Monday, April 02, 2007


In case there was any risk of the Cons' "child-care funding" to the provinces actually producing demonstrable results, Monte Solberg makes it absolutely clear that the Cons don't have the attention span or interest in the subject to bother following up on how the money is spent:
The federal Conservative government has little appetite for imposing strict rules on how provinces and territories spend the $250-million it will transfer to them this fiscal year to create up to 25,000 promised child-care spaces, according to the minister responsible for the file.

Human Resources Minister Monte Solberg also says unlike the nascent child-care plan of the former Liberal government, the Conservative government will not establish national child-care standards...

Solberg said he has put his provincial-and-territorial counterparts "on notice" the federal government expects them to use their share of the $250-million to build on their child-care systems...

Solberg also said he expects the public in each province and territory to play the key role of holding their respective governments' feet to the fire on how the money is spent.

The money for spaces is less than one-third of what the former Liberal government had promised over the next few years to help finance a national system of early learning and child care. Under the plan, which the Conservatives cancelled, money was supposed to flow only to centres providing quality spaces at affordable prices that also offered an educational component.
Unfortunately, it's probably not too likely that the Bloc would go along with the possibility that the Cons' funding for this year can be directed into a statutory framework to actually produce demonstrable results. Which means that there may not be much more we can do for now than to point out the Cons' irresponsibility.

But that's still deserving of some serious attention. After all, it's a downright remarkable announcement to declare that the criteria of "quality", "affordable" and "education" are apparently judged by the Cons as far too restrictive. (I for one would be very interested in finding out which regions of the country the Cons see as not wanting to bother with those outcomes for their children - but it remains to be seen whether Solberg will be called on the statement.)

Ultimately, Solberg's announcement offers yet another example of the Cons spending only for the sake of spending - without enough interest to follow up on where the money goes. Which only goes to show just how little commitment the Cons have both to the programs which they're nominally funding, and to the accountability which they once claimed to value.

No comments:

Post a Comment