NDP leader promotes childcare plan during Nanaimo visit

NANAIMO – A national childcare plan is a top priority for the New Democrats, according to leader Thomas Mulcair.

Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair made a brief appearance in Nanaimo Monday to discuss his party's national daycare program proposal.

Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair made a brief appearance in Nanaimo Monday to discuss his party's national daycare program proposal.

New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair pledged to boost childcare spaces and reinstate a federal minimum wage, during a campaign stop in Nanaimo Monday.

Mulcair promoted the party’s national childcare plan in a press conference at Little Ferns Early Learning Centre, including a million spaces after eight years that would cost parents no more than $15 a day.

He says it can cost $1,000 a month for infants in childcare, which is a “huge amount of money.”

Under his plan the federal government would work with provinces and territories to boost access to childcare and provide 60 per cent of the funding. The aim would be to see 400,000 child care spaces created by the end of four years, and a million in eight. The leader also pledged to reinstate a $15 hourly minimum wage for employees covered under federal jurisdiction.

“How do you get someone out of poverty? Often you are talking about young parents, so you have to be able to help them finish their education,” he said, pointing to the need for child care. “And once that happens, then they can start to work, but they won’t be able to work unless they have the ability to have child care … it’s a virtuous circle instead of a vicious circle.

“It’s a circle that has to be completed with help from the government and that’s where we come in.”