It’s the type of thing that plays well to voters because, well, who could possibly be opposed to Mom and apple pie?
But how would you apply a Family First policy to the HST, for example? People on both sides could easily argue that it’s either good or bad for families. I can say categorically, though, that a Family First government would not have taken away the tax exemption on clothing for children who are big enough to wear adult sizes.
We’ll have to see how it all plays out. Clark comes across as a genuinely caring person. When her platform is announced, it will be easier to judge if she’s for real.