Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star
"However, advocates are worried child care will be buried in the new government’s $20-billion social infrastructure fund aimed at also addressing affordable housing, seniors facilities, women’s shelters and recreational/cultural amenities over the next 10 years.
As the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives noted in its recent Alternative Federal Budget report, past experience has shown that when child-care funding is included as part of broader federal transfers to provinces, not much happens.
Ottawa needs to earmark funds specifically for child care, like the previous federal Liberal government under Paul Martin did in 2005, said Toronto child-care expert Martha Friendly, who co-authored the report’s chapter on child care. (Martin’s first budget committed $700 million to get the ball rolling on a five-year, $5-billion national plan.)
The left-leaning advocacy group is calling for $600 million this year to kick-start the Trudeau government’s national strategy with funding to increase by $1 billion annually in each of the following five years.
With a total of just $6 billion in social infrastructure funding expected to be spent over the next four years, there won’t be nearly enough to properly fund a long-term strategy that will take a decade to build, Friendly said."