"Social programs may push Quebec into fiscal collapse: Province now offers institutional daycare, progressive tax system" (WCR, Nov 14).

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada study fails to take into account the benefits of Quebec's universal day care. Low and medium income Alberta families would welcome Quebec's $7 a day childcare. The money a family saves could purchase more and better food for the children and help pay the rent.

The report fails to consider the jobs created to run public day cares. From 1997, the year universal day cares were created in Quebec, to 2010, there was a 40 per cent increase in women employed in the public sector in Quebec.

Universal day care means mothers can work without necessarily paying taxes out of their earnings. Universal day care also means that mothers can further their education without having to fork out large amounts of money for day care.

Universal day care made it possible for my nieces in Quebec to practise pediatric physiotherapy, continue their training, train others, while raising their children. Each year hundreds of children benefit from their expertise and my nieces are making a valuable contribution to society.

Some studies suggest that government-run day cares actually generate an economic return on investment. One expert, economist Pierre Fortin, claims Quebec's provincial day care plan pays for itself.

Certainly, universal day cares decrease inequality. As Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level, reiterated last weekend at the Parkland Institute Conference: "We all pay the price of inequality."

The Institute of Marriage and Family study labels Quebec as a modern welfare state. But aren't we called to assure that all fare well in our society?

Cecily Mills
Edmonton