April 29, 2009:
OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats took a major step forward for
children and working families through the reintroduction of landmark
legislation designed to build quality childcare for future generations.
New Democrat Childcare Critic Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina)
reintroduced The Early Learning and Child Care Act in the House of
“The legislation builds towards the creation of a universal, high
quality, affordable and non profit childcare program in Canada,” says
Chow. “The Canada Health Act helped define Canada as a country, and
after years of empty promises to Canadian parents, an act to enshrine a
national childcare system in Canada is long overdue. Canada simply can’t
do without childcare,” she added.
During the last session the Act was voted on twice, passed the
Standing Committee and was awaiting third reading when the election was
called last fall.
The re-introduction of the New Democrat Early Learning and Childcare
Act comes in the wake of several reports that ranked Canada last of all
industrialized countries in early childhood education and care
investment. A recent Senate report also points out that Canada does not
have a comprehensive national childcare strategy.
- Introduced – and Parliament voted in favour twice – a historic bill to build a national, high quality, affordable and universally accessible early child hood education and care program for Canadian children.
- Launched the Children’s Health and Nutrition Initiative to
provide all children with a healthy breakfast, snack or lunch in schools
and community centres. The second component of the Initiative calls for innovative ways to
protect children from manipulative marketing messages that encourage
poor nutritional habits. The NDP also introduced a private member’s bill
to ban all commercial advertising directed at children under 13 years
- Launched a Youth Safety and Crime Prevention Plan which
focuses on enhancing year-round youth employment programs and building