The result of the federal election could have a direct impact on working parents.
The Liberal Party made a national $10 a day childcare system a key part of its budget in the spring. However, the Conservative Party, if elected, is promising to immediately scrap these plans. In its election platform, the Conservatives set out a plan to convert the current childcare expense deduction into a refundable tax credit that covers up to 75 per cent of the cost of childcare for lower income families. The deduction would be paid out over the course of the year so families don’t have to pay out of pocket for childcare expenses and wait to recoup the money.
Families with an annual income of $150,000 and under would qualify for the deduction, according to the party’s platform. The Conservatives estimated their plan would see families making $30,000 annually receive $6,000, families making $50,000 would receive $5,200, families making $80,000 would receive $4,800 and families making $120,00 would receive $4,560.
But the Liberal Party is doubling down on its proposed childcare system, for which seven provinces and one territory have already agreed to come on board. Earlier this year, the federal government pledged to invest up to $30 billion over the next five years toward creating a childcare system that would bring the federal government to a 50/50 share of childcare costs with the provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec, and would lower the average cost of nationally regulated childcare to $10 a day.
In its re-election platform, the Liberal Party is vowing to finalize agreements with all remaining provinces and territories, create 250,000 new high-quality childcare spaces and hire 40,000 more early childhood educators. Additionally, the Liberals plan to continue the non-taxable Canada Child Benefit increase it introduced this year.
Meanwhile, in its platform, the New Democratic Party said, if elected, it will provide funding for not-for-profit childcare centres at risk of closing due to the coronavirus pandemic and re-open spaces that were lost since the start of the crisis. As well, the NDP is also promising to work with the provinces to build a universal, $10 a day childcare system.
Although the Bloc Québécois election platform doesn’t include a proposal for childcare, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the party’s leader, Yves-François Blanchet, said he’s happy with Quebec’s current childcare system, which is less per day than what both the Liberals and the NDP have proposed.
And in its election platform, the Green Party said it also plans to work with the provinces, territories and local communities to build a more affordable universal childcare system, though the proposal doesn’t go into specifics. The Green Party is also pledging to immediately increase federal childcare funding to the international benchmark of at least one per cent of gross domestic product annually.