Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in Canada, one in six kids lives in poverty. Children of working parents have to wait years for affordable and high quality child care. Kids are much heavier today than two decades ago. Yet the government has no child care program, no children’s food policy and no plan to make child poverty history.
Canada just celebrated National Child Day. Twenty-one years ago this coming Wednesday, Parliament promised to make child poverty history.
When will the government stop ignoring the needs of Canadian children?
Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC): Mr. Speaker, all Canadian parents know what is best for their children. One size fits all does not work for everyone in Canada’s diverse families.
We have invested more funds than the previous Liberal government. In 2009-10, we invested $5.9 billion in early learning and child care. We introduced the universal child care benefit which provides $100 a month for every child under six years of age. This has lifted 22,000 families with about 57,000 children out of the low income level.
We have done a number of initiatives in this regard.