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Canada Fund Ministry: Pandemic an opportunity to bring in Federal childcare

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to news media in Ottawa OTTAWA (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging impact on women has underlined the need for a national childcare plan, which would also help the economic recovery, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday. Since taking up her job…

Canada finance minister: Pandemic an opportunity to bring in national childcare© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to information media in Ottawa

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging impact on women has underlined the need for a national childcare program, which might also help the economic recovery, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland stated on Thursday.

Since taking up her job in August, Freeland has spoken about a”feminist agenda,” and has said childcare will be a part of a stimulus package worth around C$100 billion ($79.6 billion) more than three years. She’ll unveil details within her April 19 budget.

“I really believe COVID-19 has created a window of political opportunity and maybe an epiphany… on the importance of early learning and childcare,” Freeland informed a online convention of Canada’s ruling Liberal Party.

The funding is set to be a springboard for a election that Liberal insiders say is probably in the second half of the year.

Canadian governments of different stripes have mused about a national childcare program for decades but not acted, thanks in part to this price and also the need to work out a deal with the 10 provinces, which provide many social programs.

Freeland stated a childcare program would help counter”an incredibly dangerous drop” in female employment since the onset of the pandemic.

“It is a surefire way to drive jobs and economic growth … you have higher participation of women in the labor force,” Freeland said. “My hope … is that being able to make that economic argument as well is going be to one of the ways that we get this done.”

Freeland, who’s taking part this week at meetings of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations and the International Monetary Fund, stated U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had informed her they watched early learning and child care for a driver for economic recovery.

($1=1. ) 2560 Canadian dollars)

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