Steve Darling

“SAY anything” NDP Leader John Horgan has struck again – this time on childcare, the Liberals said on Saturday.

After months of saying the BC NDP would roll out $10 a day childcare immediately, Horgan now says that it will take more than 10 years to become a reality.

“The dishonesty is appalling. Horgan stood on stages, used children as props to make parents believe it was a real promise, and the entire time the BC NDP knew it would take 10 years to impose,” said Steve Darling, BC Liberal candidate for Burnaby-Lougheed.

“A toddler today would be in high school by the time the BC NDP program would get off the ground. That’s not what Horgan promised. It’s just one more example of how he says one thing and does another.”

Darling noted the NDP proposal would cost taxpayers $1.5 billion, take 10 years to impose and still result in waitlists. “Horgan’s scheme is based on the Quebec model where families still experience four-year wait lists. In fact, because his scheme applies from the wealthiest one per cent to the most vulnerable families, precious dollars are given to wealthy families who don’t need the help,” he said. “A study shows that in Quebec, families in the top 25 per cent of income earnings were twice as likely to grab a daycare spot than families at the lowest income band. That doesn’t help middle class moms and dads.”

The Liberals said that Premier Christy Clark and they have the only plan to help parents now – 4,100 new licensed child care spaces and 1,000 after-school spaces will be created in the next year. These new spaces build on the government’s commitment to create 13,000 new licensed child-care spaces by 2020.

“This is a real plan, one with real targets that will create real spaces now, not in a decade,” said Darling. “The Trudeau government supports the same approach – creating spaces – and we’re going to work with them to double the 4,000 spaces next year. That’s what moms and dads need, commitments that work for them today.”

The BC Liberal commitments are in addition to a strong record which includes:

• $352.5 million in child care funding, which is a 7.6 per cent increase over 2016-17, and a 67.2 per cent increase over 2000-01.

• Helping 20,000 BC families with the cost of childcare each month through the Child Care Subsidy program, which is funded at $120 million.

• The B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit provides $145 million annually to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six (up to $55 a month per child). About 90% of families with young children are eligible.

• The BC Liberal government also introduced full-day kindergarten to British Columbia.