OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's children barely got a mention in
this year's Conservative budget which was noteworthy for its dearth of
recognition that Canadians need and value social programs.
In one of its few references to children the budget allocates $3 million
for the No Child Without program, to provide free MedicAlert bracelets to
children with serious medical conditions. "That's good but what families need
is $1.2 billion in federal cash transfers to provinces and territories,
earmarked for early learning and child care programs" said Jody Dallaire
Chairperson of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC). "It is
time for a No Child Without Quality Child Care program".
Almost 800,000 children in Canada live in poverty. Canada lags behind its
peer nations in early childhood education and child care with fewer than 20%
of those 0-12 years old able to access regulated child care services. Indeed,
OECD data show Canada to be last in terms of access to early learning and
child care, a direct result of the fact that Canada places last in terms of
public spending on early childhood and child care programs as a percent of
The Federal Department of Finance has used OECD comparisons to call for
more debt reduction but has not chosen to pay heed to the OECD's warnings
about the consequences of ignoring early learning and child care nor to its
recommendations to Canada calling for substantial increases in public
Instead the Harper government has chosen to reduce tax revenues. If the
two cuts to the GST, which cost the treasury $12 billion annually, had been
invested in child care, the benefit to families would have been very
significant. "It would have been enough to fund quality, universal child care
services for all young children in Canada", says Mab Oloman, Acting
Coordinator, Code Blue for Child Care.
Another round in the game of fiscal choices - and children lose again.
Code Blue is a Canada-wide campaign to build a real pan-Canadian child
care system. The campaign brings together parents, national, provincial and
territorial child care organizations, labour, women's and social justice
groups along with Canadians from all walks of life.
For further information:
For further information: Jody Dallaire, (506) 855-8977; Mab Oloman,