Christy Clark at women’s luncheon in Vancouver June 21. (Twitter - @Kimmy_Haak)

Clark pledges $1-billion in childcare spending

Christy Clark continued rebranding the BC Liberals this week, ahead of the Speech from the Throne

Thursday’s Speech from the Throne will include some big spending promises from the BC Liberals.

Premier Christy Clark announced Wednesday $1 billion in spending over four years for early childcare and development in B.C., during a Liberal women’s luncheon in Vancouver.

The funds are a part of a”renewed” budget that Clark says will be announced in further detail during the speech in the legislature.

“Nobody in British Columbia wants an election,” she said, “let’s figure out how to make the results of this election work for British Columbians, let’s listen to what they have to say.”

The funds will be used to create 60,000 new childcare spaces, provide subsidies for households earning less than $100,000 and create 4,000 new bursaries and grants for those wanting to go to school for early childhood education.

Amendments to the Liberals budget released in February also include new investments in mental health, Clark said.

The premier committed to have mental health experts in B.C. schools, to catch issues early.

“Teachers tell us this all the time … they’re not sure how to diagnose them, or where to send them,” Clark said.

Wednesday’s announcement follows two others this week from the Liberals, including banning corporate-union donations and raising welfare rates and a $50 million continuation of electric car charging stations.

Welcoming MLAs to a caucus meeting at the legislature on Wednesday afternoon, NDP leader John Horgan said it appears “there’s going to be an NDP throne speech tomorrow.”

“It is really hard to believe that after 16 years of ignoring child care, ignoring people with disabilities, ignoring income assistance rates, that all of a sudden, after the people have rejected you at the polls, our platform looks pretty appealing.”

Meanwhile, Green party leader Andrew Weaver is hosting a news conference to discuss his findings after visiting with aboriginal groups who oppose the Site C dam.

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