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

Kelly Janveaux announces her candidacy for School Board Trustee

A long-time youth advocate, this will be Janveaux’s first time running in a public election

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

Retro meets modern design with idea for iconic Paramount sign

Proposed Paramount Project plans for downtown Chilliwack unveiled Monday

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Tim Hortons promises leaky lids on coffee cups to be phased out

Tim Hortons looks to rebuild its brand with better lid, new marketing campaign

‘There’s been a lot of devastation:’ man whose family lost homes in B.C. fire

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C.

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

Aheadbyacentury looking for Triple Crown breakthrough in the Breeders’ Stakes

The consistent Aheadbyacentury has $513,800 in career earnings, including $311,250 this year thanks in large part to his Triple Crown performances.

Search for mudslide victim becomes recovery mission

Valerie Morris was swept away by a mudslide on Highway 99 near Cache Creek on August 11.

Behind the fire line: B.C. firefighters stalked by cougars

A Keremeos volunteer firefighter talks about what it was like to patrol the Snowy Mountain fire

Most Read