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Film Clips, Chapter 15

Part I

Precarious Work: Clip from Poor No More (2009)

PoorNoMoreDoc, 2:53

This is a poignant clip of a single mother and her little girl describing what it is like to be among the “working poor” (Krull, p. 302; Kerr & Michalski, pp. 190–194) in Canada. The mother describes being in a precarious job for years (pp. 168–170), falling in and out of poverty.

The full documentary expands on the problems of precarious labour and the working poor in Canada and looks at European alternatives in labour market policies. It can be purchased at http://www.poornomore.ca/.

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Drawing on the text material (pp. 300–307), how would the CCTB, Universal Child Care Benefit and the Child Tax Credit help this working poor family? Are we doing enough?
  2. In the individual model of responsibility (pp. 314, 343), this mom and her absent ex-husband are responsible for the problems of poverty their children are suffering. Is this a useful approach? How is it part of the overall ideology of the liberal welfare state (p. 344)?
  3. How would this Ontario mother fare if she was living in Quebec? (pp. 310–312)

Part II

Canada Child Benefits Application RC66 (English) (2011)

Settlement Series #1 Tutorials, 16:43

This tutorial guides new residents of Canada through the government forms required for the (low-income) Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) (Krull, pp. 296–297, 301). Overall, this tutorial shows how much form-filling is required to receive this benefit. It also indicates how the Canadian government views and defines family relationships. It gets a little boring fairly quickly, but is useful for showing the specifications required for any government benefit.

Parents Eligible Tax Benefits: Tax Preparation Services Canada

HRBlockTV, 1:55

This brief clip reviews two tax benefits available to all Canadian parents. It does not discuss the low income CCTB or provincial subsidy benefits. The Child Tax Credit and the Universal Child Care Benefit do little to address “child” poverty in Canada (Krull, pp. 300–303) or the problems of child care among the working poor (pp. 304–306, 313–314).

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Drawing on the tutorials for examples, explain the difference between a “universal and a “targeted” approach to assisting families with children.
  2. How effectively have the CCTB, the Universal Child Care Benefit, and the Child Tax Credit addressed “child” poverty in Canada?
  3. How do these federal policies compare with their alternatives in Quebec? (pp. 307, 309–312)

Part III

Special Benefits [EI parental leave]

ServiceCanada, 1:45

A brief synopsis of how maternity and parental (and other family care) benefits (Krull, pp. 294–296) are distributed by the Canadian federal government.

Pregnancy and Parental Leave [Ontario] (2010)

WaldenClient, 5:39

Two lawyers distinguish between maternity/pregnancy leave, parental leave, and parental benefits in Ontario, noting that it is similar throughout Canada (Krull, pp. 294–296). These lawyers discuss the situation where the job disappears (see next clip) and other violations of the parental leave act.

CBC National News Tina Thomas Maternity Paternity Leave and EI (2009)

Diane Urquhart, 2:21

A CBC newsclip on the predicaments of new mothers whose jobs disappeared while they were on parental leave or soon after.

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Why is maternity and parental leave so important in family policy? How has extending this leave to fathers changed the gender contract (p. 315)?
  2. What is the difference between maternity and parental leave and benefits in Canada? Are these “universal” or “targeted” benefits (pp. 296–297)?
  3. How can our parental leave system be changed to address the growing problem of “disappearing” jobs while parents attend to their new babies?

Part IV

Canada Falling Short on Foster Care, Maltreatment Rates Remain High (2012)

EvidenceNetwork.ca, 5:08

A brief video of the highlights of a report by Dr. Marni Brownell and associates that compares Canada’s child-protection approach (removing the child from risk) with that of six other countries that take a child-welfare approach (treating the whole family and removing risks). She describes how foster care disproportionately affects Aboriginal families and notes what must be changed (Krull, pp. 297–299).

Youth Speak Out – The ACO Youth Network, 2011

AdoptCouncilOntario, 2:29

A PSA by 13 children in Ontario on being repeatedly placed in different foster homes before finally being adopted (Krull, p. 299).

[US] Children in Foster Care (2009)

adoptuskids, 9:29

These American teenagers are telling of what brought them into foster care and the importance of those foster parents who unconditionally love them. Their circumstances parallel those of foster children in Canada (Krull, pp. 284–286, 297–299).

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Why are Aboriginal children disproportionately placed in foster care in Canada? How might taking a child-welfare instead of child-protection approach change these statistics?
  2. Note the policy improvements for foster children in Alberta and Ontario (p. 299) that might change their foster family circumstances.
  3. Currently personal care businesses in Canada are contracting their services to provincial governments to care for foster children who are difficult to place. Considering the stories in these videos, how effective would such “commercialized care” be in helping foster children grow up?

Part V

“Family Values”: Rockridge Nation Video Series

YouTube, 8:01 minutes

George Lakeoff discusses the political use of conservative family values in the US. Many Conservative politicians argue for a strict and authoritarian model of family in child-rearing. Lakeoff argues that progressive family values are crucial, including the “nurturant parent model” of empathy, caring about the kids, and taking responsibility to ensure that strength, respect, and boundaries are encouraged in families. We need to pay attention to what values are espoused in the political arena and to promoting “saner family lives.” This clip is useful in introducing comparative American ideologies that inform family policy and can be used in evaluating the policies throughout Chapter 15 (Krull, pp. 293–294, 314–315).

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Can we say that the family values rhetoric of the “authoritarian model of family” is in line with the individual responsibility model of family or the gender contract (pp. 314–315)? Why or why not?
  2. What family values are inherent in the various family policies enumerated by Krull in chapter 15?
  3. If the Canadian government took a more progressive approach and supported nurturant family values, would its family policies change? How or why not?