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Doug Ford suggests deal with feds to reduce cost of child care is coming 'very, very soon'

Ontario Premier Doug Ford arrives to make an announcement in Brampton, Ont., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Ontario Premier Doug Ford arrives to make an announcement in Brampton, Ont., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Premier Doug Ford says that there will be an announcement on a deal to reduce the cost of child care in Ontario “very, very soon.”

Ford made the comment during a press conference alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday morning in Alliston, Ont., where the pair announced more than $131 million in funding to help Honda Canada upgrade its plant to produce electric vehicles.

The premier has repeatedly told Ontarians for months now that Ontario was “very close” to a deal to sign onto the Trudeau government’s $30 billion child-care accord.

But this is the first time he has promised an imminent announcement.

Ontario is the only province or territory that has not signed on to the agreement, which aims to reduce the average cost of child care by 50 per cent by the end of 2022 en route to lowering it further to $10 a day by 2026.

“We are very, very close. As the prime minister said our teams are working together on a daily basis and we'll have the announcement very, very soon,” Ford said when asked for an update about the status of negotiations. “It's so important to make sure that we have affordable child care for all families right across Ontario.”


Federal officials have previously told CTV News Toronto more than a billion dollars of the $10.2 billion promised to Ontario was intended for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and could “lapse” if a deal isn’t reached by the end of this month.

Last week a spokesperson for Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould did confirm Ontario had finally submitted “a first draft of its action plan” on how it intends to disperse the funds, allowing for “negotiations to move to the next phase.”

The development came after months of back and forth, in which Education Minister Stephen Lecce first claimed the deal didn’t take into account the money the province spends on full-day kindergarten for four and five years olds and then raised concerns over whether there was enough funding to actually reduce child care costs to an average of $10 a day.

“The common ground that we've always shared is a desire to see cost lowered for hardworking families across Ontario and indeed across the country and to do the things that are going to help them get ahead,” Trudeau said Wednesday. “From that place of alignment and agreement we're working very hard and like I said, we hope to have things to announce very soon.”

So far, five provinces and territories have already begun putting the federal money towards reducing child-care fees, with a number of them slated to issue retroactive rebates to parents in the coming weeks. Top Stories

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