Canadian parents today are raising families with less money and time than the baby boomer generation, even though the country’s economy has doubled in size since 1976, says a new study released at the University of Saskatchewan on Oct.18.
Paul Kershaw of the University of British Columbia released the study, Does Canada Work for All Canadians?, with Nazeem Muhajarine and members of his Healthy Children research team (including kidSKAN) at the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU).
“What we’re seeing is something I call ‘Generation Squeeze,’” says Kershaw, an associate professor at UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership and lead author of the study. “The generation raising young kids today is squeezed for time at home, squeezed for income because of the high cost of housing, and squeezed for services like child care that would help them balance earning a living with raising a family.”
The findings in the Does Canada Work for All Canadians? report were echoed by the release of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing later in the week. Muhajarine was a member of the CIW advisory group and co-authored the Healthy Populations domain of the index.
The study proposes broad policy changes to address the squeeze, including longer parental leaves, workplace flex time and access to high-quality, affordable childcare. It has generated media attention across the country and even in the U.S.
• The launch of Does Canada Work for All Canadians? was picked up by media across the country, including page three of the Globe and Mail, front page of the StarPhoenix and even a write-up in the New York Times’ parenting blog, Motherlode.
• The story was also featured in news services such as Canadian Press and United Press International, and in metropolitan dailies across the country, including the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star. Chatelaine also featured the issue on its website.
• Broadcasters also picked up the story. Kershaw appeared on CBC Radio’s program Blue Sky the same afternoon the report was released, while Global and CTV ran stories on their newscasts.
• Online sites such as Canoe.ca and its French site have also featured stories on Generation Squeeze.
We’re encouraging people to continue the dialogue about Generation Squeeze by sharing stories about how they’re being squeezed on the kidSKAN Facebook page, the I’m Feeling Squeezed Facebook page or by following the discussion on Twitter #GenSqueezed.