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Liberals would create federal commissioner for children if elected

Liberal MP Marc Garneau asks a question during question period in the House of Commons

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Liberals are promising to appoint a federal advocate for children, to keep an eye on federal laws that could affect children and youth.

Liberal Marc Garneau says in a news release it is high time the country had a commissioner for children who would ensure the federal government takes into account the rights and interests of young people when crafting legislation.

The provinces have child advocates or commissioners whose role is to ensure that the voices of children in the welfare system are heard.

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There is no equivalent at the federal level and the Liberals say this leaves a void.

Garneau has twice unsuccessfully pushed the idea in private member's bills, one introduced in 2009, the other in 2012.

The pledge is the latest in a list of promises the three major federal parties have made as they court votes from parents and families with young children.

The Liberals have promised a new child benefit to replace the universal child care benefit that the Tories introduced in 2006 and which the NDP say they plan to keep if elected.

The NDP have in turn promised a national daycare program that would cost parents $15 a day.

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