QUEEN’S PARK – Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, issued the following statement:
“I would like to start by congratulating the federal Liberals. A national child care plan, funded by the federal government and implemented in every province and territory, will change lives. It is historic, and they have every reason to be proud.
I will also say that I am disappointed that Premier Ford, who, knowing how difficult a time young families are having making ends meet, knowing that federal child care money was on offer that could change their lives, deliberately chose to make them wait, and wait, and wait for help.
The thing is, the only time child care has been a priority for Doug Ford was when he cut it in his first two years in power.
Remember this headline – it’s from the Toronto Star – May 2, 2019:
Doug Ford’s cuts put over 6,000 subsidized daycare spaces at risk, Toronto warns
Ontario is cutting a total of $80 million from licensed child care across the province, including the $50-million fund to help offset costs for licensed child-care providers
Today, Doug Ford brags about a financial agreement he could and should have gotten 6 months ago. His failure has cost families thousands. And while every other province got agreements early, many still opted to make their payments retroactive to the beginning of this year, because they knew it was needed.
Ontario was last to sign and Ontario parents will be the last to benefit from the federal funding.
Ontario Liberals are the only ones pledging that if we form government, we will make sure Ontario families do not pay the price for Doug Ford’s delays. We are the only ones who will make payments retroactive to January 1st – an average of $2,750 per child – and the only party pledging $10 per day for before and after school care by this September.
I don’t trust Doug Ford to implement this agreement. I say that not out of partisanship, but based on both his past cuts, and his negotiating priorities.
From Day 1, Doug Ford has wanted as few strings attached to this federal funding as possible. Ask yourself why and who that benefits. Again, just yesterday they were bragging about how they reduced some of those funding requirements.
We all saw Doug Ford try to profit off federal COVID funds. Let’s not let him do the same with child care.”