WINNIPEG – If there is one issue that is galvanising support across Canada, it is the need for affordable and accessible public child care.
Unfortunately Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party is looking to take our province in a completely different direction. “Universally accessible child care is the issue of our time,” says Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba “but Brian Pallister wants to hand the reigns over to private companies.”
In a recent Winnipeg Free Press article, Conservative MLA Ian Wishart outlined the Conservatives’ plan to encourage more private child care facilities rather than working on creating a truly accessible child care system. “Manitobans know that leaving public services like child care, health care, or education in the hands of private companies would be detrimental,” says Moist “private companies would increase fees, reduce wages, and cut corners.”
Conservatives both provincially and federally are out of touch with the realities of child care. The federal conservatives plan goes nowhere near enough to impact the true costs of child care, while the provincial Conservatives want to hive off child care to the private sector. “If you connect the dots, federal child care subsidies would simply end up as profit for private child care companies,” said Moist “what we need is a federal plan to implement universally accessible child care.”
The Manitoba government has been rolling out hundreds of new day care spaces across the province, in addition to committing to universally accessible child care. Manitoba is currently the second most affordable province in Canada.
Manitoba NDP Premier Greg Selinger was quick to defend quality public child care by immediately rejecting the conservative plan.
“Why the Conservatives at all levels want to do the opposite of what Canadians and Manitobans are calling for is beyond me,” said Moist “the Conservatives are clearly moving in the wrong direction.”
For more information on CUPE’s efforts to build a high-quality and universally accessible child care plan, visit ReThink Childcare.
Visit Better Choice to learn about how child care affects all Canadians.