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Federal, B.C. governments reach deal on child care funding

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The Canadian Press
Publication Date: 
8 Jul 2021


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government has reached a deal with British Columbia on federal child care funding.

Trudeau said Thursday the agreement stipulates that Ottawa will work with the province to offer child care at an average cost of $10 per day in regulated spaces for children under six years old before 2027.

He said the deal aims to create 30,000 new spaces in B.C. in the next five years, with fees for regulated spaces cut in half by the end of 2022.

B.C. is the first province to sign on to the Liberal offer laid out in the April budget, which pledged $27.2 billion in new spending over five years, starting this fiscal year, for the provinces to subsidize daycares.

The strings attached to the pledge will dictate which forms of child care could be eligible for federal funding, and how much parental fees must drop over the next five years.

The federal NDP said the Liberals have been promising child care funding since 1993 without following through, and that the strong likelihood of an election call in the near future undermines the government's claim that its priority is to help parents.

Trudeau began his day today behind closed doors in Metro Vancouver, discussing B.C.'s wildfires and the recent punishing heat wave with members of his cabinet's Incident Response Group.

He is expected to spend much of the rest of the day in Coquitlam, where he will met with B.C. Premier John Horgan, who joined him for the child care announcement.

The prime minister is also holding an afternoon meeting with the mayor of Lytton and Indigenous leaders from that Fraser Canyon community to discuss efforts to recover from the wildfire that destroyed the village last week.

Trudeau is on a cross-country tour this week, following visits to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Alberta and Saskatchewan.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh launched his own tour today, starting on Vancouver Island.

Singh and local New Democrat MP Alistair MacGregor were to make an announcement in Duncan this morning about the party's housing plan.