Canada’s Federal Liberal Leader opposes axing Ottawa-provincial childcare agreement

Image copyright B. Spellman A federal Liberal MP says Canadian provinces should negotiate over how to allocate money for childcare before Alberta starts taking funds from Ottawa. Justin Trudeau has written to Doug Ford…

Canada's Federal Liberal Leader opposes axing Ottawa-provincial childcare agreement

Image copyright B. Spellman

A federal Liberal MP says Canadian provinces should negotiate over how to allocate money for childcare before Alberta starts taking funds from Ottawa.

Justin Trudeau has written to Doug Ford urging him to resolve the issue.

Alberta will take $200m from Ottawa as it revamps its childcare system.

Dr Alison Redford’s government previously signed a deal with Ottawa under which the province would receive an extra $2.5bn over 10 years.

But the deal was signed in 2015 and later voided in favour of an alternative federal plan.

Alberta has spent nearly a year discussing its own changes to childcare with the federal government and the provinces, which account for some 90% of Canada’s childcare funding.

Mr Trudeau has been under pressure from British Columbia to abandon plans to withhold roughly $550m from Ottawa, while Ontario has threatened to sue.

Yesterday, B.C’s finance minister Carole James urged her fellow provinces to resolve their differences over childcare rather than start taking the federal money.

Mr Trudeau said in his letter that “if it was in the best interests of Canada to pursue the agreement of 2015, it was in the best interests of the prime minister to sign the agreement.”

He added: “That agreement did not and could not foresee future needs, including the need to improve our childcare system.”

According to Canadian broadcaster CBC, Mr Trudeau urged Mr Ford to make a deal on childcare with Canada’s other premiers to avoid the feud spreading to Ottawa.

Mr Ford, who is currently in India, responded by calling on Mr Trudeau to honour his promise to continue his equalization payments to provinces that have “a lot more work to do” on childcare.

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