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View on child care [CA-PE]

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Pursey, Carl*
Publication Date: 
9 Mar 2006

See text below.


As we expressed in our recent brief to cabinet, the P.E.I. Federation of Labour is very concerned with Premier Binns' support of Prime Minister Harper's so-called child-care plan and we urge him to reconsider his position.

Harper's plan simply rehashes the child-care platform of the former Harris government in Ontario, which failed dismally. Harris provided a child-care supplement that produced no child care and a tax initiative for child-care construction that did not build a single space.

To say that P.E.I. will be better off with Harper's plan is ludicrous. The national system of early learning and child care is in its infancy. The foundation is barely in place. It would be a terrible pronouncement on our society if, after years of trying to build a system of early learning and child care, that the premier would support this new minority government in its attempt to wipe out with the stroke of a pen efforts to help strengthen families and advance women's equality, not to mention the plans provinces have put in place on the faith of a signed agreement with the Government of Canada.

In terms of money, we are very concerned with the way the Binns government is trying to continue the myth that Islanders with children of child-care age will actually receive $1,200 per year. As a taxable allowance, there is a good chance that very few Islanders will receive the full $1,200 and even if they were to receive the full allowance, not only is it just a drop in the bucket as far as child-care expenses go, but it also does very little to provide Islanders with the quality and accessible child care-system Islanders need and deserve.

Supporting Prime Minister Harper's child-care plan is truly a large step backwards for the Binns government and the Island child- care system. Once again, we urge Mr. Binns to reconsider his position on this issue.

* Carl Pursey is president of the P.E.I. Federation of Labour

- reprinted from the Guardian