• NDP’s Andrea Horwath finds her footing on progressive platform

    While Horwath may gain traction with soaring rhetoric, her platform remains slippery in spots — brimming with good ideas on caring, but burdened by a black hole on hydro promises that sound too good to be true. Like the Liberals with their ambitious budgetary spending, the New Democrats stress caring while downplaying paying for it… The NDP fiscal plan calls for a budget deficit of roughly half the $6.7 billion projected in the Liberal budget in 2018-19, thanks to higher taxes on the rich and corporations

  • NDP promises $12-a-day child care and lower deficits if elected

    The New Democrats’ fiscal plan, signed off on as “reasonable” by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, is bolstered by higher taxes. An NDP government would raise the corporate tax rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent, close big business loopholes, and increase personal income tax on amounts earned more than $220,000 by one percentage point and on earnings more than $300,000 by two percentage points.

  • Black and Indigenous children over-represented in Ontario child-welfare system: report

    The review by the province’s human rights commission finds a “staggering” number of Indigenous children in care across Canada — more now than there were in residential schools at the height of their use — and Ontario is part of the dismal situation. “The proportion of Indigenous children admitted into care (in Ontario) was 2.6 times higher than their proportion in the child population,” the report states. “The proportion of black children admitted into care was 2.2 times higher than their proportion in the child population.”

  • Ontario’s child care election promises win praise from B.C. finance minister

    The Wynne government’s recent $2.2 billion budget initiative is coupled with its 2016 commitment to create 100,000 new licensed spots for kids under age 4 within five years. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last week vowed to “do better” in her election platform… “When you look at demographics . . . when you have the Governor of the Bank of Canada speaking in favour of child care as a recruitment and retention issue, getting women back into the workforce is critical,”

  • Liberal budget asks voters to trust they’ll keep their nerve

    … the social benefits from the Liberals’ proposed spending plans outweigh the initial monetary costs… voters are willing to tolerate budget deficits if they think the money is being well spent… Ontario’s debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is predicted to rise slightly over the next three years. But if the Liberals keep their nerve, this is a small price to pay for a path-breaking agenda.

  • Ontario has reshaped the national child care debate

    At a conjuncture when confidence in governments seems to be faltering, Ontario’s bold announcement that only good public policy can create the services that families need is visionary, and changes the social and political conversation. It underscores that Canadians are citizens, not merely consumers or taxpayers. It is a long overdue acknowledgment that mothers, children, and today’s families have a rightful claim to social support.

  • Highlights of the Ontario budget

    - $822 million extra to hospitals, funding more cardiac and cancer surgeries, chemotherapy, MRIs and other services; – $575 million to make drugs completely free for seniors; – $800 million over two years for drug and dental coverage for people without insurance (up to $400 for singles, $600 for couples, $50 for each child); – $2.1 billion over four years for mental health care; – $2.2 billion over three years, providing some parents free child care; – $1 billion over three years for a seniors home-care benefit of $750 a year…

  • Ontario budget to fund free child care for preschoolers as part of $2.2B plan

    Premier Kathleen Wynne has unveiled free child care for preschoolers in a $2.2 billion budget boost that is the cornerstone of the Liberals’ spring re-election platform… “If we don’t do something to give more women the choice to return to work after having kids and do it on their own terms then we will never achieve gender equality.” The government will also introduce a provincial wage grid for chronically low-paid child-care workers by 2020 to bring early childhood educator wages up to the level of those in the school system.

  • Can Kathleen Wynne convince Ontarians government-funded daycare is about something bigger?

    Ms. Wynne will need to do something extremely difficult… persuade many Ontarians to look beyond narrow self-interest, and put their faith in her to elevate everyone by helping a relative few… they can present daycare as part of an ambitious effort to help Ontarians adapt to modern cost pressures… combined with the introduction of full-day kindergarten… elimination of tuition fees for lower-income students, they are establishing an affordable path from early childhood to adulthood.

  • Ontario Liberals pledge free child care for preschoolers starting in 2020

    The new program sees the government pledging to fund the cost of full-day, licensed child care starting once children turn two-and-a-half. The funding would cover their care costs until they become eligible for full-day kindergarten. In Ontario, kids are eligible for junior kindergarten in the calendar year they turn four, and senior kindergarten the year they turn five… [It] is estimated to save families $17,000 a year.