Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member's comments on debate. I recall that she spoke on Bill C-256 with respect to splitting income between spouses and made a very similar speech, arguing on behalf of the women who want to have careers.
I would like to mention another point that I failed to mention in my speech. This motion comes on an allotted day, under supply in the estimates, and therefore constitutes a motion of non-confidence in the government. On that basis alone the Reform Party probably should have realized that this motion must be defeated. However, I thank members of the Reform Party for raising the issue because it gives members a chance to talk about the family.
The issue that the hon. member for Quebec raises with regard to family policy and child care policy are very important. I believe all members would agree. However, in the province of Ontario the average income of a trained child caregiver in a day care centre is about $19,000 a year. That is absolutely obscene when we consider what is expected of those trained people. As a result of that, the turnover in the child care industry is extremely high. That says to me that the security and the consistency of the bonding of a child with an adult during the period of institutionalized care is not as good as it would be with a parent. A person could probably make $19,000 a year working at McDonald's.
I do not believe that anyone is suggesting, and I hope the member is not suggesting, that there has to be one model and that women must work. I hope the member agrees that we have a complex society and complex family structures. We need flexibility and options more than anything else. If there is a choice, we should let the families, not the women, but the parents make the choice.
The member continues to talk from the perspective of women. I respect that. However, as members of Parliament we must speak on behalf of families and the parents who are trying to make choices.
The member well knows that under the current Income Tax Act the lower income spouse must claim the child care expense deduction. That usually means that the net take home pay after taxes, child care expenses and the cost of employment is so small that it is less than $100 a week. That is one of the reasons we have to make an effort to reform the tax system in order to help bridge that gap so that the decision is not financial, but a decision based on a family value, on a societal value and on a parental value.
Would the member at least concede that the important thing is what the parents want to choose for their children? Should we as legislators try to provide those options, those choices and that flexibility so that they can provide the care arrangement which they feel best fits their family and social values?