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Rival MPs unite to protect plan for child care [CA]

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Mills, Andrew
Publication Date: 
9 Mar 2006

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Two political rivals are attempting to put aside their differences to fight Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plan to dismantle the former Liberal government's child-care plan.

Yesterday afternoon, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's) and New Democratic MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) met with the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada in their first tentative step together to thwart the government's policy.

The meeting, chaired by advocacy association executive director Monica Lysack, followed a raucous pro-child care rally on Parliament Hill held in honour of International Women's Day.

Bloc Québécois social development critic Maria Mourani (Ahuntsic) was also invited but couldn't be there.

Chow and Bennett, social development critics for their respective parties, agree that forcing the Conservatives to continue funding the universal program worked out between the Liberals and the provinces, for the next three years at least, is their first priority.
"We want multi-year funding in the budget so that we can protect existing programs and expand child care," said Chow.

The opposition parties could threaten to topple the minority Conservatives unless the Tories put the child care funding in their budget.

But neither Chow nor Bennett will say whether their parties have the will to bring down the government on this one issue.

- reprinted from the Toronto Star