MPP Smith to dis­cuss day­care at coun­cil Mon­day

Think­ing he’d been left off the agenda, he tweeted about his dis­ap­point­ment

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - JOELLE KOVACH EXAMINER STAFF WRITER

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).

EXAMINER FILE PHOTO

MPP Dave Smith

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