In its April 1990 budget, the Quebec Government continued its payment of $500 to couples for a first and $1000 for a second. It upped the money for a third child from $4,500 to $6,000.
Births in the province rose by 5.7 per cent last year, bringing up the rate from 1.41 per family to 1.52 – still well below replacement level, but still an improvement. The extra payments for third children are expected to amount to about $19 million. At the same time, Quebec announced that it will finance more day care – to the tune of an extra $152 million.
Needless to say, feminist groups are still not satisfied; ignoring the $152 million, they condemned the lack of additional support services for mothers encouraged to have more children.
Toronto Star columnist Doris Anderson attacked the policy, declaring that “like every other baby bribery plot, it’s bound to fail.”
In her view, dangling $6,000 in front of potential parents is a hoax: “No responsible person is likely to be tempted with such an insulting payoff – except teenagers who should wait and get their marital and financial feet on the ground first,” she huffed.
On the other hand, Leonor Garcia, a 24-year-old mother interviewed by the Montreal Gazette, did not think of the money for her third child as a bribe or hoax at all: “It wasn’t why I had my little girl, of course. It’s just a reward for a job well done.”