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Chrystia Freeland on ‘As It Happens’ Q&A

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Publication Date: 
17 Jul 2020


I do know that Canadians are going to want to know the specifics. So I just wanted to dig into a couple of things on offer here. The government is promising a little over $600 million, as I understand it. If you look at Quebec, though, universal child care alone there costs $1.5 billion. I wonder how far $600 million is going to go when you have so many parents across the country, women in particular, during this pandemic being forced to choose between their jobs and making sure they're children are taken care of?

It's $625 million for child care for returning workers. And let me be clear, Nil, this is not a national child care strategy. This is not a long-term fix. This, and the entire safe restart, is about the next six to eight months, and it is about doing what we can to get our country through this period.

So, if the point is "Wow, $625 million is not enough for childcare across the country," I 100 per cent agree, and I think we need to do a lot more on child care. And I think collectively, as a country, we really need to focus on what we're going to do with schools in the fall.

But I would also say that doing something and taking some action is a start. And that's what we're aiming to do here.