Thousands March for National Childcare

March 13, 2006

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Thousands March For National Childcare
Thousands March For National Childcare
dated March 13, 2006

Toronto, Ontario
March 11, 2006

       Thousands of people, including a contingent from the Canadian Auto Workers union, marched through the streets of downtown Toronto Saturday March 11th, demanding the restoration of a National Childcare Program.
       One of the organizers, CAW national representative Jenny Ahn, said the childcare issue is critical for woman across the country.

Jenny Ahn
CAW National Rep.

       "...It is so important to have childcare for our future, for working women who need the childcare in order to work, in order to bring home the livelihood to take care of the family we need a national childcare program and that is one of the million reasons why we are gathered here today, to fight and demand a national Childcare Program."

       Prime Minister Stephen Harper came under fire from Rhonda Roffey, of the Women's Habitat in Toronto, for replacing the childcare program with a $100 a month handout that Harper claims gives women a choice.

Rhonda Roffey
Exec. Dir. Women's Habitat

       "Well Prime Minister, women know that Tories are not pro-choice, not on a woman's right to choose and not on childcare. We say "no thanks" to your notion of choice. We say no thanks to an inadequate $1,200 a year. Working women know that this will not cover one month of childcare for an infant."

       Following the rally, Elaine White, CAW Legal Services coordinator and Janice Smith of CAW Local 707 said the thousands of women in the march are determined to save the national childcare program.

Elaine White
CAW Legal Services

       "We're hoping we send a strong message to Stephen Harper because this is something we fought for 30 years for; there are 70% of the women in this country who are working women. These women need good, affordable, acceptable childcare and we need legislation on it. We need a Childcare Act."

Janice Smith
CAW Local 707

       "We want the $1,200 because he has put it on the table, but we also want a National Childcare Program. If women don't have childcare they can't go to work. We want equality for women."

       As the International Women's Day March wound its way through downtown Toronto, Phyllis Foster of CAW Local 1285 had a personal message for the Prime Minister.

Phyllis Foster
CAW Local 1285

       "It's a minority government baby. You're not going to be there long."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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