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

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

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

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Kervin’s Corner: Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

“Any transition out of our forest-based economy would take years along with careful planning…”

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read