National Council of Women of Canada - Blog

A Blog gives you current information and items of inerest. The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) has done two blogs on the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, 2010, and 2011. We are continuing now with a blog, on a range of topics of interst to members and the public. The NCWC has a very complete web site where you can learn more about the history and members of Council.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Child care takes centre stage

Child care takes centre stage

‘My agenda is to see child care in Orillia addressed’

By MIRANDA MINASSIAN Special to The Packet & Times

A 37-year veteran of the child-care industry went to bat for families
at an all candidates' debate held at the West Ridge Early Education
Centre Tuesday night.

Despite the moderator's attempt to halt her, centre director Lucille
Desjardins took centre stage in an attempt to get all five North
Simcoe candidates to focus on early education.

"I may not be a Harper supporter. I may not be an Ignatieff supporter.
I may not be a Layton supporter… What I am a supporter of is someone
who is going to speak about this issue for this area in Ottawa," she

With 125 clients on a year-long waiting list, Desjardins is passionate
about this country's child-care strategy.

"There are 20 spaces in all of Orillia for babies — kids from zero to
18 months old.  That is shameful," she said.

Recognizing that education falls under the provincial government's
jurisdiction, Desjardins believes it is up to the feds to ensure that
quality child-care spaces are available countrywide.

"It is the federal government that can make conditions attached to the
money they give to provinces," she said, vocalizing her support of a
national child-care strategy. "High-quality care should be available
to all children, regardless of where they come from or move to in this

The Liberal, NDP and Green candidates were in agreement with
Desjardins' vision for a federal solution to the child-care issue.

Calling Stephen Harper's current Universal Child Care Benefit — which
provides families with $100 a month per child — grossly inadequate,
Liberal candidate Steve Clarke supports Desjardins's stance regarding
a nationwide strategy.

"This election, I believe, is a referendum on values. Do we need to be
spending $13 billion on mega-prisons or should we be investing in a
national child-care strategy?" Clarke asked. "Politicians and
political parties need to understand the differences between
investments and expenditures."

Valerie Powell sees early childhood issues as part of the larger issue
of sustainability — something she believes the Green Party addresses.

"You have to look at everything, the entire environment of supporting
people that can lead to ecologically sustainable lifestyle," she said.
"We need to build strong communities so that needs are met throughout

Integrated policies that meet the Green's six core values — ecological
wisdom, non-violence, social justices, sustainability, participatory
democracy and respect for diversity — is the approach best suited to
meet community needs, Powell said.

"It shouldn't be a matter of how wealthy or educated your family is,"
said New Democrat Richard Banigan. "All children should have

The two parties against a national child-care strategy had differing
views on how the federal government should deal with the issue of
early education.

"Provinces have the lead in child care," said Conservative candidate
Bruce Stanton

As a provincial responsibility, Stanton remained heavily critical of
the Ontario's child-care spending record.

"The ongoing frustration with us is that any kind of agreements we
have with the province is that the accountability isn't there, " he
said. "There are set dollars earmarked for programs within the
province. We just can't find where the spending is happening. The last
report they did on day-care spots was 2006."

Christian Heritage Party candidate Adrian Kooger sees women staying
home to take care of children as a win-win scenario for families. Core
family values would be retained while job opportunities would be
created when working mothers vacate their current positions, he said.

"We would redirect money spent on unemployment and welfare to
strengthen families," said Kooger, whose party pledges $1,000 a month
for a stay-at-home parent. "Our position is that kids should be raised
by their parents and not by day-care employees."

Though vocal about her criticisms of the Harper government's move away
from the national health-care strategy before the meeting, organizer
Desjardins insists that the debate was a non-partisan event.

"I know that Bruce Stanton supports us. He is as capable as anyone to
take this issue to Ottawa," she said. "My agenda is to see child care
in Orillia addressed. Period."


  1. Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you.

    Child Care

  2. You are doing a good job. I like your way of working for Child Care. And your blog is very interesting and informative for every persons. Because in this time Child Care is a big issue.
    Thanks for sharing this..........