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Conservative leader Stephen Harper's plan to cut back the Liberals' multi-billion dollar national childcare program and give families $25 per week instead "is not Canada," says incumbent NDG-Lachine Liberal MP Marlene Jennings.
Jennings, who is seeking her fourth term, said, "Canada is looking at what is important."
"Are our children important? And if they are, then we're all willing to contribute to see that our children get good quality early development care."
Jennings, who declined an invitation before the last election to switch to the NDP, said, "It's been shown that one of the reasons we have a lower crime rate in Quebec, particularly amongst our juveniles, our youth, is because of the system of education that we have, because of the investment as a complete society that we put into our children.
"It's proven," she said. "Children who have access to quality child care, they learn better, they're healthier and they make better choices in life. And that's not substituting parents, that's providing support to parents."
The Liberals are promising to create more spaces in childcare programs. In the 2004 election, they pledged to spend $5 billion for 250,000 licensed childcare spaces by 2009. Besides the family allowance, the Conservatives have promised to set aside $250 million a year for tax credits to make more childcare available.
- reprinted from the West End Chonicle