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Reducing Child-Care Costs In B.C. Can't Wait A Decade

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Has anyone else noticed an age-old movie plot line playing out in B.C. this week? A sweet-talking guy sweeps onto the scene, promising the world, only to disappoint when the varnish wears off. It's like watching the sequel of He's Just Not That Into You.

For months, John Horgan and the B.C. NDP have said they would bring in the $10-a-day child care model, but recently, Mr. Horgan confirmed they wouldn't fully implement the program for 10 years.

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B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)

Think about that -- a child who needs child care today would be starting high school when the B.C. NDP's co-called plan is implemented. After months of building false hope for parents, once again, Mr. Horgan said one thing and did something completely different.

As a mother, I know how important and sometimes challenging it can be to find child care.

The best way to help parents with child care is to create more spaces. That's how you reduce waitlists and make sure kids have the care they need from qualified professionals, with supports for low-income families.

Premier Christy Clark and her team have created 4,300 new spaces since 2015 and will create another 5,000 this year, all towards the goal of 13,000 by 2020. That's concrete action to help parents.

By contrast, from one issue to the next, Mr. Horgan has said one thing and done another -- an alarming pattern from someone looking to run the province.

Say one thing, do another - that's exactly what we've heard from politicians like him for years.

If you're reading this and you're still thinking to yourself, "Well, it's better than nothing" -- let's look at how the plan would actually operate.

At a cost of $1.5 billion per year, the $10-a-day plan would give precious taxpayer dollars to people who don't need the help. Mr. Horgan's plan would likely mean people in the top two per cent would get a handout of your tax dollars. That's not right.

In Quebec, where they have had the expensive taxpayer-funded child-care model since 2007, one study shows families in the top 25 per cent of income earnings were twice as likely to grab a daycare spot than families in the bottom 25 per cent. Again, that doesn't help middle-class parents.

The Quebec model has also meant tens of thousands of parents still waiting for a space, as people who can afford to pay moved in to access the taxpayer-funded spaces.

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Subsidies for the rich and tens of thousands on waitlists -- it's no wonder taxpayers in Quebec pay some of the highest taxes in North America. That doesn't sound like anything we should try in British Columbia.

Of course, John Horgan won't tell you this. When he was speaking to voters on Vancouver Island recently, he told them he needs to be "all things to all people." Say one thing, do another -- that's exactly what we've heard from politicians like him for years.

The plan being put forward by Premier Christy Clark and today's B.C. Liberals will increase the supply of new spaces to reduce waitlists and drive down the cost for families. That is the best way to help parents with the cost of child care, and give kids the great start they deserve.

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