Federal, B.C. governments reach deal on childcare funding

·2 min read
Premier John Horgan, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a 2019 press conference.  ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito - image credit)
Premier John Horgan, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a 2019 press conference. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito - image credit)

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 Ottawa will work with the province to reach an average of $10-per-day child care 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. marks the first province to sign on to the Liberal offer laid out in the April budget, which pledged $27.2 billion over five years, starting this fiscal year, in new spending that the governing party aims to send to provinces to subsidize daycares.

The specific strings attached to the pledge will dictate what 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 Liberals have been promising childcare since 1993 without following through, and that signs of getting ready for a likely election undermines the government's stated priority of helping parents.

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

He is 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 childcare 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 recovery from a wildfire that destroyed the village last week.

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

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

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

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