Manitoba

Greens promise to create more daycare spaces

Manitoba Greens are promising to create more daycare spaces if they're elected next month, meaning all four mainstream provincial parties have brought a child-care plan into this world.

All 3 other mainstream Manitoba parties have made child-care pledges of their own

Manitoba's Green Party is promising to create 2,000 new child-care spaces a year for 10 years at a total cost of $310 million. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Manitoba Greens are promising to create more daycare spaces if they're elected next month, meaning all four mainstream provincial parties have brought a child-care plan into this world.

Green Party Leader James Beddome pledged Tuesday to create 20,000 new child-care spaces over 10 years at a total cost of $310 million — plus $1.1 million a year in operating costs.

He also promised no parent earning less than poverty wages would pay child-care costs, and no family would spend more than 10 per cent of its net income on child care.

Beddome said a Green government would improve upon a child-care system built up over the course of decades by the PCs and NDP.

"The reality is that under multiple PC and NDP governments, we have a really good basis for a child-care system, although the formulas underlying that child-care system haven't been substantially updated since [former NDP leader] Howard Pawley was premier in 1986," Beddome told reporters outside his Fort Rouge campaign office.

Over the previous nine days, all three other mainstream Manitoba parties made child-care pledges of their own.

The Progressive Conservatives promised last week to provide a $500-a-month child-care subsidy to up to 3,000 low-income families, a pledge that works out to $18 million.  The Liberals promised to create 18,000 new spaces over eight years at a cost of $264 million. The NDP pledged to eliminate waiting lists for child care within 10 years and provide a $15-a-day subsidy at a cost of almost $47 million over the first four years.

Beddome said the NDP allowed child care to languish while they were in power and claimed the Liberal plan is less realistic than the similar Green pledge even though both parties agree on the basic premise that more spaces must be created.

The PC plan, Beddome said, relies too heavily on the private sector and claimed it amounts to a privatization of child care.

"The fact that 95 per cent of Manitoba's child-care facilities are non-profit, licensed facilities is a good thing," he said.

Green Leader James Beddome says his party's child-care plan is more realistic than a similar Liberal pledge. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

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