Ten years from now—perhaps sooner—the national child-care program launched by the federal Liberals last year, and finalized in recent months, could well be celebrated as the country’s most important social and economic reform since medicare. If it survives.
So why isn’t anyone talking about it, “anyone” being most political pundits, opposition parties, provincial leaders—even federal Liberals? Why isn’t the preservation of this hard-won federal-provincial agreement uppermost in the mind, in the speeches, in the tweets, of every Liberal cabinet minister? Why isn’t mainstream media tracking the implementation of various provincial plans as assiduously as reporters follow every sexual abuse scandal in the military, every ill-advised remark by a provincial premier, every facile assertion from Pierre Poilievre?
Perhaps because when the final child-care deal was concluded with Ontario, only weeks ago, we all turned our attention to other urgent matters—rising inflation, the war in Ukraine, the persistent pandemic, and sundry smaller concerns that are the salt and pepper of the parliamentary diet. Perhaps, because once all provinces signed on, some eagerly, some after registering pro-forma complaints—the conflict was over and so was the story.