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Kelowna-Mission MLA Merrifield challenges minister on childcare spaces

Merrifield sparred with Minister Chen during question period in the legislature
Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield. (File photo)

Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield has accused the NDP government of being all rhetoric and no results on daycare spaces in B.C.

Merrifield sparred with Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen during question period in the legislature this week.

“The B.C. Liberals actually, in 2015, created more daycare spaces in Surrey than the NDP has done under this minister in all of B.C. in any other given year,” said Merrifield. “Communities like Surrey have half the national average of childcare spaces. They need 20,000 childcare spaces just to meet the Canadian average.”

Minister Chen said her government has nearly tripled the number of spaces in four years than the Liberals’ 16 years in government.

“In Surrey, for example, just by the end of last year, we’ve already had over 2,100 spaces that were funded by the government,” countered Chen. “We find parents savings, for the first time in B.C. history childcare costs, are going down not going up. When the opposition was in government they actually took away parents’ savings.”

Merrifield related the story of a Surrey mother who has been on a waitlist for two years for her kindergarten child and still doesn’t have a spot.

“Why are so many families being left to languish on waitlists by this NDP government?” she asked.

Chen argued the province has worked hard on childcare and accused the Liberals of being uncooperative.

“We’re going to continue to do more while the other side of the house neglected the crisis and is still not willing to work with us on our Childcare B.C. Plan,” added Chen.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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