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Outcry on child-care program

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Publication Date: 
5 Feb 2011



My thanks to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley for allowing the true colours of her government and party to show through with her appalling comments equating having children in daycare to allowing "others to raise their children." With the vast majority of Canadian families having both parents working, this is an insult to them and child-care workers. How appropriate that a government that thinks we still live in the 1950s should be ruled by an authoritarian "father knows best" figure.

- Peter Dick, Toronto

Diane Finley's stunningly disturbing statement about the Liberals reviving a national child-care program so parents do not have to raise their children warrants a look at where Canada ranks in child care. We were ranked 25th of 25 OECD countries surveyed by UNICEF in 2008. We passed in one of 10 benchmarks used and were singled out in the preface of the report. Mr. Ignatieff, stick to your guns.

- Richard Ring, Grimsby

Diane Finley's remark is not an insult to working parents, early childhood educators, daycares or parents who chose to (or have to) put their children in daycare. She is not demonstrating a bias against two-income families in favour of stay-at-home families.

What she is condemning is setting up a system whereby choices are taken away from mothers through what amounts to economic sanctions against families with one stay-at-home parent.

The Conservative position, as I see it, is one of fairness and choice. In "enlightened society" are we not supposed to respect the choices women make with regard to their children? The Conservative answer is to support both choices, albeit with pretty meagre funding.

- Shaun Hayward, Brampton

It is unfortunate that discussions about child care have deteriorated so quickly away from the facts. The evidence is clear: licensed child care is good for the economy and great for kids. Instead of looking at it solely as a cost, let's consider a national child-care program to be an economic stimulus program -- it would keep parents working and has long-term payoffs for the children.

- Kira Heineck, Executive Director, Ontario Municipal Social Services Association

- reprinted from the Toronto Star