OTTAWA – Facing a report card full of ‘F’s, Prime Minister Stephen Harper must take a new approach to child care – including a significant reinvestment – says the president of Canada’s largest union.
- Sign the report card at buildchildcare.ca
“No more hot air and flawed plans. It’s time for a policy shift – one that will build the child care program Canadian families desperately need,” says CUPE National President Paul Moist. Moist was responding to today’s report card from the Code Blue for Child Care coalition, which gives Harper nothing but low marks and ‘F’s.
“This report card confirms what I’m hearing from our members. Stephen’s cheques may be in the mail, but workers still can’t get the child care they need,” says Moist.
CUPE is in the middle of a major task force on women’s role in the union.
“Time and again in our consultations women members have said that the lack of quality child care is a major barrier to participating in their community and their union. It’s the same story for women across Canada,” says Moist.
Fully three quarters of mothers with a child between three and five years old are in the paid labour force. Working mothers face a double workload as they struggle to balance work and family responsibilities. More than one third of mothers between 22 and 44 who work full time report being severely time-stressed.
“This isn’t only about striking a better work-life balance. It’s a fundamental question of access and equality. Child care opens doors for low-income and other marginalized women. Harper’s isn’t just blocking progress on child care. He’s demolishing existing child care, as spaces get closed because of funding cuts,” adds Moist.
“Harper’s popularity with women voters is slipping. This report card shows he could be put into free fall unless he gets to work on a real child care program,” says Moist.
CUPE supports Code Blue’s call to restore multiyear child care funding to the provinces, replace the flawed “Child Care Spaces Initiative” with dedicated capital transfers; enact federal child care legislation and provide effective income supports for Canadian families.
Contact: Paul Moist, National President, cell, 613-558-2873; Catherine Louli, CUPE Communications, cell. 613-851-0547