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Liberals freeze $5 daycare expansion [CA-QC]

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Montreal Gazette
Publication Date: 
27 May 2003

See text below.


According to a report published Tuesday, the Charest government will halt the expansion of the $5-a-day daycare program that was planned by the Parti Québecois.

La Presse reported Tuesday that Family and Social Services Minister Claude Béchard has stopped all new daycare projects approved by the PQ, unless they have bought land or have begun construction.

The decision will save the government $300 million as it scrambles to create a new budget. Dozens of projects in the Montreal region are affected by the decision.

In the past few days, officials at the affected daycare centres have been contacted by the minster and asked to put their plans on hold until Finance Minister Yves Séguin tables a budget on June 12.

Béchard admits that it is necessary to create new daycare spaces rapidly, but he favours expanding the private daycare network.

The PQ government started the $5 daycare program in 1997 with the goal of creating 200,000 spaces. To date, about 163,500 spaces have been created.

-Reprinted from The Montreal Gazette