Child care: Paul Martin and the record
Paul Martin called yesterday from London. On his flight over to the U.K., he'd been reading the newspapers, including The Star, with some frustration. In reports about Michael Ignatieff's child-care announcement, he kept reading that this was a long-made, long-unfulfilled promise by successive Liberal regimes.
Martin pointed out that he and Ken Dryden, his social development minister, invested a considerable amount of energy between 2004 and 2006 to get 10 agreements, with all provinces (including Quebec) for a cross-country, federal-provincial system of child care. The story is here.
We did chat about other issues too and yes, I did try to draw him out a bit on Ignatieff's other announcement of the week, in favour of foreign aid to organizations that support abortion. I'd kind of half-hoped, given all Martin's work in Africa since leaving politics, that he might have some views. But his instinct to stay out of the fray prevailed -- he said he wasn't discussing that one, on or off the record.