Furstenau is getting her teeth into the child care issue: always a hot topic in the Cowichan Valley. (Submitted)

BC budget debate sees Furstenau take up the cudgels on childcare issue

She’s had a chance to suggest some of the policy, now it’s time to see it implemented

For the first time ever, the B.C. Green caucus is able to respond to the release of a provincial budget from the NDP.

Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau, who has been collaborating with the government on the child care plan, said the government’s articulation of Child Care B.C. is promising.

“The investments in childcare and early childhood education provide an us with an unparalleled opportunity to provide the next generation of British Columbians with the best possible conditions for success and to set B.C. on a path towards achieving far greater equality,” she said Feb. 21, the day after the budget came down.

“I am grateful to see explicit recognition of the importance of educators and indigenous-led care.”

Green leader Andrew Weaver, went even further.

“It is refreshing to see a provincial budget that puts people back at its centre, but there is still much work to be done to meet British Columbians’ expectations for the future,” said Weaver.

“We need a vision for seizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of the 21st century. Our goal shouldn’t just be to only fix the shortcomings of the last 16 years – as leaders we need to champion a clear plan for the economy and the challenges and opportunities of the coming decades.

“It is good to see that we have a government that is finally acknowledging there is a problem in housing, but there is much more that needs to be done. While a welcome first step, the proposals we heard today are not a bold enough response to our housing crisis.

“Many of the other tools the government has put on the table are promising but what matters is whether these initiatives will be implemented in a way that set us on a path to a different future and ensures the next generation won’t be dealing with the same challenges we face right now.

“It is encouraging to see such a significant emphasis on child care. This is a core commitment to our Confidence and Supply Agreement and we have been working diligently to consult with the government on how we can best achieve our shared goals.

“However, we are still concerned that the challenges presented by the emerging economy, and the challenge of climate change in particular are not receiving adequate attention. Without a clear vision and decisive action we risk undermining all of the progress we could make on childcare and housing.”

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