Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Just not caring

Apparently the Con cabinet members who were supposed to keep Harper informed about issues for cities have been asleep on the job again, as a new study confirms both that Canada's urban centres need to improve access to child care, and that the federal government needs to be involved in actually creating spaces:
(The study found that) Montreal ranks the highest with enough spaces for just under 45 per cent of children...
Saskatoon has the lowest, at only 6.9 per cent.
Most of the other cities range from about 10 to 16 per cent.

Only increased co-ordination and stable funding can level the playing field, the researchers say.

"The study shows that there is an increasing understanding that collaboration among all governments and community organizations is essential if children's programs are to expand and mover (sic) towards greater coherence in ways that will help both children and parents," the study says...

Inconsistent levels of service will continue across the country if Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government implement their plan to cancel funds committed by the previous Liberal government to create child-care spaces, the researchers warn...

An analyst with the City of Toronto, which organized the national study, warned that if the Conservatives (sic) the funding agreements, it will result in even more of a squeeze — with 5,000 fewer spaces in Toronto alone.
While there can be no doubt that the need for improved child care was ignored far too long in the first place, the Cons deserve nothing but blame for undercutting the first steps which had been made toward improving matters. And it won't be long before Canadians get the chance to vote again for a plan which includes both the funds to start filling the gaps in availability, and a stable enough structure to make sure that spaces are available for a long time to come.

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