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Daycare debate (Mike Duffy interview with Mary Anne Chambers) [CA]

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CTV News
Publication Date: 
29 May 2006

See text below.


MIKE DUFFY: …Mary Anne Chambers is Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth and she joins us now from the conference. Madam minister, has there been any change in the positions that we saw going in, i.e., the feds had their own idea and weren't going to compromise, and most of the provinces seemed to be on side with what the Liberals had been working on in the past.

MARY ANNE CHAMBERS (Ontario Children and Youth Minister): All the provinces and territories are on side, Mike. That was the most positive aspect of the day. But certainly there is a huge disconnect between where the provincial and territorial ministers were today and where minister Finley is on behalf of the federal government.

DUFFY: Is it just about money, do you think, or is there a larger issue involved?

CHAMBERS: Well, I, I don't get the impression it's just about money with the federal government. I think they just want to do things differently to how we were set up with agreements that were struck last year.

CHAMBERS: Mike, there are basically three observations that I could share with you that I've come out of this meeting with. One is that their definition of provincial and territorial jurisdiction seems to be at odds with the definition of provincial and territorial jurisdiction as defined by provinces and territories, number one. Number two, they're still talking about tax incentives. So, in other words, Minister Finley not really listening to the experience of provinces like Ontario and Manitoba where that did not work. And thirdly, we keep saying, how are you going to allocate the $250 million per year that you have suggested to create child care spaces while ensuring that these spaces are sustained, and Minister Finley's response to that is that they actually want to get to the point where child care is self-sustainable.

DUFFY: Self-sustainable.

CHAMBERS: Self-sustainable in child care, Mike, means parents will no longer be paying between $8,400 and $11,000 for kids up to the age of five in Ontario. They'll be paying a lot more than that, because Ontario right now subsidized each child care space to the tune of $7,500 per space per year.

DUFFY: It's an expensive proposition.

CHAMBERS: Well, how do you make that self-sustainable if not by just having parents pay more, which means that a lot of parents will be in a lot of trouble here.

- reprinted from CTV News