One of Ontario's foremost child care champions - MPP Andrea Horwath, was elected leader of the Provincial New Democratic Party of Ontario. Andrea Horwath replaces outgoing leader Howard Hampton. For many years, Andrea Horwath has championed the issue of universal child care and taken on the McGuinty Liberal Government over their failure to follow through on the 2003 promise for $300 million in new provincial funding.
In addition - child care recieved an enormous amount of attention at International Women's Day gatherings, including the rally and march in Toronto. Here is the press release from the Toronto rally with a quote from the OCBCC.
HAMILTON – On Andrea Horwath's first full day on the job as provincial New Democratic leader she vowed to bring universal child care, affordable housing and 300,000 Ontario jobs if she becomes premier.
“It’s time to make this the just, the progressive and the green place it should be and I’m just the woman to do it,” Horwath, 45, said before voting began, adding the only reason she was able to attend university was because her father had a good-paying job as an auto worker.
“Let’s make child care fully public and let’s make post-secondary education fully public,” she said.
Dayna Scott of Toronto said she joined yesterday's march with her 2-year-old son largely to support the fight for access to affordable child care, which is particularly important when women are struggling to make ends meet. Scott, 34, said she's fortunate her son has a child care spot at York University, where she works. But he's been on a waiting list for a spot near their home for two years.
Women still have a long way to go, Opinion Piece by Belinda Stronach
Second, we need to encourage policies and build institutions that help to empower the equal treatment of women. Among other things, that means stepping up the pressure on governments to make a priority of implementing quality and affordable child care right across our country. It is distressing that at a time of massive government spending in the name of stimulus, there has been little public pressure on Ottawa to fund a system of child care and early learning, an investment that would create jobs in the short-term but would pay off again down the road in the form of better educated children and more successful women in the workforce.