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Public daycare executives to attend luxurious retreat at Château Frontenac

QUEBEC CITY – Premier Philippe Couillard invited CPE executives Thursday to re-think their event at Château Frontenac.

“Public funds have to be used very cautiously obviously in the current circumstances,” he said.

“What are we talking about when we do these training events? I don’t see a lot of relation between the themes discussed at this event and the mission which is to educate our kids.”

A closer look at the Association des cadres des CPE‘s website reveals participants will attend workshops such as “Sexy, Zen & Happy” and do yoga before dressing up for a ball.

The price tag: $130,000.

“Yesterday we were talking about not giving food to children because they said the cuts we were doing were very bad.”

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READ MORE: Public daycares that stop offering lunch will face sanctions

“On Thursday we learned they’re doing a symposium at le Château Frontenac so we have to go see what’s going on,” said Family Minister Francine Charbonneau.

The Liberals, the PQ and the CAQ agreed on a motion slamming the event, while the association of CPEs added its own criticism in a press release:

“We do not agree with this retreat. Neither the content nor the venue meet our objective of making optimal use of taxpayer dollars.”

A spokesperson for the managers’ association, Isabelle Palardy, said managers’ work load shouldn’t be underestimated and the law requires them to spend 1% of their budget on training.

“People in daycare have the responsibility to have training and in fact they have no choice, it’s a rule,” agreed Quebec Solidaire MNA Françoise David.

But it’s a rule that may be about to change.

“It is currently being reviewed,” said Premier Couillard.

Despite all the pressure coming from the National Assembly, Palardy said managers are keeping the event in May.

Palardy argued they need this type of event to cope with all the stress caused by the Liberals’ austerity measures.

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