Leader's Debate - Education and Families, the Premier Jean Charest demonstrated his leadership

    QUEBEC, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Premier and Leader of the Québec
Liberal Party, Jean Charest, once more demonstrated that he is a true
statesman. That he is the only Leader whose priorities are education, the well
being of families and the future of Québec.
    Alas, for Boisclair, he proved once again that when it comes to education
he has nothing to offer other than rhetoric. There is absolutely no doubt that
his number one priority is to hold a referendum as quickly as possible.
Education and improving the standard of living of families are secondary in
terms of importance.
    Mr. Boisclair's position on the question of tuition fees is
irresponsible, and is purely electoralist. He is willing to promise anything
in order to reach his ultimate goal: another referendum. One of his candidates
made it clear with his reference to a black cat or white cat, what is
important is to catch the mouse.
    As for Mario Dumont, he demonstrated once again he does not understand
the issues properly. On one hand he wants to abolish school boards, against
their will, to transfer their responsibilities to municipalities, who do not
want the responsibility. His proposition would lead to complete chaos in our
education system, negatively affecting the most important people in this
issue- the students themselves.
    When it comes to families, the Leader of the ADQ limits his definition to
people who have a child under the age of 5 years old. What about the rest of
the families in Québec? What about families that have children over the age of
5? Mr. Dumont seems to have forgotten about them. The Premier in fact took the
opportunity during the debate to remind Mr. Dumont that 4 346 families in
Rivière-du-Loup received $ 10.3 million in 2005 from the Child Assistance
program. With Mr. Dumont's formula, those same families would have only
received $5.6 million. Other than sound bites, Mr. Dumont has nothing concrete
to offer.
    The Québec Liberal Party's record on family issues is impressive. For
example, we added more than 35 000 places in child care, and since 2003
financial support for families has risen by 30 %. These are just two examples
of why La Presse, in an article of 2006 called Québec, "A paradise for
    "The generous measures that we put in place have created a favourable
environment for all families. In 2006, 82 500 babies were born in Québec, an
increase of 8 % compared to 2005. The percentage of our children actually
obtaining their high school degree has increased from 79.8 % to 85.2 %. These
results demonstrate that we have made the right choices for the families of
Québec," declared the Premier, Jean Charest.
    Concerning education, the Québec Liberal Party government has always
emphasised on our students getting better results. Since 2003, the budget for
education has increased by $ 2.2 Billion, which is 3 times the amount of what
the preceding Parti Québécois government invested in 9 years.
    In a second mandate, the Québec Liberal Party:

    - Will add 20,000 childcare spaces, notably in the work place;
    - Will modify certain parameters of the Régime québécoise d'assurance
      parentale, notably for students and autonomous workers;
    - Will encourage success in school by adding 1 hour of time to the school
      day for extra curricular activities;
    - Will hire 1 000 new professionals for students with difficulties;
    - Will create a Registered Education Savings Plan;
    - Will allow a reasonable increase of tuition fees that will cost
      students less than $ 2 per week;
    - Will improve the loans and bursaries program, that will be adjusted to
      reflect the new tuition fees;
    - Will lower taxes by $ 250 million per year.

    When it comes to education and families, the Québec Liberal Party is the
only political party that has concrete and realistic ideas for Québec.

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Melançon, Parti libéral du Québec,
(514) 288-4354

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