Tuesday, January 22

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by ......

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."

I suggest that the degree of civilization in a society can also be judged by the effectiveness its child-care programs.

If so, Canada is failing as a civilization.

I remember stepping out of my house on Sept. 12, 2001, looking up at a silent sky thinking, "The world will never be the same."

And it hasn't. The Conservatives have committed $9 billion to Afghanistan, $2 billion to child care. What's wrong with this picture? The Taliban have no plans to invade Etobicoke.

There is an important child-care related bill coming before Parliament. Bill C-303 would be the first step in a much needed national daycare program.

As Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care told me, "Canada has made a choice to stand still on the issue of publicly funded child care while Quebec and the rest of the world moved ahead. The longer we wait, the greater the gap and the harder it will be to catch up."

You can use your influence to support Bill C-303 by going to buildchildcare.ca.

For information on daycare in Toronto, go to toronto.ca/children.

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