Likes Liberal daycare plan

I’ve voted for (former Conservative prime minister) Brian Mulroney, admire (former Conservative PM) Joe Clark, currently support the federal Liberals and the provincial NDP, and sometimes donate to the Greens. Issues should take precedence over partisan politics.

Affordability is a key issue for me. I am deeply concerned about the future of young people in our community. Like many other families, I have children and grandchildren who would like to live and work in Kelowna. Making housing and daycare affordable is the key to making their dreams a reality.

No party fully addresses my concerns about affordability, but the Liberals seem to come closest.

Recently, I spent an hour talking with the 30-year-old Liberal candidate Tim Krupa. Krupa grew up in Kelowna, went to local schools, and graduated from UBC-O. He left for Oxford and then found work in government and business. He’s now returned home, and he’s keenly aware of how much harder it is today for younger people to the build a life in Kelowna. He explained the Liberal agenda on affordable housing and day care and seemed to really understand the issues.

I came away feeling enthusiastic about both Tim Krupa and the Liberals.

Afterward, I looked more closely at the Liberal affordable housing strategies. They do seem to be making progress. In 2017, they introduced a $40 billion National Housing Strategy to create 100,000 affordable housing units over 10 years, and the most recent budget included $2.5 billion for 35,000 affordable housing units.

The Liberals have also made specific policy promises, including repairing or rebuilding 1.4 million homes in four years, directing the CMHC to cut mortgage insurance rates by 25%, banning foreign ownership of new homes for the next two years, doubling the first-time home buyer’s tax credit to $10,000, spending $1 billion on a rent-to-own program, and allowing Canadians under age 40 to contribute up to $40,000 to a designated savings account and withdraw the money tax free when they buy a home. A few of the Conservative and NDP promises are worth consideration. But overall the Liberals’ policies seem to be both thoughtful and detailed.

What about daycare? The Liberals’ $10-a-day day care program clearly delivers more to our young families.

The Liberals have committed $30 billion over the next five years to a new national child care system. They’ve already signed multi-billion-dollar deals with eight provinces and territories. Their agreement with BC will create 30,000 new spaces over five years, cut fees in half by the end of 2022, and deliver $10-a-day child care in five years or less.

The NDP’s child care program is identical to the Liberals’ plan. The Conservatives, however, will scrap the deal for a refundable tax credit for up to 75% of daycare costs for the poorest families. But the plan, as (Conservative leader Erin) O’Toole remarked on CBC’s Face-to-Face program, won’t help middle-class families like Toronto teachers and new parents. That’s just not good enough.

Diane Eaton, Kelowna

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