Advocates urge premiers to fight for child care

    OTTAWA, Jan. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The premiers must take on Stephen Harper's
plan to limit the federal spending powers when they meet the prime minister on
Friday, say child care advocates.
    "We hear that this meeting is all about the economy. Child care is at the
heart of that discussion - for children, parents and the country. It doesn't
take a PhD to see that early learning and child care is central to our
country's ability to compete internationally in the 21st century," says Mab
Oloman, acting coordinator for Code Blue.
    Code Blue has written an open letter to the provincial and territorial
premiers urging them to press Stephen Harper to use the federal spending power
to expand early childhood education and child care services.
    "Without federal funding and leadership, we'll remain at the bottom of
the barrel of industrialized countries when it comes to child care services,"
says Jody Dallaire, Chairperson of the Child Care Advocacy Association of
Canada (CCAAC). "Without vision, leadership and collaboration, even the basic
early childhood education and care services now available will erode," adds
    The letter stresses that Harper's plan to limit spending powers will have
long-term implications for any new social program, including child care.
    "The federal spending power gave us Medicare - an innovation born in
Saskatchewan. We need the same groundbreaking push on child care. It's the
only way Canadian parents and children will benefit from the kind of
affordable early learning and child care services available in Quebec," says
Emily King, CCAAC Project Director.

    The letter is available at

    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. Find out more at .

For further information:

For further information: Jody Dallaire, (506) 855-8977; Mab Oloman,
(613) 594-3196 x 231

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