Parliament, Edited Hansard – Number 008


Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP):
Mr. Speaker….One would think that Canada would be investing in early childhood education and yet that is not what I see. …

…. there is a large turnover in child care workers. The quality of early learning and child care is not improving. Here in Canada we are at the bottom of the heap. We have the lowest dollar amount of investment in all of the OECD countries. It is a shame that we are at the bottom of the heap.

Not only is that a problem but there is a very huge multinational corporation involved in child care, called ABC Learning Centres, from Australia. It is organized and owned by a person nicknamed Fast Eddie.

The corporation has seen an opportune moment. It has a different name in Canada, 1,2,3 Busy Beaver, or something like that. That corporation is beginning to take over a lot of the child care operations in Canada. It is trying to buy them up. We are beginning to see big box child care in Canada. Why is that a problem? In Australia, for example, since the big box child care operation has come onto the scene, non-profit child care centres, mom and pop operations are being taken over by the company ABC Learning Centres. As a result, the wages and quality of service have gone down.

In Canada we need to invest in early childhood education from the funding from taxes. We need to have a legislative framework in the form of Bill C-303 to say that the kind of services we are developing in Canada have to be non-profit. The 10 years of corporate tax cuts represent at least $60 billion. Each year we are losing $13 billion that could be invested in early childhood education.

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