Mr. Speaker, this is always a timely topic. Before Christmas, the Government of Canada made a proposal to the provinces and territories, suggesting that a national day care system be established.
It will come as no surprise to my hon. friend to learn that several provinces, including Quebec, have expressed serious reservations about the appropriateness of federal interference in an area of provincial jurisdiction. I agree with this reaction. What we are suggesting to our partners from all the provinces is that we need to sit down together and try to figure out how the Government of Canada could help resolve, at least in part, the problem raised by my hon. friend, while at the same time respecting the provinces' jurisdiction.
In this context, I promise, not only the hon. member who asked the question, but also the representatives of all governments across the country, that we will do our best to fulfil the commitment made by the federal government in the throne speech not to interfere unilaterally, through its spending power, in an area of provincial jurisdiction.
We will nonetheless try to find, within these parameters, a way to co-operate with the provinces in order to help those who need the kind of support that a financial contribution to day care would provide.