Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announcing -a-day early learning and child care in Ontario

Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announcing $10-a-day early learning and child care in Ontario

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This is such a great day for Ontario. It is such a great day for Canada.

And I do, like the Prime Minister and the Premier, want to say how sad we all are about the tragedy here in Brampton this morning.

Less than a year ago, we introduced a plan to make high quality, affordable child care a reality across Canada.

It was a plan that I know was welcomed by many, but I also know that there was some skepticism when we announced our plan in the budget last year.

But since then, we have delivered. We have now signed agreements with provinces and territories – across this whole country – to deliver $10-a-day early learning and child care to Canadian parents and families.

Today is the culmination of all of that hard work, and I am so glad that Ontario is now part of Canada’s national early learning and child care system!

This is truly an historic day.

It is the fruit of more than half a century of activism by Canadian feminists, who have understood – for a really, really long time – that early learning and child care is an essential feminist policy, but also an essential economic policy.

All of this was made possible because of their work—because they fought for this long before it was popular, and because they did not waver in the face of setback after setback.

We share this success today with them.

I would like to take a moment today to recognise the so many Canadians, over so many years, who have made today finally possible.

So thank you to the women who have spent fighting for early learning and child care, and finally making it a reality.

To the intellectual leaders and activists—Judy LaMarsh, Laura Sabia, and Monique Bégin—who convinced the government to establish a Royal Commission on the Status of Women, back in 1967.

And I do want to remember my own mother, who was inspired by the work of that Royal Commission, and fought so hard for early learning and child care – as did so many feminists.

In the 1960’s, about 35 per cent of Canadian women aged 25 to 54 were in the labour force. Today, that number is 84 per cent.

High quality, $10-a-day early learning and child care will help us do even better. It will mean that women in Canada do not have to choose between their careers and their families.

And as Finance Minister, I can tell you, this deal comes at exactly the moment when we need it most.

Labour force shortages are a choke point right now for our economy. And affordable early learning and child care is going to be such an important part of Canada’s solution.

Affordability is a challenge for so many Canadian families, including families here in Brampton. Affordable early learning and child care, with savings that start immediately, is going to be such an important part of the solution to affordability challenges for Canadian families. And now, for Ontario families.

Early learning and child care is going to help us build an economy—and a country—that is stronger, that is more prosperous, for all Canadians, starting with the very, very youngest.

It is so wonderful to be here.

Thank you to everyone who worked on this agreement including my two amazing colleagues, Ahmed Hussen, who got the ball rolling, and Karina Gould, who when the Prime Minister appointed her to this job, said you’re going to get it across the finish line. And she did. So thank you very much, Karina.

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