From the Prime Minister’s Web Site at http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=1&id=1111 (broken link)
FULL SPEECH AVAILABLE in the PM’s AUDIO CENTRE
Time for opposition parties to stand up for universal child care
April 18, 2006
After meeting with a group of parents and children in Burnaby, Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated his commitment to fulfilling a key conservative campaign promise—providing a universal child care plan – by asking Parliament to approve the choice in child care allowance.
“Do the opposition parties support giving parents $1200 per child, per year or do they prefer the status quo which is zero? Our new approach requires no federal-provincial negotiations, no funding for academics, researchers or special interest groups, and it cuts out the political and bureaucratic middlemen. It will provide real support and direct payment, as soon as Parliament approves it,” explained the Prime Minister.
During the roundtable with parents and children, the Prime Minister discussed the components of the new government’s universal child care plan—an allowance that will deliver a direct payment of $1200 per year, per child under the age of six to parents, and a space creation plan that will seek input from Parliament on how to best produce real spaces for real child care for all Canadians.
“The previous government spent a lot of time talking about child care. But after 13 years of rhetoric, no one can find those universally-free, readily-accessibility, federally-created daycare spaces. Where did all the money go? Their national child care program never materialized, and now Canadian parents are waiting for the Opposition parties to stand up for them,” explained Prime Minister Harper.
The Prime Minister concluded, “ordinary parents—people who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules—do not have a taxpayer-funded lobby group. They don’t have the time to hold demonstrations, or make regular trips to Ottawa for news conferences. But they do support our plan. We intend on supporting them by keeping our promise on making choice in child care a reality.”