August 01, 2006
MP REPORT - July 2006
It was with great satisfaction that I heard the first print production of the new Universal Child Care Benefit cheques rolling off the press last week. It was a major promise of the Conservative Party in the last election campaign. It is another promise we have kept as a new government.
For far too long, parents heard grandiose child care plans that never seemed to materialize. Any child care funding that was advanced was always tied to government subsidized daycare. This is a tremendously valuable service to those parents who can secure a spot for their child and who live in close proximity to a daycare. However, there are many families in this country who do not use daycare, but are relying on family, friends or neighbors for childcare. Many families in rural areas or smaller communities simply don’t have access to daycare so any government childcare funding was not benefiting them.
Canada's new Conservative government announced a plan to provide parents with direct child care support for their children under age six. The first Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) cheques were mailed to families at the end of July. The UCCB will be paid to families in monthly installments of $100 per child for children under six years of age. It is estimated that 1.6 million families will receive the Child Care Benefit on behalf of a total of 2.1 million children under the age of six. In addition, beginning in 2007 the Government of Canada will spend $250 million each year to create up to 25,000 new child care spaces annually.
More than 90 percent of Canadian parents who are already registered for the Canada Child Tax Benefit will automatically receive the Universal Child Care Benefit cheques. Parents who register after July 2006 will be eligible to receive retroactive payments for up to 11 months. The Universal Child Care Benefit is part of our Universal Child Care Plan to provide parents with choice, support and spaces. If you would like additional information on Canada’s new Universal Child Care Plan please visit www.universalchildcare.ca or contact my office.
Northern Trip Visit:
Northern Sovereignty is a major priority in the Canada First Defence Policy. As the Minister of Defence, in mid- July, I spent three and a half days in the Arctic including the North West Territories and Nunavut. I was there to discuss Sovereignty and Security of the North with government and military officials as well as members of the public. In addition to these issues, I learned about other challenges the territories face with resource extraction, transportation, environmental change and the effects of modernity on aboriginal culture.
The Canadian Arctic is vast, lightly populated, environmentally delicate and rich in resources. The ice is slowly receding and therefore it is becoming more accessible. As Canadians, we must increase sovereignty and security in the North, identify ways of extracting resources with the minimum effect on the environment and ensure that the industrial and transportation activities benefit local populations.
In Your Area Days
In the month of July I met with constituents at the In Your Area Days meetings. Into the month of August, I am continuing with these meetings. You will receive a flyer in your mailbox advertising the meetings or you can view the dates and locations on my website mpmedia.xpr.ca. These meetings keep me up to date and informed of the issues that matter to you. To schedule a meeting time with me, please call my Parliament Hill Office at 992-1119.
Gordon O’Connor, P.C., M.P.