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Child care advocates will be closely monitoring Tuesday's Speech from the Throne to see if Stephen Harper allies with Gilles Duceppe to limit the federal spending power. The federal spending power is the only available tool the Government of Canada has to launch a pan-Canadian child care program.
"This constitutional provision is the mechanism that gave us Medicare,"
says Morna Ballantyne of the national advocacy group Code Blue for Child Care.
"Ottawa's ability to set conditions on the funding it makes available for social programs ensures that Canadians from coast to coast to coast enjoy the same fundamental social rights."
Child care advocates respect the desire of Quebecers to control their own social institutions as a means of protecting their distinct culture," says Ballantyne. "But Quebec's needs can be addressed without imposing on all Canadians a measure that makes sense only for Quebec."
Bill 303, The Early Learning and Child Care Act, scheduled before
Parliament this session does just that. It places conditions on provinces and territories in receipt of federal funding for child care but allows Quebec to set its own standards.
- reprinted from Soo News