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Albertans favour keeping existing federal-provincial child care plans

The vast majority of Albertans don’t want the Conservative child care scheme, favouring the existing federal-provincial child care arrangements, a new poll finds.

The poll, released today by Public Interest Alberta, found that 50 per cent of Albertans oppose the Conservative government’s plan to cancel the funding agreements reached by the previous Liberal government with the provinces and territories and create a taxable allowance of $100 per child under six. Only 37 per cent of Albertans said they support the Conservative scheme.

“Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper had better straighten up and listen to the Canadian people on child care,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “This poll clearly demonstrates the strong preference for a real national child care program that Harper ignores at his peril.”

The poll found a hungry appetite for the kind of enhanced programs and services envisaged in the original child care plans.

The poll found that 61 per cent of respondents said they want to see the Alberta government step up and fund the programs that would have been enabled by the previous agreement if Harper cuts Alberta’s funding. Only 27 per cent said they were opposed to the provincial government picking up Harper’s slack.

The poll also found majority support for better paid and better trained child care workers providing quality care, Moist noted.

Of those polled, a full 85 per cent agreed that the “provincial government should continue to support wages and training for child care workers so that trained workers can keep providing high quality, affordable care to Alberta children”.

“Clearly, Albertans understand the link between adequately paid and trained staff and good quality child care, even if Harper doesn’t,” Moist said.

“The poll should act as a loud wake-up call in the prime minister’s adopted home province, he added. “Albertans, like most Canadians, want the federal government to honour the arrangements reached last year and move the national child care plan forward, not drag kids, families and communities back to the 1950s.

For more, visit: www.pialberta.org