- In the coming weeks, Ontario and the federal government will enter a “new phase of negotiations” resulting in a $10-per-day childcare agreement.
- Premier Doug Ford said the province is “very, very close” to a deal, but federal officials warned that time is running out.
According to federal sources, Ontario and the federal government have entered a “new phase of negotiations” that could result in a $10-a-day childcare agreement being reached in the coming weeks.
After months of negotiations, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that the provincial govt has handed over all of the necessary documents to the federal govt outlining how the province intends to use federal funds to reduce fees as well as create new childcare spaces.
On Tuesday, Lecce told reporters, “All details, all plans requested by the federal govt are with them.” “We’re hoping to get this deal as soon as possible so that families can save money.”
According to a spokesperson for Karina Gould, the federal minister in charge of child care, the Ontario govt sent the first draught of the province’s action plan late last week, allowing the two sides to begin discussing the deal’s specifics.
“With the submission of the first draught of the action plan, officials can now work to ensure that the plan meets federal aims on space creation, affordability, data as well as reporting, workforce supports, inclusivity, and also quality within the parameters of the funding allotment for Ontario,” according to a Gould spokesperson.
When inquired how quickly a deal might be signed, a federal source stated that other provinces could reach an agreement 3 weeks after the govt received the action plan.
On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford reiterated that the province is “very, very close” to reaching an agreement, but federal officials warned that time is running out.
The federal government set aside $10.2 billion to assist Ontario in lowering the cost of childcare daily, with more than a billion of that set aside for the fiscal year 2021-22, which ends on March 31.
According to federal officials, the first-year funding could “lapse” if a deal isn’t reached by the end of the month. While the money wouldn’t be taken away entirely, the federal govt would have to go through a complicated financial accounting to reallocate it to the fiscal year 2022-23, making Ontario’s deal unique among other provinces and territories.
Ford stated that the government is still committed to reaching an agreement, but he did not provide a timetable.
“We’re going to get this deal,” Ford told the Ontario legislature. “Just stay tuned.” “Hopefully, sooner rather than later.”
Source: CTV news
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