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Daycare association demands family minister's resignation

06/11/2013 09:57 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT
Quebec's private daycare association is calling for the resignation of family minister Nicole Léger over upcoming budget cuts to private daycares.

The group's president Sylvain Levesque claims Leger never bargained in good faith and will not accept the cuts, saying the Minister has always favoured the public daycare system over the private sector.

"I think daycares became their scapegoat, and we will continue the game plan," he said. "I think it's shameful."

Levesque says the cuts will force daycares to lay off specialized and support staff, reducing services to clients.

Léger says she had already made concessions by reducing the cuts from $18 million to $14.9 million and after three months of negotiations with daycare groups, she is ready to go ahead with the budget.

"The negotiations are over, so I'm moving on to other things. Parents waiting for spaces [in the daycares] and I'm working on that. I will adopt the fiscal measures."

The Quebec Liberals are behind the daycare owners and their demand for Léger's resignation.

"I don't know why the PQ always has in mind that you've got to have one size fits all, one solution for everybody. Now we've got the Minister who's decided she won't work to settle the problem she created," said Liberal house leader Jean-Marc Fournier.

The daycare owners say they will keep up their fight against the cuts even though they have no immediate plans to hold any more strike days. They say that is because the last time they did that, Quebec fined dozens of businesses with more than $800 thousand in financial penalties.

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