NDP promise of $10-a-day childcare 'irrelevant', says Green Party leader
'This is how minority governments work,' says the Green Party Leader
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is telling critics upset with the NDP's failure to include $10-a-day childcare in the recent budget update to expect a lot of compromise in the province's unique political climate.
The NDP had promised to create a $10-a-day childcare program during the spring election campaign, but Weaver says campaign promises are "irrelevant" with a minority government.
"Campaign promises in this situation are not what's important," he said. "The reality is B.C. NDP did not win the election. This is how minority governments work. This is why it's actually an exciting time in British Columbia.
Sharon Gregson from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. was one of those disappointed by the NDP's failure to include it in the budget update.
"We're surprised and very disappointed on behalf of families in British Columbia," she said. She went on to say the NDP's reliance on the Greens was the real "stumbling block" in getting the promise to paper.
"I'll acknowledge that we didn't have time to make all the commitments," said Minister of Finance Carole James, adding work is being done to meet some of the party's promises by the February budget.
In an interview with CBC's The Early Edition, James did not describe the Greens as a stumbling block but noted the parties have to work together.
"As you know $10-a-day is a commitment that we have and we're also working with the Greens," she said. "[The Green caucus] believe in quality, affordable childcare but they have a different approach to be able to get there."
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says that's just the nature of minority government politics.
"I know people are hung up on $10-a-day. I know it was an election promise for the NDP," he said.
Weaver said the Greens have a similar commitment to universal daycare, but noted there were small — but important — differences from the NDP on how to get to there.
"We have shared values with the B.C. NDP. We agree on the importance of universal daycare. It will happen. But what is important is we get to it in a manner that ensures it happens in the best possible way."
"What we can do is, rather than focus on perhaps not the best policy each of us came up with, we can work together to get the best value out of each to ensure what we implement has wide-scale support and the best of both."
With files from The Early Edition