Conservative Party of Canada
Dustin van Vugt: “We’re proud to be the only party making life easier for 100% of families with children.”
By: Jacob Schroeder on
Dustin van Vugt, executive director of the Conservative Party, in an email on July 1, 2015
While the Conservative Party’s newly expanded Universal Child Care Benefit does appear to benefit 100 per cent of families with children, the NDP would keep the program if elected. The Conservatives’ claim to be the “only party” to benefit everyone is false.FactsCan Score: False
On Canada Day, Dustin van Vugt, executive director of the Conservative Party, sent an email to party subscribers promoting the recently expanded Universal Child Care Benefit. He claimed the Conservatives are “proud to be the only party making life easier for 100% of families with children.”
By the phrase “making life easier,” we assume van Vugt means more money, through government payments, in the pockets of families with children.
The centerpiece of the Conservative plan for families is the newly expanded UCCB. Under this benefit program, Canadian families receive $160 per month for each child under six years old, and $60 per month for each child ages six to seventeen years old. The benefit is not tied to income, so every family with children is eligible. The benefit is taxed, however, so the more a family earns, the less it will get to keep, as the Canadian Press’ Baloney Meter pointed out.
What about the NDP and Liberal plans?
When we checked a statement made by Pierre Poilievre about the Liberal Party’s plan for family benefits, we found the party would cancel the UCCB and replace it with the Canada Child Benefit. One big difference between the UCCB and the CCB that would replace it, is that the CCB is tied to income level. This means families at the higher end of the income scale would receive less, or even no money from the CCB. On this count, it is true that the Liberal Party’s plan would not benefit 100 per cent of Canadian families with children.
The NDP plan involves a few parts. Best known is the creation of daycare spaces. Another part is to keep the UCCB. Party leader Tom Mulcair committed to keeping the expanded program in place. If they don’t touch the UCCB, the NDP would also be “making life easier for 100% of families with children.”
How it all stacks up
While it is true that families with large incomes would not receive a CCB payment under the Liberal plan, the NDP committed to keeping the UCCB, so they are in the same boat as the Conservatives on direct benefits to families.
One possible counterargument is that van Vugt is referring to the cumulative effect of various benefits such as income-splitting, which both the NDP and Liberals have pledged to cancel. But the context is clear that the UCCB is the anchor of the claim. It would be misleading if van Vugt did intend to lump in other benefits like income-splitting, as that one doesn’t benefit all families with children. Single parents, for instance, don’t have anyone to split income with.
Because the claim centres on the UCCB and at least one party, the NDP, pledged they wouldn’t roll back the benefit, van Vugt’s claim is false.