B.C. Finance Minister Carole James delivers the budget as Premier John Horgan looks on from the legislative assembly at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, September 11, 2017. (POOL/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

NDP’s signature child care promise put off

Green leader Andrew Weaver opposes $10-a-day charge

The NDP government is still committed to creating a $10-a-day universal child care program, but “a difference of opinion” with the B.C. Green Party means the details still need to be worked out, Finance Minister Carole James says.

Speaking after James presented her budget update Monday, Green leader Andrew Weaver said the NDP’s child care plan still isn’t acceptable to him. A $10-a-day user fee is a barrier to entry for parents needing child care so they can go to work, and his plan removes that barrier.

The Green Party wants universal child care offered as a taxable benefit, so there is no up-front cost and parents pay on their income tax based on their earnings for the year, Weaver said. He noted that the NDP did not win the May election, and can only implement policies with the support of three Green MLAs.

B.C. Liberal finance critic Shirley Bond said she looked through the budget documents for new funding for the NDP’s signature election promise, but only saw the additional funds her party allotted in its budget in February.

Under B.C. Liberal policy, still in effect, the province covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and assists qualified low-income parents with the costs of care. Their last expansion was $11.3 million to fund 1,800 new spaces in 30 communities.

The NDP platform promised to introduce a child care program starting this year, but James said most of the summer was lost by the inconclusive result of the May election and former premier Christy Clark’s decision to present her own throne speech and attempt to continue governing.

Negotiations continue with the B.C. Greens, and the agreement between the two parties is a reality of the minority government that emerged from the May election, James said.

James also acknowledged that the NDP’s promise of a $400-a-year rebate for renters is also still in development, despite a promise to implement it immediately.

Just Posted

Coming to Canada ‘like a dream’

Syrian family meets volunteers, councillor after living in Parksville for one month

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moving to new job with RDN

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Workers evacuated due to gas smell in Parksville

Firefighters, Fortis unable to find source, and workers back to work

Qualicum Beach makes list of top places to visit in 2018

Expedia Canada surveyed 1,000 Canadians for the list

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Most Read