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Harper's Maritime tour met by child-care protests [CA]

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Author: News Staff
Publication Date: 
29 Apr 2006

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Demonstrators showed their opposition to the Conservative government's child-care plan during Prime Minister Stephen Harper's election style tour through the Maritimes.

On Saturday, members of the New Brunswick Child Care Coalition marched outside a Moncton hotel that hosted Harper as a guest speaker at a $500-a-plate provincial Tory fundraiser.

The previous day, P.E.I. protesters lined up outside another fundraiser dinner in Charlottetown to demonstrate against the Tories' proposed child-care plan that gives $1,200 per year to parents for each child under the age of six.

Jody Dallaire, a spokesperson for the N.B. coalition, told The Canadian Press that she wants the federal government to honour the deal that the province and the Liberals signed just days before the federal election was called last fall.

Annabell Sutherland, a parent who planned to join the Moncton demonstration, told CTV that she believes that daycares need the money, not parents.

"I am a parent and I prefer the money's going to my daycare than to me," Sutherland said.

On Friday, Harper -- who was in the region to promote Canada's new softwood lumber deal -- attempted to address the protesters' concerns by promising to create more spaces.

"Our government has a plan to create 125,000 real daycare spaces," Harper told the Charlottetown audience. "The Liberal plan consists of nothing more than shifting money to advocates, bureaucrats and politicians."

- reprinted from CTV