Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, thank you very much for your presence here today.
First of all, I want to thank you again for your visit to the riding of Saint-Boniface—Saint-Vital this summer on the occasion of the Habitat for Humanity project. It was very good to see you in the field.
The issue of day cares is extremely important for Manitoba. I know that there is a 13,000-person waiting list, that includes francophones and anglophones. Not one week goes without calls or visits to my office from community groups or individuals telling me that they are looking for a spot in a francophone day care.
We know that in Manitoba, only 17% of the population has the right to access French-language day cares, whereas the national average is 33%, I believe. Too often, in the riding of Saint-Boniface—Saint-Vital, parents have to register their children in anglophone day cares.
In the provinces where bilateral agreements have already been signed, the spaces are guaranteed. However, the Province of Manitoba does not seem to be in a hurry to sign such an agreement on day cares, just as it does not seem to be in a hurry to do so on other issues, such as the environment, health, or cannabis.
In negotiating these agreements, how can we ensure that day care spaces will be created for children? What should I say to the parents I represent to reassure them that there will be day care spaces?