Conservative Woman MP Slams Liberal Party’s Child Care Plan as Sexist

Wed Feb 16, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

OTTAWA, February 16, 2005 ( - The Liberal party’s push for the institution of universal publicly-funded daycare has come under criticism by a Conservative MP, but not from the usual Conservative party suspects. Rona Ambrose, MP for Edmonton-Spruce Grove, accused Liberal Social Development Minister Ken Dryden of ignoring the real preferences of most Canadian women to stay home with their children. She said in the House yesterday, “Parents, and not the federal government, are in the best position to determine which type of child care best suits their children.” 

Ambrose, the intergovernmental affairs critic for the Conservative party, referred to the recent poll by the Vanier Institute of the Family that showed nearly 100% of families would prefer to care for their children at home if they could afford to. Ambrose said, “Nine out of ten Canadians feel that in a two parent situation, ideally one parent should stay at home to raise the children. The study also indicated that almost all employed mothers would work part-time if they could afford it, as would 84% of fathers. Parents surveyed indicated that daycare would be their last choice for child care.” 

The Liberal party, however, has pushed hard for its $5 billion federal day care program in spite of the fact that social programs are a provincial jurisdiction and provinces already have public day care in place. Universal public day care has long been a rallying cry of the feminist establishment for whom it is a matter of dogma that women’s personal fulfillment is hampered by being full-time mothers. 

Dryden said, “The real choice is the opportunities for men and women across the country to have the choice of high quality early learning and child care.” 

Ambrose responded, “We fought long and hard for the right to vote, for the right to participate in universities and the work force, and the right to make our own choices. We don’t need old white guys telling us what to do.”  Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, commented on Ambrose’s intervention. He said, “It’s certainly refreshing to hear someone say what most Canadians feel. Women have been bullied into believing there’s only one solution to the problem of juggling family life with work. I’m glad to hear more MP’s are starting insist that women be offered other options.” 

Read Ambrose’s remarks in the House.

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