Mr. Speaker, as the mother of four children and as somebody who was president of seven child care centres when I was a public school trustee, I know this area intimately.
The money was to be used by existing structures to give parents choice. What we have to recognize is that the Liberal government used the child tax benefit to flow money to families.
If the Conservative government feels that it is very wise to give $1,200 to families with children under six, I say go ahead but call it what it is. Call it a family benefit and then invest in child care for the existing structure, such as in my riding in Waterloo region where it is used for capacity building. A single nurse who works on night shift should be able to take her child to an in-home child care provider who is regulated by the region and receive the same kind of flexibility that a working parent needs. A parent staying home should be able to send his or her child to a best start program so the child can have the kind of interaction with other children in the playgroup.
We looked at Manitoba where it is capacity building and raising the kind of salaries that ECE people get who do this very important job. It was a very broad range of a smorgasbord that parents, no matter how they were choosing to raise their child, would have choice.
The people in my riding who are familiar with child care have said to me, quite simply, that the Liberal government had it right. We were putting the money where it needed to go and we were providing good options for parents. It is something I absolutely do not see in the Conservative government's plan.