MLAs call for reversal of B.C. Liberal child care cuts
VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs are calling on the Campbell government to use some of the province’s $2 billion surplus to restore cuts to B.C.’s beleaguered child care system.
The MLAs are appearing at protests around the province today against the B.C. Liberal child care cuts, including an event in Vancouver at the Britannia Community Services Child Care Centre, which is being forced to reduce services and increase fees as a result of the B.C. Liberal cuts.
“The B.C. Liberals have been trying to mislead British Columbians with the idea that they support child care, when in fact they are pulling the rug out from under our child care system with a set of cuts to child care, including reductions in operating funds and the closure of Child Care Resource and Referral Centres,” said Jenny Kwan, the MLA for Vancouver – Mount Pleasant.
“We believe that the B.C. Liberals should restore child care funding so that no spaces are cut and that the Child Care Resource and Referral Centres can remain open,” said Bruce Ralston, the MLA for Surrey – Whalley. “The Campbell Liberals should also roll back fee increases being imposed on parents.”
The event at Britannia was also attended by Vancouver – Kensington MLA David Chudnovsky, Vancouver – Fraserview MLA Gregor Robertson, and Vancouver – Hastings MLA Shane Simpson. They criticized B.C. Minister of State for Childcare Linda Reid for trying to blame the federal government for problems in child care when her government has itself cut child care funding and services.
“What we are witnessing in British Columbia is a minister who has failed to take responsibility for the extremely important job she’s been given to do,” said NDP Child Care Critic Claire Trevena. “The result is chaos, inefficiency, and lost economic, social, and professional opportunities for B.C. families.”
Trevena, the MLA for North Island, attended a protest against the child care cuts in Kelowna today. This evening at 7 p.m., Trevena and other New Democrat MLAs will attend a Town Hall meeting being organized by B.C. child care advocates at the Best Western Richmond Inn.
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Michael Sather is holding a Town Hall Meeting in Maple Ridge Feb. 6 in partnership with local child care program operators to put pressure on the B.C. Liberal government.