Mr. Speaker, indeed, as my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île pointed out, the Conservatives probably have their heads in the sand.
I would like to talk about another deplorable effect that the budget will have. Actually, in this case it is more of a failure to have an effect. Increasing the universal child care benefit will not create new day care spaces. For parents who have already been lucky enough to secure a spot for their child in a day care centre or in private child care, that is not a problem. They may get a minimal amount of assistance. However, the Conservatives' plan does not address the difficult situation of all the other parents who have nowhere to take their child when they go to work. The NDP has proposed a plan that the Conservatives continue to ignore, for some unknown reason. Contrary to the Conservative propaganda, the NDP does not want to eliminate this benefit. We obviously want parents to have access to what little money they can get. In addition, the NDP has a plan to create $15-a-day child care spaces. Thus, we are offering real choice to parents. In addition to receiving the universal child care benefit, they will have access to affordable day care.
This program already exists in Quebec. The NDP program could bolster the existing program with federal moneys. The results of this program have been extraordinary. I will quote Ann Decter, the spokesperson for the YWCA:
Between 1996, when low-cost child care was introduced in Quebec, and 2008, a total of 69,700 additional mothers joined the workforce;...the number of single mothers on social assistance was reduced by more than half...; relative poverty rates for single parent families headed by women declined from 36% to 22%...; and the GDP rose $5.1 billion...
These are real, tangible effects that will benefit everyone in Canada, not just families. That is the kind of measure we want to see in the budget. We are nonetheless pleased that the Conservatives have finally seen the light after many years and have decided to establish a tax credit for small and medium-sized businesses. That is an NDP idea. They have finally seen the light. We also support the tax credit for home renovation, another of our wishes, along with the measures to assist veterans included in the budget implementation bill. I do not understand why they are there; it is a subject that deserves a proper debate in the House, but we do support these measures, no matter what.
However, because the Conservatives have decided to play political games and include these measures in an omnibus bill, we cannot support it. We must oppose it. It is clearly undemocratic and it does not help the vast majority of Canadian families.