ELECTION 2017: Parties debate child care

ELECTION 2017: Parties debate child care

B.C. NDP and Green Party look to subsidize daycare costs while the B.C. Liberals aim to add spaces

Third in a series of Black Press B.C. election coverage leading up to May 9

BCElection2017_logoBCompeting child care visions dominated the early days of the B.C. election campaign, with costly promises from the B.C. NDP and Green Party proposed to fix a status quo of rising costs and waiting lists that continue despite new additions from the B.C. Liberal government.

NDP leader John Horgan has been promoting $10-a-day universal daycare for months. But when it came time to release his costed election platform, he opted to avoid deficit spending and set a 10-year goal for the heavily subsidized program.

RELATED: Parents mourning death of toddler call on province for $10-a-day childcare

During their first debate, B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark quipped that most of today’s youth would have drivers’ licences by the time the program was up and running.

The B.C. Liberals have also highlighted the struggles of Quebec’s universal child care program, which has long waiting lists and majority usage by higher-income families.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver stuck with his ambitious promise to provide no-charge daycare for children of working parents up to age two, and no-charge pre-school for kids age three to four, when kindergarten begins. Weaver’s platform costing puts the additional expenditures for “lifelong learning” at more than $2 billion in the first full year, rising to nearly $3 billion by the third year.

The B.C. Liberals began expanding kindergarten for five-year-olds from half days to full days in 2010, after delaying it due to growing deficits in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis.

The province currently covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and also assists qualified low-income parents.

The B.C. Liberal record includes spending $11.3 million in the past year for the third phase of its expansion of child care spaces. That phase amounts to 1,800 more spaces in 30 communities.

New projects in the Lower Mainland include six sites in Surrey, two each in Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam and one each in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, Delta and Squamish.

On Vancouver Island, funding goes to three projects in Duncan and one each in Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox, Port Hardy and Tofino.

In the B.C. Interior, three projects were approved for Kelowna, two in Penticton, and one each in Naramata, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Enderby, Princeton, Houston, Kamloops, Merritt, Vanderhoof and Dawson Creek.

Liberal,NDP,Green views on childcare
Create line charts

BC Election 2017BC Votes 2017

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

Council has recommended that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) approve a cannabis retail application by Buds Cannabis. It plans to open the store in the 9700-block of Second Street. It would be the business’ second outlet (it has an outlet in Central Saanich) and the second such business in Sidney. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney recommends approval of licence for second pot shop

Councillors also push back against public concerns about Sidney’s image

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read