NDP: Wilkinson puts progress on affordable childcare at risk

THE BC NDP said on Friday that BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson will put at risk BC’s progress reducing the cost of childcare for middle and low-income families.

It said that Wilkinson and his colleagues have consistently opposed the BC NDP plan that reduced the cost of childcare fees:

  • In 2018, Wilkinson and his colleagues voted against a budget that invested more than $1 billion over three years in childcare including an affordable childcare benefit, a childcare fee reduction programs and an investment in thousands of new spaces. (Budget 2018 highlights, Page 3)
  • In an interview with Global News, Wilkinson said the BC NDP plan to “drive down the price by $350 a month, sounds like a good idea. It’s very expensive.” (April 28, 2018)

The NDP said that Wilkinson also chose Chilliwack-Kent BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness as his childcare critic.

  • Throness criticized efforts to improve wages for childcare workers saying “it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay an ECE worker to take care of a child instead of paying their own mom or dad to do the same thing.” (Hansard, April 24, 2018).
  • He later claimed that childcare is pointless because parents are legally obligated to care for their children: “We have one full-time, 24-hour-a-day space for every child in B.C. By law, childcare is now, and always has been, universal and 24-7.” (Video)
  • Throness suggested that instead of investing in childcare, government should provide incentives to  “replace human workers with software and machines.”  (Black Press, March 1, 2018)
  • Earlier this year, Throness claimed childcare is harmful to children. (Terrace Standard, March 6, 2020)

The BC NDP said its platform commits to continue building affordable, quality, inclusive childcare for everyone.

BC NDP candidate Katrina Chen said: “For 16 years, the BC Liberals did nothing to make childcare more affordable. Andrew Wilkinson and Laurie Throness have voted against and attacked our childcare investments every step of the way. Wilkinson’s record shows that he can’t be trusted not to cancel our investments and drive up the cost of childcare. He is a risk parents can’t afford.”