Government must commit to affordable childcare: NDP

NDP MPP for Windsor West, Lisa Gretzky, called on the Premier in Question Period this morning regarding the flip flop on her government’s commitment to affordable childcare.

“Last November, the Liberal caucus, including the Minister of Education, voted to support the NDP’s motion calling for the province to work with the federal government to provide low-cost childcare spaces. However, after it was clear that the NDP was the only willing federal partner ready to support $15-a-day child care, the Premier decided to put partisan Liberal interests ahead of the needs of Ontario families. I wrote to the Premier in August, asking whether she intended to honour or break the commitment her government made last year. She has not answered.”

“So I ask again: Will the Premier honour or break her government’s commitment to ensure that new child care spaces in Ontario will cost no more than $15 per day?”

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath introduced a motion to make childcare affordable to families at a rate of no more than $15 a day per child that was unanimously passed by the Ontario Legislature. However, Minister of Education Liz Sandals later stated that she failed to see how the motion would “impact Ontario families.”‎

Gretzky asked the Premier how the government intends to honour their commitment to affordable childcare despite the closure of 88 schools that have taken place on their watch. 

“Less than a week ago, the government re-announced a promise to provide child care ‘that is close to home,’ meaning they would be in schools. But since 2011, the Minister has forced the closure of at least 88 schools across the province. Five schools in Windsor-Essex are currently at risk of immediate closure.”

“How can the minister promise child care spaces in schools, when she is actively forcing the closure of good community schools?” Gretzky asked.