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Local News: Honour day-care deals, McGuinty tells Harper Black Habits Articles Ontario could lose up to $1 billion in child-care funding from Ottawa if the Conservatives form the next federal government, Premier Dalton McGuinty is warning.

The province recently signed a five-year deal with the Liberal government that earmarked $1.3 billion for day-care spaces in Ontario.

But Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has promised to replace the Liberal plan with his own strategy if his party is elected.

Instead of subsidizing day-care spaces, Harper's plan would see $1,200 paid directly to families of day-care aged children.

When the Martin government signed the multi-year deals, Harper said they could be scraped after one year, and that's exactly what a Conservative government would do.

"Only a one-year commitment has been requested from Parliament," Harper said at the time. "After one year, we will be terminating the agreements and moving to our own child-care plans."

McGuinty says Ontario would not be the only province hurt by the Harper plan. "I would expect that every premier of the 13 provinces and territories would have some real concerns with Mr. Harper indicating that he's not prepared to honour agreements, in full, of any nature," he said.

The Conservatives say they would actually spend more money on day care than the Martin government has pledged.

However, by directing the money directly to parents instead of to local governments, the Tory proposal could scuttle plans for new capacity in organized day-care centres.

Under the Liberal agreement, the city of Toronto plans to create 5,000 new day-care spaces over the next five years.
Posted on Friday, December 09 @ 00:00:00 UTC by jcohen

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