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Results: 1 - 15 of 112
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-31 12:31 [p.11029]
Madam Speaker, before I begin my question, I would like to congratulate the member on her recent nuptials. We need that joy in our personal lives as we do hard work here in the chamber.
The member is from Ontario, like myself, and Ontario was the last province to sign the agreement because it took a lot of time and care in terms of grandfathering in private child care. The premier himself also said it was a great deal for Ontario.
Since the province worked with us to determine what would be best in terms of making an agreement that would serve families and day care providers in the province, has the member actually spoken to the province and to her counterparts to understand that they lead these agreements? Their input makes these agreements work for Ontario and Canadian families.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-31 12:45 [p.11031]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member across the way for sharing her experiences. I, too, as a—
An hon. member: Oh, oh!
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-31 12:45 [p.11031]
Madam Speaker, I know we are all very excited to talk about child care in the House.
I would like to thank the member across the way for her comments. I, too, as a single mom, arrived here with my then two-year-old daughter and had to wait for a spot. It is a universal story for many families in this country, which is exactly why we have signed agreements with every province and territory in this country over the past year to ensure that we build more spaces.
The member said a lot about flexibility for shift workers, and I would like to share something with the member and the House directly from the text of the agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada. It says, “[A]n additional grant for those operating flexible and overnight child care will also be provided under the operational grant. These spaces are necessary for those in various industries and for frontline shift-working parents.”
Has the member read the agreement? Perhaps if she would like some briefings on it, we would be more than happy to share them.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 14:07 [p.10927]
Mr. Speaker, as we start the winter session of Parliament, I want to recognize an amazing achievement from students in York Centre over the holidays.
Our community rests on the values of kindness and compassion, giving back and showing up for one another. I am overwhelmed by the generosity that students, families and staff from Stilecroft Public School showed in December, collecting 200 pounds of food for the North York Harvest Food Bank. This amazing act of kindness allowed North York Harvest to provide hundreds of meals to the most vulnerable members of our community.
A special thanks goes to principal Karen Barnes and the wonderful staff at Stilecroft P.S. who organized the campaign and did not hesitate for one moment when asked and jumped at the opportunity to help. I want to especially thank the generous students and families at Stilecroft. I also want to thank the staff at North York Harvest Food Bank, who provide such an important service every day to those who are facing food insecurity in our communities, with integrity and compassion.
When we give at home, we grow a community that is strong and supportive.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 15:55 [p.10978]
Madam Speaker, before I begin, I would like to note that I will be sharing my time with the member for Oakville North—Burlington.
I am so excited to be talking about child care and Bill C-35 today. As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, it gives me great pleasure to rise to speak in support of this proposed legislation.
Simply put, affordable and inclusive child care is good for parents, good for children, good for women, good for families and good for the economy. It would reinforce the federal government’s long-term commitment to families from coast to coast to coast. We are working to build a system that will remain in place long into the future, so generations of children in Canada can get the best possible start in life.
Affordable child care is yet another way our government is demonstrating that we are here to support Canadians. We understand how hard life is for Canadians now and has been through the pandemic. That is why we have put forward significant benefits to help Canadians beyond affordable child care. Whether it is through the Canada child benefit, the Canada dental benefit, the doubling of the GST tax credit, the Canada housing benefit or an increase to the Canada workers benefit, we are there for Canadians.
The purpose of Bill C-35 is to enshrine the principles of a Canada-wide child care system into law. It is a system that will ensure families in Canada have access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care, and it is critical in supporting the goals of the early learning and child care agreements between the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial Governments that have been signed from coast to coast to coast.
It also supports the vision, principles and goals of the indigenous early learning and child care framework, which was co-developed with indigenous peoples and jointly released by the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council in 2018. In addition to the principles set out in the co-developed indigenous early learning and child care framework, it would continue to guide federal action with respect to early learning and child care programs and services for indigenous children, regardless of where they live.
I would like to focus for a moment on the development of the indigenous early learning and child care framework, which was first introduced in 2018, after being co-developed through an extensive nationwide engagement.
We know that culturally appropriate early learning and child care, designed by and with indigenous peoples, gives indigenous children the best start in life. The member for Winnipeg Centre has worked closely with us to ensure that those principles remain in place.
The indigenous early learning and child care framework, and the collaborative work to implement it over time, responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 12, which calls for all levels of government to work together “to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for [indigenous] families.”
Guided by the indigenous early learning and child care framework, we made it clear that this legislation will respect and uphold indigenous rights, including treaty rights and the right to self-determination, as well as the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation. The goal is to support indigenous nations, communities, organizations and governments in meeting the unique needs of their communities, families and children now, and seven generations forward.
We are investing an additional $2.5 billion over five years and $542 million annually ongoing in federal funding to get this work done. This funding will increase access to high-quality, culturally appropriate ELCC programs and services for indigenous children through indigenous-led governance. Indigenous governments are also working alongside provinces and territories to ensure ELCC is comprehensive and coordinated so all children are benefiting, regardless of where they live.
Since 2019, a total of 32 quality-improvement projects have been funded. These will continue to advance the implementation of the indigenous ELCC framework through best practices and innovation. These improvements will strengthen indigenous-centred knowledge and expertise to support all partners working toward a strong, culturally appropriate system of early learning and child care.
We have said many times that high-quality, affordable, and inclusive child care is not a luxury for families. It is a necessity. All caregivers should have the opportunity to build both a family and a career, and all children should have the best possible start in life.
As I mentioned previously, this legislation would not impose any conditions or requirements on provincial and territorial governments, or indigenous peoples.
It respects first nations, Inuit and Métis rights, and supports control of the design, delivery and administration of early learning and child care programs and services that reflect their needs, priorities and aspirations. However, the federal government has a role to play in setting federal principles and supporting provinces, territories and indigenous peoples in their efforts to establish and maintain a Canada-wide system. Indigenous peoples will benefit from a federal commitment to sustained and ongoing funding.
As a government, we will invest up to $30 billion over five years to make early learning and child care affordable, accessible and nationwide. Combined with previous investments announced since 2015, a minimum of $9.2 billion per year ongoing will be invested in child care, including indigenous early learning and child care, starting in 2025-26.
Thanks to these investment, fees for regulated child care have been reduced in every jurisdiction in Canada. Quebec and Yukon were already providing regulated child care for $10 a day or less before our Canada-wide investments. In December 2022, Nunavut joined them by being the first jurisdiction to lower fees for regulated child care to $10 a day under the Canada-wide system.
By 2025-26, the average fee for all regulated spaces across Canada will be $10 a day, and that is great news for families. Child care fees in Newfoundland and Labrador have already been reduced to $15 a day, down from $25 a day in 2021. These are not just numbers. These are families saving hundreds of dollars each month across the country.
Regardless of political stripe, governments across Canada believe in giving all children in Canada the best possible start in life, and that we can agree on. The relief this offers parents and caregivers of young children cannot be overstated.
I will conclude by offering some outside assessments of nation-wide ELCC.
Charles St-Arnaud, chief economist at Alberta Central, said, “Women feel more confident going back into the workforce because they won’t be spending their whole paycheque on child care”.
Martha Friendly, a board member at Child Care Now, said, “Some women had to stay home because either they couldn’t find a space or they couldn’t afford it. Now, people are getting child care at 50 per cent reduced fees on average and that means [they] can go back to work.”
The Financial Post, on December 5, noted that our child care policy has been a success. It said, “government policy has played a role in getting women back in the workforce...especially when it comes to child care.” Again, St-Arnaud said, “Women feel more confident going back into the workforce because they won't be spending their whole paycheque on child care”.
Families are benefiting, children are benefiting, and I encourage every member of this House to support child care across this country through Bill C-35 and its swift passage.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 16:04 [p.10980]
Madam Speaker, as a single mom who arrived back in Canada in the early 2000s with an infant child, I know the fear of not having a space. I was that mom who did not know about wait-lists when I arrived from overseas. I had to actually put my career off for close to a year until there was a space available.
That is why, through each of our agreements, the total number of spaces that we have committed to creating with provinces is over 253,000. Already, as of January 30, 2023, 50,633 of those spaces have been committed to being built. I was in Manitoba a couple of months ago, where there was a joint commitment of 1,200 rural spaces in a joint planned agreement between Peguis and other rural communities to create spaces. We are getting there.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 16:07 [p.10980]
Madam Speaker, we have been very clear throughout this process, with each of the agreements we have signed with the provinces and territories, that we are not here to overstep on jurisdiction and that we are not here to intervene. We are here to support existing systems that are in play.
The member across the way is correct that Quebec is the model. I know stories of families that moved to Montreal, to Quebec, when child care became available. Finally, we have a nationwide system, the aspiration and the desire. This is what this legislation is about. It is about really ensuring, for the next generations to come, that the model, and Quebec led the way in this model, stays in place.
We have also committed to continue that funding for Quebec for the spaces and the system it has created. I enjoyed being in Sainte-Justine not that long ago to speak to the experts who built out this system and the benefits of it. The member can be assured that it will continue.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 16:08 [p.10981]
Madam Speaker, the simple answer to my colleague is political will. That was the question I asked my colleagues in Quebec when I went to see 25 years of care. I asked, “How did you get it?” They said it was the political will and women. Women had been demanding this for over 50 years. We are here to tell them and to tell educators, families and children that it has arrived and it will continue.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 16:35 [p.10985]
Madam Speaker, my colleague across the way knows well that I am happy to talk about child care all day long.
Bill C-35 is really legislation that encompasses the agreements that have already been put in place. If we look province by province, much work was done to identify and register a wide array of child care. While, yes, there are caps on private, there is private child care that has been grandfathered in Ontario, but the idea is to create more spaces, because the market demand for spaces is there. Each province gave us a list of how many spaces it needs, and the partnership with the federal government is to commit the funds to build those spaces. I was just in Manitoba announcing $70 million for rural spaces.
I would ask the member this. Does she not understand that this is really a set of agreements under this legislation so that we continue to work together with provinces and families?
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 16:48 [p.10987]
Madam Speaker, in 1997, Quebec's female labour force was four points behind the national average. However, when we look at 2021, with 25 years of good work on a model that is growing and changing, just as the Quebec population is, the women's workforce in Quebec is four points higher than the rest of Canada.
Do you not want to see other provinces and women across this country benefit from a workforce that also works for them?
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2023-01-30 17:34 [p.10992]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way is very fixated on details and numbers and spending. The government is supporting Ontario's efforts to grow its child care system by providing $10.2 billion over five years as part of our agreement with the Province of Ontario. In turn, Ontario has promised to create 86,000 spaces. Premier Doug Ford called it “a great deal for Ontario”. That is exactly what he said on March 31 when we announced that deal. I would like to ask if the member opposite agrees with the Premier of Ontario.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2022-12-14 14:13 [p.10867]
Mr. Speaker, this Sunday will mark the first night of Hanukkah. In my riding of York Centre and in homes across Canada and around the world, millions of Jewish families will light the hanukkiah and celebrate the festival of lights. The light of the hanukkiah is a symbol of peace and life. As we add candles each night, peace and hope grow stronger and brighter. It is always light that triumphs over darkness.
This year, we have lost one of those lights as we mourn the loss of our friend and colleague Jim Carr. He was a model of kindness, compassion and selflessness in this House and for all Canadians. Jim's advice was always given with the love of life and country, a twinkle in his eye, a laugh and a smile. He was the eldest and wisest member of our Jewish and Jewish-Muslim caucuses. I can only hope that, in the time we were privileged to share with him, a bit of that wisdom has passed on to us. His love and pride of his heritage, the Prairies and the communities he was a part of were a source of strength for so many.
As we prepare to celebrate Hanukkah, may Jim's family find strength and comfort from his light and the legacy he held in the House, in Winnipeg South Centre and across Canada. Yehi zichro baruch. May his memory be a blessing.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2022-12-09 11:17 [p.10723]
Madam Speaker, child care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. That is why our government is establishing a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. All families should have access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care, no matter where they live, today and into the future.
As a single mom of two kids, I know from personal experience what a universal child care system means for a parent's ability to start a career, provide for their family and contribute to their community.
Bill C-35, introduced yesterday by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, would enshrine the principles of our Canada-wide system into federal law. Families and child care educators like Anna Care, the director of Blaydon day care in York Centre, have been advocating for a national child care system for decades.
I encourage all my colleagues from all parties to join me in passing Bill C-35 quickly so that we can continue to work together to make life more affordable for families and give every child in Canada the best possible start in life.
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2022-12-09 11:35 [p.10726]
Madam Speaker, on this side of the House, we know the programs we put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic helped nine million Canadians weather the storm, stay safe and keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
Since that time, we have continued to invest in Canadians. Over two million Canadians have been lifted out of poverty in this country since this government came into power. May I remind members that 450,000 children are now living better than they were before. We have put in dental care for children under 12. We are putting in rental supports for low-income families. The opposition—
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ya'ara Saks Profile
2022-12-09 11:53 [p.10730]
Madam Speaker, I thank my Bloc Québécois colleague for the question.
Quebec has led the way for 25 years in what good, affordable, high-quality child care means to Canadian families. I am pleased that every province and territory in this country has now signed on in understanding how affordable child care is needed and demanded by families across this country to give our children the best start in life.
Bill C-35 respects the jurisdictions of every province and territory in how they run their affordable child care systems. We continue to learn from Quebec. We are so happy that provinces and territories have signed on board.
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