Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on making child care more affordable in New Brunswick
August 29, 2023 - Moncton, New Brunswick
First, I want to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional territories of the Mi’kma’ki and the Wabanaki.
I am so happy to be here in Moncton, in beautiful New Brunswick.
And I have to say there is really nothing that gives me more pleasure than spending time at Canada’s wonderful early learning and child care centres, than spending time with the amazing, hard-working early learning and child care educators who take care of our kids and teach our kids. They are raising the rising generation of Canadians. And, of course, to spend time with a really great group of young Canadians. I really just had a wonderful time here at Roche Papier Ciseaux.
When our government first announced our plan to make high quality, affordable child care a reality across Canada, it was welcomed by a lot of people — but to be honest there was also a lot of skepticism.
And that skepticism was justifiable, because Canadian politicians had been making promises — for nearly five decades — to establish a national system of early learning and child care.
But the commitment that I was so proud to make in our 2021 budget is no longer just a promise. It is becoming a reality.
The federal government has now signed agreements with every single province and territory on early learning and child care, and today, fees here in New Brunswick have been reduced by an average of 50 per cent, saving families in this amazing province an average of $3,900 this year — per child.
And New Brunswick is on track to reach fees of just $10-a-day by the end of 2026.
We are also creating more child care spaces — including 3,400 here in New Brunswick by 2026.
And the Prime Minister announced in June that our government will provide an additional $625 million to support provinces and territories in investing in infrastructure that will make child care more accessible in underserved communities — including in rural and remote communities, and high-cost or low-income neighbourhoods here in New Brunswick.
This includes funding the efforts of provinces and territories to create spaces in communities that currently just don’t have enough of them.
Ensuring that families have access affordable child care is, of course, an important social policy. It’s an important new part of Canada’s national social welfare net. But you know what? This is also economic policy — this is feminist economic policy — in action.
Studies show that every dollar invested in early childhood education generates between $1.50 and nearly $3.00 in activity for the broader economy.
Nearly 950,000 more Canadians are employed today than were before the pandemic. That includes a record 85.7 per cent labour force participation rate in July for Canadian women in their prime working years — and that is supported by our early learning and child care system, now nation wide. This level – 85.7 per cent – is a record high for Canada and it compares to just 77.5 per cent in the U.S.
We were talking earlier today about how strong the economy is here in Moncton and how labour shortages are a real issue. Making it possible for mothers to work is the best answer to labour shortages and that is what our child care system is doing already.
I am so glad to be here today to see our plan in action — and to better understand what more we can do to help working mothers and fathers like those here in Moncton. And to help the great kids that we met today.
Because our child care plan is so important for communities like Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe—communities with growing families and growing businesses.
Inflation in Canada last month was at 3.3 per cent — that is down from a high of 8.1 per cent in June of 2022.
At five per cent, wage growth outpaced inflation in July — just as it has done for the past six months — and at just 5.5 per cent, unemployment is near historic lows.
Our government has helped to lift 2.3 million Canadians out of poverty since 2015 — including half a million children through the Canada Child Benefit.
In 2016, 12.9 per cent of Canadians were living in poverty. By 2021, that number was down to 7.4 per cent. That’s a real accomplishment for our whole country.
And from an enhanced Canada Workers Benefit to a new Canadian Dental Care Plan, we have strengthened the social safety net that millions of Canadians count on — all while ensuring that Canada maintains the lowest deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7.
Our economic plan is fiscally responsible — and it’s delivering real results for people here in Moncton and across New Brunswick.
Making sure that kids have the best start in life is at the heart of our plan — and I can see that a lot of kids in Moncton are off to a great start here at Roche Papier Ciseaux.
Thank you very much.
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