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Protesters rally at legislature over child care concerns [CA-BC]

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Rud, Jeff
Publication Date: 
19 May 2006

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About 200 demonstrators, many young enough to enjoy a lively poster-painting session on the sunny front lawn of the legislature, protested Tuesday against what they say is the B.C. government's lack of a comprehensive child care plan.

"It was really good for the child care community to get together and feel like they could voice their concerns and be heard,'' said Enid Elliot, chairwoman for the Greater Victoria Regional Child Care Council and one of the organizers of the event.

Elliot was one of a handful of rally-goers who were able to meet with Minister of State for Child Care Linda Reid after the protest.

Protesters are upset the federal government cancelled the former federal Liberals' national child care plan, which would have seen B.C. get $633 million over five years. But the Conservatives have implemented their own child care strategy, which will see parents receive $1,200 annually for each child under six. The federal government will also provide $250 million a year to help create new child care spaces across the country.

Protesters say B.C. hasn't fought hard enough with Ottawa to retain the previous program or for more money for child care. But Reid disagrees , saying the province was quick to the table with federal Human Resources and Social Development Minister Diane Finley.

- Reprinted from the Times Colonist.