Mr. Speaker, on behalf of children and working families of Canada, I am thankful for this opportunity to try to hold the government accountable for its promises of child care.
Ten days ago, in my riding of Trinity--Spadina, I went to the opening of Kensington Kids, a wonderful, new, community based, not for profit child care and early learning centre. Parents helped create this non-profit child care centre, which is set in a public school, and it is parents who are on the board. It is their choice and they have waited a long time.
We have had 12 years of empty promises from the Liberals since they promised national child care back in 1993. Finally, last year with the minority government, we saw some action and federal funding. With that action, Kensington Kids was launched, but unfortunately the Liberals did not secure multi-year funding in legislation. Without multi-year funding, those new spaces will disappear. Kensington Kids will be very short-lived. Those happy, smiling children may be booted out by this government. They may be out in the cold.
Just before the throne speech, the Prime Minister said he was hopeful that new child care spaces would be created. Hope and empty promises do not create child care spaces. Hope is not a strategy. Hope is not child care. Hope is not a plan. It takes more than hope to create and sustain quality, affordable child care spaces and early learning programs. It takes knowledge and planning, and commitment and money, and it takes time.
Now we are told through this budget that there is no money. The funding is being ripped away by this government. We can see there is no plan. Kensington Kids is running of time.
One month ago, I asked the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development if there was a plan to make good on the Prime Minister's hope of creating real child care spaces. The minister responded that she is proud of the Conservative plan to create 125,000 new child care spaces across the country. This is just hope and empty promises faced by Canadian families, and that was an empty answer from the minister, and false pride.
Where is the plan? What is the timetable? What aspect of the government's so-called child care program will save Kensington Kids? Where is the funding?
Canadians deserve honest answers, not gimmicks like the $1,200 so-called child care allowance. That does not provide choice or create child care. It will not even begin to amount to $1,200 after taxes. It is a cynical, dishonest and shameful removal of the young child supplement that the government has tried to cover up. Most working families would be left with a couple of dollars a day at best, barely enough for diapers, and of course many wealthy families would get a lot more.
For Kensington Kids there is nothing. For sustaining these new child care spaces, there is nothing. For creating new spaces: nothing and no plan. The minister has nothing to be proud of.
I ask the minister to answer my question clearly, distinctly and honestly. Will the minister allow new child care centres that are opening up this year to continue to receive part of the $250 million so they can continue to operate and not boot kids out in the cold?
Will the minister take the best practices from Quebec and Manitoba and flow the money to provinces that already are providing high quality, affordable, accessible non-profit child care services, so that we can allow them to create more spaces and reduce the waiting lists of working families who have been desperately waiting for child care for many, many years?