“Throughout the election campaign you have been asked directly if you will cancel the child care agreements, and your response has been evasive. Given that child care is a key issue for so many Canadians, they deserve the respect of a definitive answer to this question.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (09 Sept. 2021) – Canadians have been waiting for over 30 years for a national, high-quality universal child care plan. The need for a child care plan has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to many women reducing their work hours or leaving their jobs to care for children. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has been a strong proponent of the need for a national child care system that is universally accessible, publicly funded, and high quality, which also fairly compensates and supports its workforce.
Although the National Union is nonpartisan, it believes that it should hold all political parties accountable for their plans if they are elected. With that in mind, NUPGE’s President, Larry Brown, wrote a letter to Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole demanding that he finally answer conclusively what he and his party will do with the 8 provincial/territorial child care agreements that have been signed to date. Since the National Union wrote to Mr. O’Toole asking about his plans for the federal government’s child care agreements with 8 of the provinces/territories, the Conservative Party released costing for their platform. It appears that the Conservatives will end the child care agreements after one year.
Support from Canadians for a national child care plan is evident
A poll commissioned by NUPGE in November 2020 revealed clear public support for Canadian families to have access to quality child care — and among the Conservatives’ voters that responded to the poll, 77% agreed.
It is also important to note that some Conservative premiers are among those who signed the child care agreements.
In its election platform, the Conservative Party highlights Quebec as an example of how increasing child care affordability increases Canadian women’s participation in the workforce. Given that the Quebec plan is based on $10 a day, when the Conservatives are citing this plan as a direction forward, yet are not supporting the signed child care agreements that are based on the same plan, it is highly contradictory.
As Canadian voters head to the polls they deserve an answer
“Throughout the election campaign you have been asked directly if you will cancel the child care agreements, and your response has been evasive,” stated Larry Brown, president of NUPGE. “Given that child care is a key issue for so many Canadians, they deserve the respect of a definitive answer to this question.”
“Mr. O’Toole, you have refused to directly answer a very clear and important question. Will you honour those agreements reached with the provinces and territories? Or will you renege on them and rip them up?” Brown questioned.
Vote for better
To highlight 3 of the key issues in this election — child care, the environment and long-term care — NUPGE has developed a website voteforbetter.ca. It will also be posting election fact sheets on nupge.ca on other major issues, such as Indigenous Rights, Responding to Domestic Violence, Health Care, Fair Taxes, and many others. Each fact sheet provides a breakdown of each party’s platform and why the issue is important to Canadians.