Harper's flip on child care shows government's policies a flop

    OTTAWA, March 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Stephen Harper's flip flop on
$250 million worth of business tax breaks for child care shows the
Conservative government can't support its own ill-conceived child care policy.
    "The idea that child care spaces will come from tax breaks has failed
miserably in the past," said Morna Ballantyne, Coordinator for the Code Blue
for Child Care campaign. "The Conservative government should have known this
from the start," she added.
    "The Conservatives also know the $1.2 billion cut in federal child care
funding that takes effect April 1st is going to spell disaster for families
across Canada. We need that cut reversed as well," said Ballantyne.
    Code Blue is concerned that the $250 million originally earmarked for tax
breaks will now be transferred to the provinces and territories with no
requirements for accountability or commitment to sustained or expanded
    "Yes, transferring federal funds to the provinces makes sense because
they're the ones delivering child care programs, " Ballantyne said. "But the
federal government must ensure these federal tax dollars are spent in a way
that gives families access to quality, regulated care. We've seen transfers
used for anything but child care in the past."
    Ballantyne noted that this flip flop on child care fits what is becoming
a Harper government style: ill-conceived policy directions that need to be
reversed when it becomes clear that the direction is wrong-headed.
    Code Blue is stepping up its campaign leading up to the next federal
election with the launch of a cross-country child care tour starting in
    "Parents are filing their tax returns at this very moment and having to
repay a good chunk of the so-called child care allowance. They know that the
Harper government has done nothing on child care since being elected, making
it harder for families to find affordable, quality care," said Ballantyne.
    Parents have expressed a lot of anger and frustration at the Harper
government's inaction on child care, Ballantyne added. "We're going to channel
those feelings into a significant force."

    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: Morna Ballantyne, Code Blue Coordinator, (613)

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