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Lord Tories will let $109-million day-care deal die [CA-NB]

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CBC News
Publication Date: 
13 Feb 2006

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The Lord government is hoping the new Harper government will negotiate a better day-care deal for New Brunswick than what it got from the Liberals.

New Brunswick Minister of Family and Community Services Joan MacAlpine-Stiles has all but renounced the $109-million federal-provincial deal she signed with the former Liberal government in November, and insists the province can get an even better agreement out of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

During the election, Harper promised to kill the child-care deals with the provinces and replace them with a taxable annual cheque for $1,200, sent directly to parents of children under six years of age.

But as soon as Harper's Conservatives were sworn in, some provincial premiers asked him to reconsider that promise.

Saskatchewan's Lorne Calvert says Harper should send out those cheques and honour the deals designed to create more day-care spaces. "What I don't think is right is to go back on the other good work and turn back on it."

The Lord government was the last of all the provinces to sign on to the former Liberal government's national child-care policy, signing a five-year "agreement in principle" with Ottawa.

MacAlpine-Stiles says that deal wasn't perfect and is hoping for something better from the federal government. "We have an opportunity to negotiate a plan that is perhaps better designed or better formulated for us."

The only trouble with that plan is that Harper's pledge on day care doesn't call for any deals with provinces after next year, just cheques for parents.

- reprinted from CBC News

Entered Date: 
17 Feb 2006
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