Feb 5: Hansard, the record of the House of Commons

Feb 05, 2009

Hansard is the official record of the House of Commons in Ottawa

Child Care  

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.): 

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is a shameful anniversary. It marks three years to the day since the Conservative government cancelled the Liberal child care agreements. The City of Toronto has just announced it will have to cut 6,000 child care spaces, almost a quarter of all its subsidized spaces. The budget is silent on child care.

Jody Dallaire of the Child Care Coalition said, “But government refuses to meet the economic needs of women by investing in child care”.

Is the government so out of touch with working Canadians that it cannot hear the families and child care organizations across this country crying out for quality affordable child care?

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member were in touch with Canadians, he would hear how very pleased they are with the universal child care program that we brought in three years ago.

That program gives parents across Canada the choice in the child care that they get for their children. We have also increased funding to the provinces so that they can create daycare spaces. That funding will increase by 3% next year to help them create even more spaces.

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.): 

Mr. Speaker, according to the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, since the Conservative government came to power in 2006, child care space expansion has evaporated. The government's plan to create spaces was a dismal failure. Families know it; the government knows it.

The minister has now offended people on EI, speaks of affordable housing as a temporary need, and now speaks of a fictional 60,000 child care spaces. The minister's indifference is appalling. When will she wake up to the reality of working families? When will she take early learning and child care seriously?

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, for three elections the Liberals promised a national child care program and did not deliver a bit of it, not a space.

It is the provinces that are reporting that thanks to our funding, they have created 60,000 spaces. In fact our government is spending three times as much money on early child care and early learning as the Liberals ever did. Canadians deserve it, families need it, and we are delivering it.

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