Ontario weakened its $10-a-day child care funding rules. Now the federal government is demanding answers from the province, after some child care centres in Toronto’s east end lost the service they rely on. Meanwhile, Ontario officials have admitted the child care funding cuts are “the worst they have ever seen, ever,” reported CBC’s The Current’s Andrea Chang.
After last week’s federal election, Liberals and New Democrats on Parliament Hill are still playing catch-up. While the Liberals are taking a backseat after losing their majority, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair announced a plan to create a $30-billion child care agency and cut child care by $50 billion in the next four years. The NDP is proposing to reduce the child care subsidy by $70 a year for families earning less than $75,000. While the party will admit they have no plan to make up the $100-billion they want to cut it from the current program, the NDP is arguing the child care programs are a “top priority.”
New Democrats won’t commit to $10-a-day subsidy, says Mulcair
The NDP is promising a child care subsidy of between $0 and $1 on the average monthly income of each family. It will not cost taxpayers more, they claim, than the current subsidy of $5 to $10 per day. While the NDP hasn’t indicated in which regions of the country they will be aiming to implement the program, a spokesperson said the party will prioritize the region of Toronto — which has some of the lowest rates in Canada. Still, The Current reports the NDP will not commit to a subsidy of $10 a day until parents of young children are guaranteed an income of at least $11,200 a year.
On Monday, Ontario’s minister of education, Stephen Lecce, apologized for the loss of funding to the east end child care centres. He said, “I was very surprised and frustrated with the decision. The previous government had no interest in the east end and their focus was on the west end.” Lecce said the decision to cut funding was made by the province’s ministry of labour and Employment, and was not prompted by the federal government’s new child care rules.
While Lecce did not admit the cuts