A Child Care System for All of Canada's Children: No More Talk ? Now is the Time for Action!Monday, July 26 2010
The federal election is over and the possibility of making real progress on our child care agenda is better than it has been in a long time.
Child care advocates made child care a key election issue. Both the federal Liberal Party and federal New Democratic Party (NDP) responded with significant child care commitments. And, in the English Leader's Debate, Paul Martin (Liberal), Jack Layton (NDP) and Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois - BQ) all lauded the Quebec child care system as the 'way to go'.
We now have a minority Liberal Government (135 seats) with the NDP (19 seats) and BQ (54 seats) holding the 'balance of power'. This means that the federal Liberals will need to find common ground with the NDP and the BQ to 'win votes' in Parliament.
This puts us in a better position than ever to hold them accountable for keeping their child care promises.
What Needs To Be Done?
We have to move quickly. Over the summer, we expect that the Liberals will develop their legislative agenda while the NDP decides on their priorities. We must mobilize the largest voice ever to make sure that child care is on the list.
Advocates across the country are working on a Keep the Promise Campaign to:
- Tell Paul Martin that we expect him to enshrine the principles of a pan Canadian child care system in legislation during this term of office.
- Tell Jack Layton that we expect him to make 'action on child care' a condition of NDP support for the Liberal government.
In BC, we also need to ensure that federal funds are used to:
- Build a high quality, universally accessible child care system
- Supplement, rather than replace, provincial child care spending.
We will need strong accountability measures that require provinces to develop child care systems based on principles of quality, universality, accessibility and developmental programming as a condition of receiving federal child care funds. We will also need sufficient federal funding to make this vision possible.
What Can You Do?
- Actively support the 'Keep The Promise Campaign' by sending an email to Paul Martin and Jack Layton (For more information, go to http://www.childcareadvocacy.ca).
- Call, email, or visit your newly elected MP, especially if they are Liberal or NDP, and tell them you expect immediate action on child care.
- Speak up in community coalitions about the opportunity to make a child care
breakthrough if we all work together.
- Stay tuned to the Coalition's website (http://www.cccabc.bc.ca) for the
The "Keep the child care promises campaign" is as easy as one, two, three!
Any questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org