MPP Smith to discuss daycare at council Monday
Thinking he’d been left off the agenda, he tweeted about his disappointment
Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith will be on the agenda to speak to city council on Monday about daycare funding, even though he wasn’t listed on the city’s online agenda Thursday.
Smith tweeted Thursday he was “extremely disappointed” about the omission.
“I adjusted my schedule to come to city council on Oct. 28 and we confirmed with city council that I would be there and yet the city has chosen not to put me on the agenda to speak,” he posted to his Twitter account late Thursday.
But a response was later posted from the city’s Twitter account, thanking Smith for accepting the invitation to come speak to council.
“We had you as confirmed and we confirmed with your office,” states the city’s tweet. “You’re first on the delegation list, which isn’t printed until the day of the meeting.”
Late Thursday, Mayor Diane
Therrien confirmed in a text to The Examiner that Smith is first on the list of delegations for Monday.
The full list of delegations isn’t normally included on the agenda as posted to the city’s website.
Council wants to hear from Smith before deciding on a city staff proposal from early September to close its two municipally run daycare centres at the end of June as a cost-saving measure.
The city could close both Pearson and Peterborough daycares, as well as the after-school programs at Edmison Heights and Westmount Public Schools.
The closures would save the city about $570,000 annually. Staff recommends spending that money on expanded daycare spots in eight area daycares.
It’s expected to cost the city $300,000 more annually and the county $135,000 more, starting in 2020, to keep daycare fees stable at those daycares.
Without a commitment from both Peterborough city and county to help pay, fees could increase at eight daycares and a plan to expand Hucklebug Child Care Centre in Norwood by 39 spots could be cancelled.
The eight daycares where fees could increase include:
• Hucklebug Child Care (Havelock location);
• Centre Educatif Les Petits Curieux;
• Compass Early Learning and Care;
• Peterborough daycare centre;
• Pearson Child Care Centre;
• Strath-MacLean Childcare;
• Trent Child Care;
• YMCA Child Care.
It’s all happening because Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has announced plans to decrease its funding for daycares.
The provincial government says starting in 2020 it will fund 80 per cent of the cost to run those new spaces rather than 100 per cent (as had been the case under Ontario’s previous Liberal government).
MPP Dave Smith