May 3, 2006, TORONTO
“While the stated aim of the Conservative budget was to get real results for Canadians it failed miserably in getting results for children and families. We are disappointed to see that yesterday’s federal budget continues to deny parents real choice in child care,” stated Kira Heineck, Executive Director, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC).
Continued Heineck: “The fact that the government insists on calling their plan “universal child care” is insulting. There is nothing universal about a taxable income supplement that does not even need to be used for child care. It will not create a single new space in Canada and it will not allow a single family in Canada to afford the cost of high quality care.”
Heineck is referring to the fact that the 2006 federal budget confirms to send $1200 for every child under six to parents and then taxing it back as income. This means, on average, families will receive closer to $800 a year than $1200. This is income support - not a child care plan.
“We are very concerned about the stated commitment of $250 million in tax incentives beginning in 2007 to create new spaces” stated Shellie Bird, President, OCBCC. “It is obvious the Conservative government does not have a plan for the creation of real child care spaces – this is unacceptable considering the level of consultation on this issue”.
“The federal budget will leave the majority of parents and children out in the cold and left to battle our province to step into the breach to save the good work already begun under the Best Start plan. Unable to get the leadership needed from the Harper government we will now be looking to the province to do the right thing by parents and children. This budget was a missed opportunity for the federal and provincial governments to work together to truly get results for children and families across Canada.” concluded Bird.