"This is a game-changing policy for families."
That's from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning (July 8), who ventured to Coquitlam's Lafarge Lake to make an announcement that's aimed to benefit B.C. families looking for spaces for their children.
He explained — in acknowledging challenges voiced by mothers and feminists during the COVID-19 pandemic — that Canada has reached an agreement with the province in the amount of $9.2 billion to ensure families can have an average $10-a-day childcare within the next five years.
This will apply to all regulated spaces for kids under six years old, is set to create 30,000 more childcare spaces and is calculated to cut fees for those spaces by 50%.
“Without good childcare, it’s practically impossible for parents — especially mothers — to build a career for middle-class families. Quality childcare can be incredibly expensive,” he said alongside B.C. Premier John Horgan as the deal reaffirms previous promises made by federal and provincial governments.
"Hard-working families deserve better […] our economy deserves better as well."
The federal budget had earmarked $30 billion for childcare over five years when it was presented back in April. At the time, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said parents should have access to early learning and childcare for an average of $10 a day within five years.
Trudeau's commitment also comes with a $3.2-billion investment over three years from the provincial government, Horgan said at the press conference that was attended by about 200 people in the amphitheatre as well as protestors to the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion through Colony Farm regional park.
Trudeau, who got cheers when he mentioned that he started his teaching career at Pitt River middle school in Port Coquitlam, also got jeers from opponents about his climate change policies.
Trudeau was joined in Coquitlam by several notable dignitaries, including Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon, Finance Minister and Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly and Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, federal minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.
The prime minister, who also touched on First Nations reconciliation, fielded media questions after the childcare announcement about the Lytton devastation and wildfires; the tourism sector and when the border to the U.S. will open; the recent assassination of Haiti's president; and the future of the federally owned Trans Mountain Pipeline.
- with a file from Tyler Orton, Business In Vancouver