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Press release
7 May 2020

Minister Lacombe Needs to Respect His Promises

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The Official Opposition Critic for Families, Ms. Jennifer Maccarone, has invited Minister Mathieu Lacombe to keep his word and make day-care services free until September for parents who choose to keep their children at home.

During a press conference on April 27th, the Minister for Families repeated over and over to Quebec parents that day-care spaces, whether in public or in-home day cares, would be guaranteed until September 1st regardless of whether parents chose to send their children in the interim. He also stipulated that parents who chose not to send their children would not have to pay to keep the space.

Mr. Lacombe hammered that information for 4 days before making an about face on his Facebook page on Friday evening when he mentioned that parents would have to pay as of June 22nd.

His declaration caused confusion, especially among day-care educators who had previously conveyed the opposite information to parents. Now they are the ones having to offer parents explanations and go back on what they had said last week. It is an embarrassing situation that generated significant dissatisfaction.

Bonuses for Educators

Ms. Maccarone also asked the minister to offer bonuses to day-care educators who are on the front lines during the crisis. The MNA representing Westmount-Saint-Louis believes that these workers are exposed to risk factors that they do not ordinarily face. The critic affirmed that their support is indispensable, especially in terms of making it possible for health-care professionals to be at work.

People in the health-care sector were entitled to bonuses between 4 and 8%. Why would it be different for day-care educators? They have been on the front lines for the past six weeks. I understand that there is a cost to these bonuses, but it is a question of equity. Minister Lacombe needs to make a firm commitment and follow through on it. Just like he must honour his promise of free day-care services until September 1st. He cannot say one thing and then contradict himself 4 days later. A promise is a promise.

–Jennifer Maccarone, Official Opposition Critic for Families.

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