Ford said in September that $350 million in funding wasn’t guaranteed for any of the new parties’s policies. The newspaper said it was possible the Ontario Liberals would try to retrieve the money for child care before Ford did finalize a deal.
Ford made the comments in September during a debate with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in which he suggested that the province’s government is trying to “screw us” and the rest of the country, and that he would put the party together after the federal election in 2019.
His statement has led to accusations that Ford is anti-parent, and is trying to strangle child care funding in Ontario to appease donors and to be able to run a kiddie camp.
Ford spoke Monday about a child-care subsidy program that could be expanded by billions over the next decade.
“We have to stand up for those who can’t afford to leave their kids in an unlicensed daycare,” Ford said, according to The Canadian Press. “Not only do I think it’s wrong, but I will stand up for those parents … who live in the inner city and can’t even afford an unlicensed daycare. These are people who can’t afford an unlicensed daycare.”
Ford said that increased funding could bring down the province’s deficit, which is projected to be more than $11 billion this year.
Before Ford was elected, Wynne told reporters that an unlicensed daycare “is not worth caring for” in Ontario, adding that every year under her tenure, more people have been dropping out of the system.
She has also said that Ford has been “untruthful and dishonest” about child care funding before, and that that she expects Ford’s most recent plan to be “a rehash of some old political positions.”
Ontario, home to more than 10 million people, is Canada’s largest province and a powerhouse of manufacturing. But Ford recently moved to diversify the province’s economy to contain its dependence on its once-fabled auto industry. Ford says he is willing to consider “tax loopholes” in order to extend the reach of the “Ford Child Benefit” to all families, rather than just wealthier ones.
Wynne, who became Canada’s first female premier in 2014 and has been Ontario’s premier for two years, has criticized Ford’s commitment to expanding child care benefits to all families. She says that will come at the expense of existing programs, which receive more than $500 million annually.
Ford has promised to reduce the carbon tax, currently the biggest climate-change policy in Ontario, as part of his plan to halt soaring energy costs, part of which is supposed to be paid for by carbon taxes.
But Wynne said Monday that a proposed plan by Ford to cancel the tax doesn’t make sense, since it’s being introduced at a time when Ontario’s emissions are on the rise.
Wynne has been criticized for not pointing the finger at foreign companies that are using Canadian air space to ship their products to the United States, and she has faced several demands to release her son’s tax returns as a former federal cabinet minister.
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