Ontario child-care deal coming soon as end of fiscal year looms

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Published March 16, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a bilateral press conference with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte at parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s prime minister and Ontario’s premier say an announcement on a proposed $10-a-day child-care plan is coming soon.

Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford were asked the state of negotiations at an unrelated announcement in Alliston, Ont., on Wednesday, saying talks are continuing and promised an announcement for the province would come “very, very soon.”

Ontario is the sole Canadian jurisdiction that hasn’t signed on to Ottawa’s plan, which aims to reduce child-care fees by an average of 50 per cent by the end of this year and to an average of $10 per day by 2026.

Calls are mounting for Ontario to finalize an agreement before the fiscal year ends on March 31 to ensure funding allocated for this year is put to use, but Ford has maintained that the current funding offer is insufficient for his province’s needs.

Trudeau and Ford both said Wednesday that talks were continuing and promised an announcement would come soon.

Their remarks came after a group of child-care educators sent a letter to officials in both governments urging a swift deal that addresses workforce challenges like wages, paid time off and other factors.

 

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