Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday November 16, 2021
Ford, Trudeau fight over $10 a day child care heats up
The fight between Ontario and Ottawa over a $10-a-day child-care program seems to be ramping up as the two governments point fingers over which side is holding up the negotiations.
On Monday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the federal government’s current proposal — $10.2 billion over five years — “short changes families” and doesn’t account for the province’s full-day kindergarten program.
The minister said while the Trudeau and Ford governments “can still land a deal” the federal offer is $3.6 billion short — and the province is working on “detailed modelling” which will make it clear that Ontario isn’t receiving enough of the $30 billion program.
The pressure to sign a deal was amplified on Monday after Alberta signed on with the federal government – making it the eight province to have a formal agreement.
“This means that all types of licensed child care for kids up to kindergarten like preschools, daycare, and licensed family day homes will now be supported through this deal with the federal government,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
While Ontario and New Brunswick are now the only provinces that have yet to ink a deal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed confidence that the two sides can come to an agreement.
“It can be done. The federal government is there with the money and the framework to do it, and we’re very hopeful that Ontario will do it,” Trudeau said during a joint news conference with Kenney.
Critics of the Ford government, however, believe the province is attempting to upload portions of the education budget to the federal government by including full-day kindergarten in the deal. (CTV)