February 13, 2018 9:00 pm
Updated: February 14, 2018 3:59 pm

B.C. premier not backing away from $10/day child care, despite its throne speech absence

Child care and housing are the focus of the BC NDP government's speech from the throne. Keith Baldrey has the details.


The B.C. government’s Speech from the Throne was as significant for what wasn’t addressed, as for what was.

The words “$10-a-day child care” were not mentioned once in the nearly 45-minute speech by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

Coverage of child care in B.C. on Globalnews.ca:

The pledge was a popular part of the BC NDP election platform.

When Premier John Horgan was asked on Tuesday why it was not mentioned, he referred to the name as a “brand” and it was still something that his government was “going to drive towards.”

“We are going to implement it,” Horgan said.

“We aren’t backing away from anything. We are committed to making sure we bring on more child care spaces, we bring on more qualified children’s educators and we allow families to realize their full economic potential without fears their children aren’t being properly cared for.”

READ MORE: B.C. legislature session kicks off Tuesday with speech from the throne

The throne speech was short on details, but was dedicated mainly to the issues of child care and housing. The provincial government signed a deal last week with the federal government to receive $153 million from Ottawa over three years.

The province will focus the first three years of funding on creating child care spaces and training more educators.

“We begin this year by making a difference in the cost of child care for tens of thousands of families with the largest investment in child care in B.C. history,” the speech read.

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The government is also shifting its focus to provide parents with more information about unlicensed daycares. This came more than a year after the death of one-year old Mac Saini, who was at a Vancouver daycare when he died.

“Government will introduce new legislation to give parents vital information about unlawful or problem providers of unlicensed child care,” the speech read.

“These new rules will give families the information they need to make sure they are the best and safest choice for their child.”

READ MORE: B.C. childcare advocates urge for more affordable daycare space

Child care advocate Sharon Gregson understands why the NDP has dropped the term $10-a-day child care, but still expects them to implement a low-cost, quality system.

“$10 a day is just a brand name that helps people understand we need a quality affordable system, and if that’s what this government delivers, than they are going to make a lot of parents, a lot of early child hood educators very happy across the province,” Gregson said.

New Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said the details matter and that the NDP is failing to lead by dropping the wording on such a huge promise. Wilkinson said all he heard out of the throne speech was the government making good on money for playgrounds and parks.

“Everything else has been sent out for study or they’ve reneged on their promise,” said Wilkinson.

“So we are now looking at a government that the election promises they made they never did have the intention to keep and we have proof of that today.”

  • With files from Liza Yuzda and Emily Lazatin

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