CUPE is joining the CLC in calling on the federal government to use part of its huge surplus to make good on their long-standing promise for a national, not-for-profit child care program. The Liberal government has paid lip service to child care for years now. Its time for them to act.
In 1989, when the federal government signed an all-party declaration to eliminate child poverty, the statistics said that 14.5% of children in Canada were living in poverty. In 1996, that number grew to 21%. And back in 1993, the Liberals promised in their election campaign to create 50,000 new child care spaces spaces that never materialized.
Since the introduction of the universal $5 per day child care program in Quebec, many activists have seen this as an opportunity to push the federal government to action. Working with the CLC and other unions, CUPE is sponsoring a campaign that includes postcards to sign in the workplace, lobbying municipal, provincial and federal politicians to ensure that funding for early childhood and education services is a priority in the next federal budget. Already, 16,000 cards have been requested by CUPE locals.
Postcards and a lobby kit are available from the Equality Branch at CUPE National.