Friday, March 24, 2006

Now I'm Mad!

(Sorry about the lack of formatting in this one, folks. Having some technical problems. -Jo)

O.K. That does it. Now I am fuming!!!

I had been patiently following up with the YWCA National Office regarding their self-indulgent report, "Building a community Architecture..." As I stated in an earlier post, I was somewhat skeptical of the claim that "Most Canadians would prefer a national day-care program over a federal cash payout", as reported on CTV so I sent numerous emails to various levels of the organization to attempt to ferret out the truth.

Originally I sent an email to the National Office, asking for some details regarding the report, and was referred to the press release on their website.

I then asked, "Am I correct that you extrapolated the finding that 'Most Canadians would prefer a national day-care program over a federal cash payout' from the comments of your task force representatives? If that is the case, I am having trouble finding how many there were in your survey, and how they were selected."

The prompt response was, "I'm not into the project so I forwarded your message to Farheen Beg who's the project assistant and one of the writers of the report. I'm copying her here. Please contact her directly with all your questions. Thanks."

(Did you catch that? "I'm not into the project". No, I bet a lot of people aren't.)

So, I dutifully shot out an email to Ms. Beg, "...Is this information from the comments of the four community task forces? If so, how was that sample derived? Random selection? How was the question phrased? How would that be representative of most Canadians?"


"Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your question to Jenny Robinson, Director of National Initiatives. She coordinated the project and report and can answer any questions you have. I have asked her to get back to you. She will do so at her earliest convenience."

Sent several follow-ups, and finally received this:


Sorry for the delay. We have been inundated with over a hundred media calls as well as information requests from numerous supporters. Below are the answers to your questions.

(- Really? Please tell me if YOU can see the answers to my questions?)

FYI - You can find the full report and background information on our website at

First you have to understand that it was not a poll, it was a participation action research study that involved four representative communities across Canada. The study was funded by Social Development Canada. The purpose of Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care was to develop effective models for the care and education of young children. This work took place in - Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cambridge, Ontario; Martensville, Saskatchewan; Vancouver, British Columbia. Task forces of key stakeholders (parents, child care providers, and representatives from education, health, special needs, aboriginal organizations, labour and business) were established to build community models of integrated early childhood learning and care (ECLC).

These task forces were asked to:

a) Consider how existing community resources can be organized to serve as a strong foundation for new Early Childhood Learning and Care (ECLC) investments;

b) Develop a community consensus on early childhood service delivery models that would:

• Provide children with early learning opportunities at the same time parents are supported to work/study and parent effectively

• Be accountable to governments and communities

• Make efficient use of limited public resources

• Better respond to the needs of children, families and communities

• Improve outcomes for children and families

The groups met five times over the course of 8 to 12 months. These day long meetings were well documented and facilitated by a community coordinator who also provided support to the groups and consolidated the findings. At the end of there work together the communities each created a ‘blue print’ of their plans. The four case studies were then used to produce the final report. We have also produced a guide that other communities can use if they want to undertake a similar planning process.

Thanks for your interest in our work.

Jenny Robinson
Director of Advocacy and National Initiatives
YWCA Canada

Mmmmm...... Looks like a form letter; smells like a form letter. Could it be? Actually it is worded very much like the responses I used to get from my M.P. way back when she bothered to reply to me, and I wasn't black-listed. They must have the same assistant.

I reply:

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for your extensive reply. I appreciate that a lot of time and effort went into your study.

I am simply trying to find out how CTV came to the conclusion from your report that most Canadians would prefer a National Day Care Program over a federal cash payment, as detailed below.

There must have been some kind of statistics that were used to support this statement.

Thanks very much,

Well, I never received a response to that one for a few days, so after several more letters, Jenny finally sent me this beauty:

I have already responded to the best of my ability. JR

Oh, man!!! I can feel the venom from here! This lady is not a happy camper. I questioned her precious report and she can't defend those statements! When people are caught in a situation like this, (as I noted in an earlier post), they either fight or run. I'm guessing she has decided to retreat into the protective custody of outraged indignation.

My question is, could somebody please tell me who these "Most Canadians" are???

If I hear one more unsubstantiated report about "Most Canadians" or "Studies show", I am going to explode!!! And studies show that most Canadians would agree, it would not be a pretty sight.


Sara said...

I think its time on Monday morning to go to CTV and demand to see the report that statistically says most canadians prefer daycare.... I'm in how bout you!

nice work by the way

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Sara. Boy, I don't know if I'm that much of an activist, but you present an interesting thought. I actually had emailed CTV on this, and just got another stupid form letter back. However, I do have another angle I just thought of.

I'll keep you posted (isn't that an apropos expression for a blog?)

molarmauler said...

Well... I do recall Ken Dryden telling Jane Taber on Duffy Live that it was essential for the media to make their voices heard on childcare. Twice.
So maybe they're just trying to help old Ken out.

kelly said...

Welcome to the art of not answering mail! This is the same kind of response that I got many years ago from then mpp Murray Elston when I questioned him about something to do with the abortion debate at the time. I got your typical form letter, and when I continued to write (no such thing as email back then), and ask him to answer my question, I got the same reply you did. Eventually he just stopped responding. I was so angry that he could just stop responding! And he never did answer the question I asked. I understand your rage!

Sara said...

thats what makes you an activist, if you home made angles... you go girl

If you ever get to Ottawa we'll have beer and popcorn together darling!

Derik Foulem said...

Well Joanne I got to say that I am part of "most Canadians", maybe you can run a survey to see how many of the people who read your blog fall in that category. ;) Still, I completely agree with your post. If you're going to make a statement like that , as any kind of credile media outlet, you better be sure that the research is backed by objective data collected scientifically. I will never support biased data to get a point across (which is why I can’t stand Michael Moore and his biased propaganda).

On another note, this passage in your blog really made me giggle:

"I questioned her precious report and she can't defend those statements! When people are caught in a situation like this, (as I noted in the squirrel post), they either fight or run. I'm guessing she has decided to retreat into the protective custody of outraged indignation."

Reminds me of a certain someone we both know.


Anonymous said...

Great Post Keep it Up!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow, you guys have been busy while I was out watching the Kitchener Rangers get humiliated tonight, which BTW did NOT help my mood!!

Molarmauler, Jane Taber does more than her share of advocating for the Liberal side of things! Maybe she should consider running for party leader too.

Kelly, thanks for your empathy. That kind of reaction from an elected official is unacceptable, and yet it's all too common. We tend to shrug our shoulders and give up. Well, no more! I am going to hang onto this one like a leech. I am so sick of being lied to!! I accuse them all - the media, the activists and the politicians.

Sara, thanks for the invite. Ditto!
Yes, maybe I am a bit of an activist too. BTW, angle #1 didn't work out, but I have two more cards up my sleeve. The final one is my ace in the hole. I'll only use it as a last resort.

You know,I kinda had an epiphany watching that miserable hockey game tonight. Why has the Harper government been so quiet about all this? After all, the opposition wants to bring them down over it. Answer: They welcome it! The public would be enraged and vote in a Conservative majority!!

Derik, yes, there are so many issues here, but honesty in the media is crucial or else why are we bothering to tune in?

Anonymous, thanks but please give me a hint!

Marc Charette said...

That's a pretty rediculous reply they gave you. When I was reading it I was wondering if maybe I was still too sleepy to get the connection but apparently no one understood it.

Brian said...

Wow, you guys have been busy while I was out watching the Kitchener Rangers

Kitchener Rangers, you are close to here. I make my way to one or two Rangers game every year myself. I like to take my little guy, it's quality hockey at a good price.

molarmauler said...

Diane Finley responds to the YWCA report on the CPC site.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Molarmauler! Wow, it looks like that study was bought and paid for by the Liberals. More and more, I'm placing the blame on the media for only showing one side of the story and trying to skew public opinion against the current government.

Brian, you're right. OHL is excellent entertainment value. I'm not really a hockey fan, but I do go to the odd game to humour my husband. It's definitely much more exciting live than on T.V. We had excellent seats, so you could see all the sweat dripping, the blood oozing against the boards, and the four-letter words blaring from enraged fans. I'm sure I came home with an infusion of testosterone by osmosis.

Gerry said...

Hey Joanne,
I'm very disappointed in CTV (my preferred choice over CBC). They normally provide accuate well researched data. I'm sure they were led astray with bogus info from what they thought was a reliable source.

I'm going to send a note off to CTV as well and see what sort of response I get....keep up the good work...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great! Thanks Gerry. When you get your reply back, let me know so we can compare form letters. ;>}

Boswarlos Daily said...

Of course it is junk journalism. The smile and teleprompter delivery system is not a Mensa design. Just consider the context: CBC has a crowd of tenured swans who do no better than the barebones televised wire service that CTV puts out. At least with CTV we get Mike Duffy and some street smarts in reporting.

Daycare is an issue where the TV mannequins will end up reporting on the real public mood instead of trying to shape it using the lazy techniques of Top 40 radio newsrooms everywhere.

vicki said...

joanne...The Toronto Sun did a few articles today on Child Care. Lorrie goldstein is callng the Y on their staements, and greg weston has a few points

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Vicki. I'll look into that.

torian said...

hey joanne,

if you need help with your fight, add me in! I, too, am frustrated and sickened with the media and these special interest groups who make a mockery of scientific study.

I'm a SAHM who is also sick of society who puts down my choice to stay home for my kids yet is willing and has lobby groups fighting to pay others who essentially do my job (and a less quality one at that).