05/17/2013 08:20 EDT | Updated 07/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Private daycares to strike despite threat of fine

Private daycare operators are planning a one-day strike on Wednesday, despite warnings from the province that they will face fines if they do.

The businesses are striking to denounce Quebec's proposal to slash $15 million from their budgets.

Quebec's family minister, Nicole Léger, says the budget cuts are about $21,000 per centre. She calls the cuts insignificant when compared to average profits of $100,000.

The President of the Quebec Private Daycares Association, Sylvain Lévesque, says the province's public, not-for-profit $7-dollar-a-day centres are running large surpluses and they should be asked to pay more instead.

Léger has said the one-day shut downs are unacceptable and she threatened stiff fines for any business that closes its doors.

According to Léger, any daycare that shuts down will be fined the equivalent of 150 per cent of their daily subsidy, an average of around $3,750, with fines going up sharply for every subsequent strike day.

Levesque says the Parti Québécois government is being unfair. "Last year Pauline Marois was in the streets with the students yelling at the government. Now that we're upset with cuts, we don't have the right to go in the streets," says Levesque.

He says the private centres pay their fair share already, pouring $30,000,000 per year in taxes into the government's coffers.