Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government would be “disadvantaged” by Ottawa’s $10-a-day child-care proposal, the Ontario leader told CNN.
“Canada does a deal to try to put Ottawa into control over the child-care, over the school board, over the region,” Ford said in a Friday interview, “where the individual government can’t dictate to the individual school boards what the school fees are, how the school boards hire staff and so forth.”
“Ontario would be shortchanged by $100 million a year, $10-a-day child care,” he added.
Ford said his government would instead focus on more school choice.
Ford said he wants to see more private spaces, open to private parents, and to have more hiring rights for unionized teachers.
Some debate has emerged over how to implement a $10-a-day plan. In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Tory health critic Christine Elliott called the proposal “neither realistic or viable” without the “opening up of public education,” from grades K-12, “to ensure an offer that’s sustainable for both parents and taxpayers.”
Meanwhile, the Ontario government said it plans to invest $1.5 billion more over five years in the community care program, which provides care to families with complex care needs, providing 25,000 more spaces and $125 million over the next four years.
Ford vowed to limit the size of Toronto’s city council to 25 seats.
“We’ll shrink government and we’ll shrink it to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Ford paid a visit to a pediatric hospital, where he announced his child care plan and heard comments from some of the thousands of patients and their families who come to the hospital.
“You should all stand up, I want you to take your seats,” he said. “You are being abandoned. You deserve better government.”
“The privatization of our schools is my pet peeve,” Ford said to applause. “It is a crumbling system and we are going to fix it.”