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Insiders say Ottawa and Ontario officials will meet next week to hammer out a daycare deal

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MacCharles, Tonda & Benzie, Robert
Publication Date: 
19 Nov 2021

OTTAWA—The governments of Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are finally sitting down to formally negotiate a child care agreement, the Star has learned.

Federal and provincial officials will meet Tuesday in a bid to hammer out an agreement that would keep Trudeau’s signature election promise of reducing daily daycare costs to $10 within five years.

Insiders at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa emphasize they both want to reach an agreement. .

The talks will focus on whether the current offer from the federal government can meet the early learning and child care needs of Ontario families.

Ford, who has had informal back-channel talks with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, expressed concern Tuesday that Ontario is being “shortchanged” by Ottawa’s offer of $10.2 billion for a population of 14.8-million people.

By comparison, Alberta, home to 4.4 million people, received $3.8 billion.

For Ontario to receive the same per capita amount as Alberta, Ottawa would need to sweeten the pot by $2.6 billion — to $12.8 billion.

“We’re seeing these deals signed (with other provinces and) they’re more per capita with (fewer) strings attached,” the premier said.