Thomas Mulcair has promised an NDP government would make affordable childcare available to every family in Canada.
“Families, no matter where they live, will have access to quality childcare at no more than $15 a day,” the prime ministerial hopeful said at a campaign stop in Vancouver this morning (August 20).
“In British Columbia, there are regulated childcare spaces available for only 18 percent of children under the age of six. My plan is for a million $15-a-day childcare spaces throughout the country, and that will mean 110,000 spaces across British Columbia.”
He emphasized the plan would primarily benefit women, describing them as a group that carries the vast majority of the burden that challenges related to childcare can place on a family.
He said that by making affordable childcare available, more women would have the option of remaining in the workforce. Mulcair noted that would benefit the country’s economy and allow the program to pay for itself. He pointed to Quebec as an example.
“The one model that you can look at in Canada—which is the Quebec model —70,000 women were able to reinter the workforce,” Mulcair said. “Many of them were on different forms of support. Not only was it good for them and their careers, but it was also good for the economy because there was actually a boost of about two percent of Quebec’s GDP as many of those women were able to go back to work. And more money actually flowed back into government coffers at both levels than what the program costs.”
An NDP backgrounder provided to media states that on average, families in Vancouver pay $1,215 per month to keep one child in care. Meanwhile, a childcare spot in Quebec costs $152 per month. Childcare priced at $15 a day works out to $300 a month.
Mulcair was speaking at an NDP supporter's home in the new electoral riding of Vancouver Granville, where the NDP's Mira Oreck faces the Conservatives' Erinn Broshko, the Liberal's Jody-Wilson Raybould, and the Greens' Michael Barkusky.