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Singh talks universal child care, flexible parental benefits at campaign stop in Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm PDT

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh visited a child-friendly cafe on Tuesday to talk about child care in Canada. (Source: Twitter/@theJagmeetSingh)

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made an announcement Tuesday at a cafe in Vancouver

The party has proposed a universal child care system with $10 billion in funding

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh started his eighth day of campaigning in B.C. with breakfast at a child-friendly cafe in Vancouver.

The restaurant was the backdrop as Singh announced that a New Democrat government would make benefits for new parents more flexible.

Singh says new parents should be permitted to condense their employment insurance benefits so they can take shorter parental leaves while still receiving the full benefit, sidestepping the dramatic salary cut during the 18-month parental leave period.

The party has also proposed a universal child care system with $10 billion in funding that would create half a million new child care spaces. Child care would be free for parents who can’t afford it and be capped at $10 dollars a day, based on a model in Quebec and a pilot project in B.C.

“We know this is bold and ambitious but it has to be done,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is to create a fully universal and affordable child care system by 2030, and put in place laws that enshrine and protect the right to have child care and the quality of that child care.”

Singh also called for a universal threshold of 360 hours to qualify for parental benefits, as a way of addressing the unsteady working hours and precarious jobs some new parents must juggle.