How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff
“The public trust is at stake,” said Elizabeth May, leader of the New Democratic Party, as she pressed Kinder Morgan on Tuesday about plans to build a pipeline from Alberta to Quebec.
May was among about a dozen protesters dressed in yellow T-shirts at a rally at the provincial legislature, where they said for-profit daycares contribute to child poverty and the opioid crisis. She called on the company to halt construction in protest.
“You have a choice about what you do now,” she told the company. “You do it today. This is about human lives.”
That moment became a political flashpoint in 2019, highlighted by the election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
During his first year in office, Ford launched a political crusade to repeal the province’s former Liberal government’s tough new child-care system, and the $10-a-day child-care subsidy it rolled out with. He called the Liberal-era plan “a scam.”
“As people are leaving the workforce in droves,” said Ford, “we need to make sure that kids can get into that workforce.”
And then he came up with a plan for new daycares in the province, and, after consulting an expert witness, he decided those must be paid for with private money, not taxpayers’ tax dollars.
Ford said this change would ensure “not only that we get the services we need in the classrooms, but we also create jobs in the classrooms.”
But his plan was rejected by most teachers and the public, along with most of Ontario’s business sector.
“There are people who will not take the risk to spend the money because they think it will be wasted,