Likening child care to medicare, Paul Martin wants to make the Liberals' five-year, $5 billion daycare program a permanent feature of Canadian life at a cost of an extra $6 billion by 2015.
"Affordable child care" is "here to stay" and will be "a lasting addition to our social foundation," the Prime Minister declared yesterday as he announced the campaign promise at a daycare centre in Saint John, N.B.
"This is an initiative that we believe, without any shadow of a doubt, will stand the test of time and will make a real and lasting difference in the lives of our children and in our communities."
The pledge, the first new Liberal proposal of the campaign, would mean federal funding of $1.2 billion a year going to the provinces for child care after the current program expires in five years.
Martin said the extension of the program was requested by community groups and provincial governments, all of which have signed agreements with Ottawa in the past 17 months to develop early learning and daycare programs.
In Ontario's case, the plan is to create 25,000 new regulated child-care spaces by early 2008.
The Liberals have promised a national daycare program in every election campaign since 1993. Source.