Ford ‘pleads’ for Niagara Region and others not to cut side-deals with feds on $10/day child care

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Published November 10, 2021 at 2:24 pm

After Niagara Region politicians and area MPPs grew weary of watching Premier Doug Ford drag his heels on the federal government’s election promise of $10/day child care and asked their staff to look into one-on-one dealing with the feds over the matter, the premier is now asking municipalities to wait.

Indeed, at the end of October, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, also the NDP’s Municipal Affairs critic, stood up at Queen’s Park and wanted to know why the premier was dragging his feet on an offer that could only benefit Ontario parents.

“Seven provinces and one territory have signed the deal to provide $10-per-day child care. As the Ford government drags its feet on the child care deal, municipalities are stepping up to fill the gap,” said Burch.

“Last week, Niagara Region Council passed a motion asking staff to investigate the potential for them to enter into a direct agreement with the federal government to participate in the national child care strategy. Ontario’s astronomical child care costs are the highest in Canada, yet this government continues to drag its feet and squabble with the federal government.”

Today, Ford tried to put the brakes on municipalities, which now also include Toronto and Hamilton, looking into options to cut their own deals for the federal program.

Because only Ontario and Alberta have so far opted out, it is viewed by many as a partisan stand stopping the two provinces from dealing with the federal Liberals.

Today (November 10) at a press conference in Caledon to pitch the controversial new Highway 413, Ford says the province can negotiate a better deal if it stays united and that he was “pleading” with municipalities not to make “side-deals.”

Since Ford was mum on the federal child care package until Niagara, Toronto and Hamilton started to make noise, it is expected Niagara Region staff will continue to investigate the one-on-one regional-federal negotiations while the $10/day deal remains in limbo in Ontario.

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