Lack of childcare spaces, the forgotten theme of the election campaign | Quebec election 2022

In her apartment in Pointe-à-la-Croix, Jennifer Parisé is having fun with her little Owen.

Behind her mother’s smile, however, hides a serious tension.

The 30-year-old couldn’t find a daycare spot for her 10-month-old baby and her maternity leave benefits had ended.

The young mother wants the elected officials to give more space to the issue of child care facilities.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

I’m a single mother and I want to go back to school and the job market, but I can’t because I don’t have childcare places at the moment.muttered Jennifer Parisé.

With no income or loved ones to care for her son full-time, she was forced to put aside her dream of becoming a lawyer and reluctantly relied on the welfare program to support herself.

I have a lot of emotions, I’m caught up in a lotadded Jennifer Parisé, her voice breaking with tears.

It’s hard for my morals and my ego, I’ve always been a very independent, hardworking person, I’ve always organized myself well with what I have and there, I find myself vulnerable.he lamented.

Businessmen are also suffering the effects

The despair of Jennifer Parisé is also shared by many entrepreneurs in Baie-des-Chaleurs who see the lack of childcare facilities as a real obstacle to the development of their business.

In concrete terms, I lost a very good employee who came to settle in the region with his wife and they had no other choice but to return to Quebec City, due to the lack of daycare centers. »

An excerpt from Jason Henry, CEO and co-owner of Solution Infomédia

Jason Henry also mentioned the case of another employee who, when her maternity leave was over, could not return to full-time work for almost a year, due to the lack of childcare space. He was forced to limit his working hours per week to 15, because he could only rest very early in the morning and late at night.

A man looks at the camera with his arms crossed in a labor room.

For the owner of Solution Infomédia, Jason Henry, the lack of daycare places has consequences for workers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

Whenever an employee falls on parental leave, we don’t know when it will end, that’s the truth, said Jason Henry. We have no choice but to be conciliatory, but it hurts businesses, it creates inhumane stress for these young families, it’s very worrying.

The president of the Baie-des-Chaleurs Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Élizabeth Mercier, believes that the case of Solution Infomédia is far from isolated.

The lack of daycare spaces is a major problem for all businesses in the territory of Baie-des-Chaleurs. »

An excerpt from Élizabeth Mercier, President of the Baie-des-Chaleurs Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We are forced to deprive ourselves of special resources and resources in general, because these people have no one to take care of their children.by Ms. Mercier. In terms of access to the labor market, this is also a big problem, continued Ms. Mercier, it is often the woman who finds herself unable to return to work, this is an important issue socially, but also for entrepreneurs.

An election campaign theme?

In her small apartment, Jennifer Parisé is currently not convinced that the distress of parents has found enough resonance with the candidates in the provincial elections.

I hear more about it on social networks, I see many mothers and fathers placing ads, but not much on the news, on TVsaid Jennifer Parisé.

The president of the Baie-des-Chaleurs Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Élizabeth Mercier, also wants the theme to be more prominent in the political arena.

Since this is an important issue in our region and for Baie-des-Chaleurs businesses, we want it to have a good place in the election campaign.by Ms. Mercier.

We hear about the environment, health, educationadded businessman Jason Henry. The condition of CPE however occupied a place last year, but we must continue to hear about it.

While the battle promises to be tight in the riding of Bonaventure, families and businesses are calling on the candidates to clearly state their commitments to change the tide and quickly create new childcare places. .

According to various studies carried out in recent years by regional organizations, there is a shortage of approximately 600 daycare spaces in the Gaspé and 140 in the Magdalen Islands.

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