Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be campaigning on “Choose Forward,” but on childcare, its just not possible, he says.
But it’s not his fault.
Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and other intransigent Premiers have made it impossible to tackle the escalating cost of childcare, Prime Minister Justin told a Toronto Star editorial board yesterday.
Doug Ford became Ontario Premier during the third year of Trudeau’s term, defeating Trudeau’s close ally, Kathleen Wynne. Jason Kenney Conservatives won an election a few months ago, replacing another close ally, Rachel Notley.
Trudeau wasn’t pressed on how Notley and Wynne blocked him from choosing forward on child care.
In 2015, the Trudeau Liberals promised “affordable, high-quality, flexible, and fully inclusive child care for Canadian families.”
However, the cost of child care has increased dramatically in Canada. A study released earlier this year from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives showed than in 61 per cent of Canadian cities the cost of child care was increasing above inflation.
Toronto topped the child care cost list at $20,220 a year for a single infant.
Federalism means no national child care, says Trudeau
But federalism means better isn’t possible, argued the Prime Minister.
“We can’t take on things that fundamentally it’s been shown can be ably led and should be ably led by the provinces,” Trudeau told the Star.
Things like, say, health care. Or environmental protection. Or carbon pricing.
While health care is within provincial jurisdiction, the federal Parliament’s Canada Health Act provides financial transfers to provincial health budgets where provinces conform to standards set in the Act.
Those standards set health care access, inter-provincial portability, a ban on extra-billing and other federal requirements.
Trudeau child care money stretches to never-never land
While arguing that movement forward isn’t possible, Trudeau repeatedly reminded the Star editorial board of his $7.5 billion child care investment first announced in 2017.
And if that number seems big — while the result feels non-existent for parents — it’s because Trudeau’s child care funding counts money that stretches out to never-never land.
In their 2017 budget, the Trudeau Liberals loudly launched their $7.5 billion talking point while its time frame remained strictly sotto voce.
Only about $1.1 billion of the announced spending on child care was actually budgeted for the term of his government, while the remaining $6.4 billion stretches out to 2029.
Parents with a baby born when Trudeau was elected to office would have a 14-year old teenager in 2029. Justin Trudeau would be nearly 60.
Amounts of $500 million a year come nowhere close to meeting Canadians’ needs. Quebec alone spends $2.5 billion each year on child care, and is only one-quartet of Canada’s population.
Last fall, the Trudeau Liberals announced $14 billion in new corporate tax cuts. And last spring used $4.5 billion to bail out Kinder Morgan.