Ontario weakened its $10-a-day child care funding rules. Now the federal government is demanding answers.
It’s all part of the Liberal government’s $30-billion plan to slash funding for child care by $2 billion over three years to help families with young children make ends meet.
And while it’s going to be difficult to get cuts to child care out of the way before the April 15 federal election, there is one area of the legislation that’s not only making itself felt but also being challenged by the government on both sides of the House: child care fees.
The Progressive Conservative government, for example, has already introduced amendments to the Bill to eliminate the automatic $3-a-day fee in child care places and to eliminate or reduce child care subsidies for low-income families.
But in a move that will be bitterly contested through the election, the Liberals, who have promised to eliminate child care fees, decided to use a clause in Bill C-30 that allows them to do so when they’re facing a government deficit.
“This is a politically motivated attempt to save child care fees in the middle of an election campaign,” says NDP child care critic Andrea Horwath.
“In fact, we believe there are more things wrong with Bill C-30 than child care fees. We have already released detailed reports on the bill that show this is a regressive tax of the rich, particularly those using child care services to help provide for their families.”
A quick look at how the government’s bill will affect households with young children
The Conservatives will also be able to raise new fees for child care services if they come into surplus, which they hope to achieve by ending cuts for child care in the federal budget introduced last February.
The government’s plan will put an additional $5 billion in the hands of child