B.C. Liberals Must Make Child Care Action Plan Public
VICTORIA—The B.C. Liberal government must make its Childcare Action Plan public and end uncertainty about the future of childcare for B.C. families, NDP childcare critic Diane Thorne said today.
Last year, the province signed a five-year funding agreement with the federal government for childcare, worth over $600 million. As part of that deal, the province committed to consult the public and develop a Childcare Action Plan for British Columbia. The NDP is calling on the Campbell government to table that plan and publish the results of those consultations.
"Last fall the government engaged parents, childcare providers and communities in a public consultation on childcare," said Thorne. "British Columbians volunteered their time and their energy for this process, and they are waiting for this government to follow through on its promise to deliver a plan. They are looking to this government to provide leadership, and the government has not delivered."
Thorne, the MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville, said that the cancellation of the federal government’s childcare agreement is no excuse to hold the plan back from British Columbians. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that the childcare deal is dead," said Thorne. "But B.C. still needs quality childcare. And they need government to provide leadership, to provide certainty to families that rely on quality care."
Thorne added that the B.C. government’s lack of action on the childcare file is exacerbating the skills and labour shortage. "Day after day we hear about the need to address our skilled labour shortage," said Thorne. "A quality care program for children is key to managing that shortage and maximizing our labour potential. But the Campbell government just doesn’t get it."
"I am calling on the Campbell government to take a real step forward – invest in our childcare system, address growing waitlists, table an action plan, and provide some certainty for B.C. families who rely on quality care," said Thorne.