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Minister Finley defends child-care remarks

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Susan Delacourt
Publication Date: 
4 Feb 2011



Human Resources Minister Diane Finley says that her government supports the idea of child care, even though she described it this week as forcing parents to have their children raised by "other people."

Accused of insulting working parents who rely on child-care programs, Finley responded to critics on Friday in the Commons. She appeared to stand by her declaration that a national child-care program, such as the Liberal-established one scrapped by her government five years ago, would force parents to hand over child-rearing duties to others.

The Conservative government's $100-a-month program, sent directly as cheques to Canadian homes, lets parents choose, the minister said.

"We believe that (parents) should have the choice as to whether they care for their children at home or whether they use daycare or whether someone close them, a family member or neighbour, looks after that," Finley said.

Liberal MP Mark Holland said Finley is still trying to send the message that stay-at-home parenting is superior and that child care is merely babysitting.

"This is a direct attack against the more than 70 per cent of women in the country who have children in early childhood (education) and in daycare," Holland said. "The notion that you are a bad parent because you use child care is offensive but I think moreover it speaks to the underlying values and the types of conversations that this minister has."

-reprinted from the Toronto Star