While there were constructive messages entrenched in the posting on the suggestions of Campaign 2000 and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the dominate theme is that governments are failing in their commitment to children. Despite couching this in the most positive of packages, two Canadian provinces drove spikes into the lives of children over the last week in the name of protecting the taxpayer.
Quebec, long held up for its very progressive child care program, has begun to back away from a universal program and applying an equity lens to access to subsidy. On the surface perhaps a logical step. Deep down it is the erosion of a policy that had the most hope for addressing the failings of the Canadian early childhood development system Globe and mail reporting on Quebec child care subsidy
Way across the country in Alberta the Alberta government after typically buying in fully to the EDI (Early Development Index) mapping and improvement program, quietly abandoned the initiative and withdrew its funding. So quietly that we can’t even provide a link to reporting on the event but need to rely on those inevitable “reliable sources”.
In the face of the calls for action as outlined in the previous posting Canada's children getting needed support, and all within the week of International Children’s week, not only should the two governments be ashamed and taken to task, but those in public health should be sitting up and asking some very very difficult questions on who is directing policy regarding children.
Let us continue to celebrate by reinforcing the work happening in provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, where children, and in particular children living in poverty are receiving central attention of government. Least we be depressed, it may be worth reminding the governments of Alberta and Quebec that they were in conjunction with Newfoundland and Labrador the only three provinces that demonstrated improvements in the proportion of children living in poverty Campaign 2000 25th anniversary report.
Why when provincial governments are able to demonstrate best practices are they embarrassed and unwilling to take pride in their actions? Kudos to the three for their successes – they are something that should be sung so loudly from the top of the Rockies, Appalachian and Torngat mountains so that all of Canada can be astounded by their success.
Because everyone loves a winner!!!!