Vancouver City Council urges federal government to keep child care promise

City of Vancouver

Vancouver City Council is urging the federal government to keep their election promise on child care by immediately passing legislation to begin increased funding in the 2004-2005 budget.

In a recently passed motion, Council is asking Prime Minister Paul Martin to quickly implement the national child care strategy highlighted during his election campaign, which proposes to spend $5 billion over the next five years to create 250,000 new, affordable, high-quality, government-regulated child care spaces.

As well, the Prime Minister is being asked to enshrine in legislation four key principles for a national childcare system: quality, universality, accessibility and developmental programming.

Council is also calling on NDP leader Jack Layton to pursue his campaign promise to work with provinces and territories, and to provide $5.25 billion over the next four years to create 200,000 new child care spaces.

The City of Vancouver is experiencing a crisis in child care caused by provincial cutbacks. The B.C. government cut $27.6 million from last year’s child care budget and reduced child care subsidies by $23 million. The Province used federal funding in previous years as a replacement, rather than a subsidy, for its child care spending.

For the past two years, the City has provided subsidies to protect 600 child care spaces for those families most in need even though child care funding is a provincial and federal responsibility.

The motion is being sent to the municipalities of the GVRD as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to encourage them to adopt similar motions in support of quality, regulated and affordable child care for all our children.

The City is also urging all residents to contact their federal representative and the leaders of the Liberal Party and the NDP to remind them to keep the Child Care Promise.