Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 4/4/2016 (1594 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MANITOBA New Democrats have pledged to create a $25-million fund to build new daycares before community groups can raise the funds to build them on their own.
NDP Leader Greg Selinger pledged Sunday to start a fund for the construction of daycares that could be leased to community groups while they are engaged in fundraising efforts.
Speaking at incumbent St. James candidate Deanne Crothers’ campaign office on Portage Avenue, the premier said the $25-million fund would speed up the creation of daycare spaces. He said he was not certain how much privately raised capital would be leveraged by the public contribution to create more daycare spaces.
"The pre-build program will allow us to get them into communities more rapidly, particularly areas that may be struggling in raising money themselves.
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The NDP, in power since 1999, has already pledged to create 12,000 new daycare spaces over seven years. Selinger has yet to cost out the promise, beyond the $25 million announced Sunday.
The premier attempted to position the NDP as more interested in child care than the PCs by pointing out leader Brian Pallister was a Tory MLA when the Filmon government cancelled daycare spaces during the 1990s and was a Conservative MP when the Harper government cancelled the national daycare program.
The PCs responded by noting waiting lists for daycare spaces have risen since Selinger became premier, whom they accused of announcing the same $25-million funding contribution five times in the past 13 months.
"On Thursday, they committed to provide $25 million for the creation of new daycare spaces. They made the same commitment in the 2015 throne speech, in January of this year and again on March 8," spokesman Howard May said in a statement.
The Liberals questioned the NDP’s commitment. "They’ve had 16 years to get this done and are still a long ways off because they refuse to build capacity in the system to handle the need," spokesman Mike Brown said.
‘Hiding in the bushes’?
NDP Leader Greg Selinger taunted his Progressive Conservative counterpart Sunday for declining to attend two debates this week.
Speaking at a campaign event in St. James, the premier accused PC Leader Brian Pallister of “hiding in the bushes” by ducking debates organized by Virgin Radio morning-show host Ace Burpee and the Brandon Sun.
“What is he scared of?” Selinger asked.
The Tories, who remain front-runners in surveys of voter support, shrugged off Selinger’s comments. By the time the election campaign ends April 19, Pallister will have participated in five debates, PC spokesman Howard May said.
“He has made himself available regularly to the media for questions and will continue to do so throughout this campaign,” May said.