OTTAWA, October 18, 2005 ( – Last week, Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach was in Saskatchewan to re-announce government funding for childcare training. The Liberal government has promised to spend $5 billion dollars to build a national system of institutional childcare. The Liberal plan supports only one choice – 9am to 5pm institutional childcare – that leaves thousands of parents behind, such as shift workers, parents who live in rural areas and stay-at-home parents

Local Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott regrets that Stronach did not use the opportunity to make a commitment to the priorities and values of all Canadian parents. “The Liberal government thus continues to discriminate against 85% of Canadian parents,” said Vellacott.

In a Vanier Institute study this year, daycare centres ranked a distant 5th when Canadians were asked who they would prefer to care for their pre-school children. A parent, grandparent, another relative and home daycare all ranked higher. “Does the Liberal government believe in freedom and choice or is it trying to coerce Canadians into their discriminatory funding scheme?” asked Vellacott.

The Conservative Party’s alternative, according to their website is straightforward and simple.“We will give money directly to all parents so they can make their own childcare choices,” it says.

The Saskatchewan MP is even more shocked at the Orwellian nature of comments by Social Development Minister Ken Dryden. This summer, Dryden tussled with New Brunswick because the province wanted to use federal funds for a more universal and equitable childcare scheme. Dryden said government funds could theoretically be available to parents if they received training to “meet the standards of regulation.”“Dryden’s implication is clear,” said Vellacott. “Liberal-regulated daycare is superior to the childcare parents give to their own children.”

“As a Conservative MP, I completely renounce this bigoted smear against the majority of Canadian parents in my riding and across the country,” stressed Vellacott. “Quality childcare is critical to Canada’s economic and social well-being, and parents are in the best position to determine how to care for their children – not the federal government.”

Vellacott does not dispute the importance of quality training for childcare workers, but he notes the recent work of Australian feminist writer Anne Manne who explains that love and care are different. Caring is reproducible, she says, but parental love is not. “Severing that bond of love through excessive taxation policies that force all parents to fund a very narrow childcare agenda is inexcusable,” said Vellacott.