Parents across Ontario have expressed disappointment at a Provincial Government decision to slash funding for 51 planned childcare projects consisting of more than 3,000 much needed spaces in the city of Toronto.
These new projects, which would have opened up additional spaces in local schools, were already approved and ready to go but are now in jeopardy because the Ford government removed all provincial funding at the very last minute as part of their budget cuts.
Now the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board have until August 30 to replace the lost provincial funding, or, these projects will be cancelled.
The Conservatives didn’t seem to have a problem with paying out $1 billion to rip up the Beer Store contract, nor did they have any issue in losing $150 million to get rid of the so- called “Six Million dollar man” at Hydro One, yet they now claim that the province can’t afford to fund vital new child care projects?
Ontario is currently experiencing an affordable child care crisis. Right now, we pay the highest average child care fees anywhere in Canada.
Working parents are under significant stress when trying to find a daycare spot for their children, and spend on average almost $1,700 a month on childcare.
Having fewer available child care spaces could increase costs due to demand, making the situation even worse.
Families deserve better than this.
The Ontario NDP and I have been fighting to make childcare more affordable for all Ontarians. In order to do this, we need to fund more affordable childcare spaces rather than make cuts that hurt Ontario children and their families.
It has been a year of new beginnings. A year ago, I was honoured to be elected by you to represent our community at Queen’s Park. A little over a month later, I welcomed my first child into the world. In that time I have been working tirelessly at Queen’s Park and in our community for positive change.
I am proud to stand up for you, and now my son Aleksandar, who reminds me every day of why it is important to build a better future for all of us.
This past year, we’ve come together often at Town Halls I’ve hosted on fairer auto insurance, such as my bill that would have reduced premiums by a billion dollars, and on fighting the cuts to education, autism funding and this government’s bill that will now allow developers to build with little community input and benefits to neighbourhoods. We have connected at local events and meetings, parent-teachers councils, seniors’ groups and more. We’ve shared our ideas, voiced concerns, signed petitions, and I’ve brought them all to Queen’s Park. I am proud of what we’ve done together.
It is important that our students understand how important their role in our community is. As such, I have created an annual Youth Community Leadership Award for ‘civic engagement’ which I have had the pleasure of giving to many students at the 30+ graduation ceremonies in our riding. My office and I also actively participate in the Humber River-Black Creek Youth Council, which now meets regularly to discuss issues within our province and city. These are our future leaders and I am very proud of doing what I can to encourage them.
The legislature has risen for the summer, I will continue to knock on doors, attend our local events and meetings, and assisting you when you need me. You can reach my office at 416-743-7272 or email at TRakocevic-CO@ndp.on.ca, and keep up to date by following me on Twitter at @RakocevicT and on Facebook.
By the time you are reading this article, Doug Ford’s Conservatives will have passed yet another bill that will inflict long-term damage on the City of Toronto.
Bill 108 will bring back the planning powers of the OMB over local development, allow developers to threaten endangered species just by paying an extra fee, dramatically weaken heritage protection, and prevent municipalities from using inclusionary zoning bylaws to make sure new developments include affordable homes.
This bill will effectively reduce — and in some cases fully eliminate — community input into local planning decisions. At the same time, it will shortchange new residents, by choking off funding for parks, libraries, community centres, day-care spaces and other services that new neighbourhoods depend on.
The Ford government is giving his developer friends a huge gift, and making everyone else pay for it.
The developer-friendly bill is being rammed through Queen’s Park in less than a month, with only a single day of consultation at committee, giving residents of Ontario little time to respond or fully understand what it will mean.
On May 28, I presented the details of this bill to a packed crowd at St. Roch’s parish, where I was joined by panelists City Councillor Anthony Perruzza, former city councillor and current TRCA Board Member Maria Augimeri and Humber Summit Homeowner Association President Grant Evers. Residents were shocked to hear that the premier would prioritize developer profits over the rights of communities.
The topic on whether a community has say on what is built in their neighbourhood should not be a political one. It is not about right and left; it is about right and wrong.
If you want to help me pressure the conservative government to scrap Bill 108, email me at TRakocevic-CO @ndp.on.ca or call me at 416-743-7272.