43e législature, 1re session



Report continued from volume A.


Private Members’ Public Business

Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, 2024 / Loi de 2024 sur le comité consultatif de la stratégie relative aux préposés aux services pour la petite enfance et la garde d’enfants

Ms. Armstrong moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 191, An Act respecting the establishment of a Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee / Projet de loi 191, Loi concernant la création du comité consultatif de la stratégie relative aux préposés aux services pour la petite enfance et la garde d’enfants.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Pursuant to standing order 100, the member has 12 minutes for her presentation.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Good afternoon to everyone and all the members of the Legislature. First, I want to start by acknowledging some of the groups that have joined us today: CUPE; CUPE Local 2484, the Toronto child care workers’ union; Ontario Federation of Labour; Child Care Now; George Brown College; a member of EYP Rise Up T.O.; Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario; Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care; London Bridge Child Care Services, Inc.; and CUPE 79.

These groups are here today to support Bill 191, the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act. They have been integral contributors to this legislation, informing of the needs of workers and child care providers. I want to thank them for being present today and for the time that they took to consult with us on these issues.

I also wanted to thank my three co-sponsors of the bill, and that would be the MPP from Ottawa West–Nepean, the MPP from University–Rosedale and the MPP for Parkdale–High Park. And a special thank you to my colleague from Parkdale–High Park for raising this issue with her bill in 2022. Her initial work on this issue has set an impressive benchmark for all of us to strive towards.

What we see, then, as a crisis coming for child care has come to fruition. In March 2022, Ontario and the federal government signed a $13.2-billion agreement that aimed to lower fees for families and deliver an average of $10-a-day child care by September 2025. The program is named Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care; its short form is CWELCC.

Prior to the start of the CWELCC program, Ontario families paid the highest child care fees in the country, with fees the size of mortgage payments. In November 2022, the FAO estimated that Ontario could be short 220,000 child care spaces due to the $10-a-day demand for child care.

Ontario is currently experiencing a workforce crisis with its child care workers. Media have been reporting that the child care centres are so short-staffed that they are turning away parents looking for spots. The average ECE leaves the sector after three years and staff call the wage floors proposed by this government insulting. They note that compensation has lagged behind other sectors requiring a post-secondary diploma.

I hope the government recognizes that we should have looked at this years ago and that this issue needs to be addressed now. Today, I’m extremely proud to present my Bill 191, the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, to support child care workers and families who need child care across the province as we strive to improve the child care system.

We know that there is a child care shortage in our province. Child care providers, stakeholders and advocates have been sounding the alarm bells for years. Families are waiting for placements, and the shortages are heavily impacted by the workforce shortages in this sector. These wait-lists are common across the province and we have heard that creating spaces requires a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the staff are there for those spaces.

Bill 191 seeks solutions to the problem by creating the childcare and early years workforce strategy advisory committee. It establishes an advisory committee and the committee is tasked with developing recommendations to support registered early child care educators and the child care and early years workforce in various aspects, including addressing staffing shortages and advancing professional qualifications.

This legislation signals a significant commitment to addressing issues within the child care and early years workforce in Ontario. By establishing a committee dedicated to developing strategies and recommendations, we want to improve the conditions for workers and enhance the quality of child care services across the province. The act also emphasizes transparency and accountability through regular reporting and consultation processes.

Speaker, the government has been touting its “Working for Workers” slogan, but it’s just empty words without real commitments to workers. That’s why Bill 191 is so important. It’s legislation that supports workers in two significant ways: first, by supporting the early child care workers themselves, and second, by recognizing that a robust and stable child care workforce benefits Ontario’s overall workforce. Reliable and affordable child care is essential for parents who want to be part of the workforce, and in many cases they need to be part of the workforce.

Issues of affordability and availability in child care spaces are keeping parents from the workforce. This truly is egregious during a general affordability and cost-of-living crisis. It affects the personal economic stability of countless families and limits the province’s productivity. Quite frankly, this is good for business too and the economy overall when people can find affordable child care and get to work.

Workers across Ontario need dependable child care to remain employed and to contribute to our economy. The demand is there. We have seen how wait-lists have ballooned in the CWELCC program. And the promises of $10-a-day child care provided a lot of hope and optimism among families, but operators are struggling to keep up with the demand without proper supports. And what do we do to get these proper supports? They entail a funding formula that is a cost-recovery model for child care providers. It also means increasing workers and increasing the workforce for child care. The changes we need to see are directly related to ensuring we implement a funding model that will work for operators and workers.

We have listened to many organizations and stakeholders regarding their ideas and plans to address the workforce shortage. When the average worker turnover for an ECE career in Ontario is only three years and they are not staying in the field, it indicates there’s something wrong.

This bill has identified five main challenges affecting the recruiting and retaining of workers. The first one is, the act establishes a child care and early years workforce strategy advisory committee, comprising members from various groups representing the child care and early years workforce.

The language in this bill mandates a focus on rural and northern communities and ensure BIPOC and francophone representation on the committee, which is very important to child care all throughout the province. These communities often face unique challenges in accessing quality child care and we need to target strategies to support them.

The committee is mandated to develop recommendations on several crucial matters, including increasing wages, establishing minimum work standards, enabling career advancement, recruitment strategies, immigration considerations, collective bargaining improvements and aligning with the CWELCC and child care system. How it’s being implemented needs to be looked at.

The committee is required to prepare an annual report outlining its recommendations, which will be published on the government of Ontario’s website and submitted to the Ministries of Education; Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development; and Colleges and Universities because they’re all connected. The Minister of Education will also engage with the committee biannually after the first annual report to discuss its findings.

Then, within six months of receiving the annual report, the Minister of Education must produce a status report detailing any actions taken by the government in response to the committee’s recommendations, which will also be published on the government of Ontario website.

We all know that the backbone of child care is the workforce, and when it comes to the NDP, we’ve been calling for ways to attract and retain workers. We’ve proposed wages of $30 per hour for ECEs and $35 per hour for our RECEs. Competitive salaries are crucial to attracting and retaining skilled professionals in the field.

Child care workers deserve sick days, benefits and pensions, and when we think about recruitment strategies we need to think about expanding the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program to include child care professionals that can help address the shortages by attracting qualified individuals from abroad.

I’ve met with international students who have graduated from Fanshawe College and did their co-op placement in London child care centres. They chose the ECE field because they love what they do and they want to stay in Ontario, but OINP doesn’t have an ECE stream, so they’re leaving Ontario, Speaker, and going to BC, where they have a quicker process to get points to qualify for permanent resident status. It doesn’t make sense to educate and train our international students here in Ontario and then just watch them walk out the door.

The committee offers an opportunity to combine knowledge and best practices from across the province and to integrate our approaches to child care.

Every Ontario family, regardless of where they live, should be able to count on the same quality and availability of child care. Every worker should be able to count on a consistent workplace environment and the same treatment and benefits regardless of where work.

The timing of this bill could not be more crucial, considering its connection to the CWELCC program. Many providers are starting to question the long-term feasibility of this program and how the government plans to fund it and staff it. The bill is one piece of a larger puzzle, but it’s the foundation upon which the entire system rests. If there are no workers, there is no child care.


Speaker, we have a responsibility to adequately fund child care, to support our child care workers and to ensure every family in Ontario has access to reliable, affordable child care. This is not just about fulfilling promises; it’s about building a stronger, more inclusive economy, where every worker can participate and thrive.

I urge the government to vote to pass this bill to committee and to act swiftly and decisively to address the workforce shortage, and to ensure a successful implementation of the CWELCC program. Speaker, this bill will help the government do that.

We need to stop tinkering around the edges when it comes to child care. Child care workers are educating our youngest citizens. They are going to actually make a difference to the most vulnerable, youngest populations that we have in our province. Children deserve that. Families deserve that. Child care operators deserve that. And businesses and the economy deserve that.

This bill needs to be passed. We need to listen to the experts. We need to be accountable to the recommendations and we need to act on those things so that we have a strong workforce and we can make sure our children have the best possible step forward in Ontario.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Ms. Natalie Pierre: I think everyone in this chamber understands the vital importance of child care to hard-working parents, but we have some fundamental differences of opinion about how we can best serve their needs.

Our government believes in parental choice, and we are serving the needs of families by creating 86,000 additional child care spaces and working with other levels of government to make child care more affordable.

Speaker, when our government replaced the previous Liberal government in 2018, child care was, on average, $46 to $50 per day. Our government reduced fees by 50%, and we will continue to provide further fee reductions.

Just to put things in perspective, the cost of child care increased 400% under the former Wynne Liberals, while it was Premier Ford who delivered a 50% reduction, saving families approximately $6,000 to $10,000 per child per year.

It would be disingenuous to say there’s no wait-list in the province of Ontario. However, we are taking many actions to solve this problem, and I believe we’ve made progress. The NDP, on the other hand, speak flatly and oppose for-profit child care on ideological grounds, and favour a one-size-fits-all and government-knows-best approach.

When our government was negotiating the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, the opposition urged us to simply accept the first deal, which would have excluded for-profit child care providers—a full 30% of operators—leaving almost $3 billion on the table.

Had our government taken that first deal, Speaker, it would have precluded the creation of 70,000 new child care spaces. Accepting that first offer would have ballooned wait-lists for child care more than what they are now, robbing parents of their ability to choose the right care for their children. Additionally, it would have likely eliminated jobs across the province, while undermining women working in the economy and destroying many female-owned enterprises.

All child care providers and all child care workers, including those who are employed in the private sector, play a vital role in Ontario, and I think all of them deserve recognition and respect. Unfortunately, Speaker, it’s clear the opposition still does not value the work of all child care providers.

Bill 191 reflects the NDP’s ideological opposition to for-profit child care, which is a major reason why our government cannot support this legislation. Moreover, if it were enacted, Bill 191 would essentially duplicate many actions our government has already taken. Bill 191 calls for the establishment of an advisory committee with representation from francophone communities, northern and rural communities, Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of other people of colour. This committee already exists as the minister’s advisory group for early years and child care.

Bill 191 also calls for increasing wages within the sector. Speaker, that’s exactly what our government did in January, when wages for registered early child care educators in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system raised their salaries to $23.86 per hour from the original $20 per hour. That was a 19.3% increase, and it brings them in line with the starting wages of RECEs employed by school boards.

Higher wages are just the first point of our government’s five-point plan to increase the retention and recruitment of registered early childhood educators. We are also:

—delivering support for career laddering and entry into the profession;

—cutting red tape and giving employers greater flexibility;

—promoting the profession by launching a promotional campaign to raise awareness of the value and the impact of the work RECEs do; and

—tracking and monitoring key indicators that measure the impact on RECE recruitment and retention.

A great example of cutting red tape for the sector is simply making it clear that it’s permissible for ECE students to complete their placements at their place of work in a licensed child care centre.

Speaker, I believe our government is on the right track toward solving the problem faced by many working families who can’t find affordable child care. Ontario does not need another government committee to duplicate the work of the minister’s advisory group, and it does not need a one-size-fits-all, government-knows-best approach that doesn’t value parental choice or private sector workers.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Ms. Sandy Shaw: I rise today in support of the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, because this legislation would establish a committee to tackle the staffing shortages that are crippling Ontario’s child care sector.

We know that quality, affordable child care is essential for children’s development, family well-being and women’s workforce participation. It should be obvious, but clearly, from what the government is saying, it must be said: We cannot have a strong child care system without qualified early childhood educators who are fairly compensated.

In Hamilton, organizations like Today’s Family, Umbrella child care, McMaster child care are advocating for fair wages because they see first-hand the impacts that this is having.

But let me share with the government what’s really happening in the child care sector: The FAO estimated that Ontario would be short 220,000 child care spaces. That’s what’s happening right now. And we have reports after reports that child care centres across the country are so short-staffed that they are turning away parents looking for spots. That’s both not-for-profit and private options. They can’t find staff.

We had a child care day of advocacy in my riding and we heard the same stories: Existing spaces cannot stay open, and new spaces cannot be created because there are no adequate staff.

So let me just end by saying to the staff that are working in there: You have my thanks and gratitude. You looked after my children. You’re looking after my grandkids. I want to shout out to Emily, Dani and Doreen, who are right now taking care of my grandson. You do God’s work. I want to thank you, despite the fact that this government does not respect your work. And so I have to end by saying that we will continue to advocate for the people who look after our children, and this bill would go a long way to ensuring that parents can go to work knowing that their children are safe and that they’re being nurtured in a quality child care setting—something that the government should want as well as the opposition.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Mr. Billy Pang: I appreciate this opportunity to rise in the chamber and explain to my colleagues why we should vote against Bill 191, the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, put forth by the opposition.


Speaker, this bill is redundant, unnecessary and a classic example of political grandstanding. Bill 191 plays upon the anxieties many parents feel about their ability to find affordable child care by offering a solution that is already being implemented. Bill 191 calls for the establishment of an advisory committee. Well, guess what? Such a committee already exists. It is called the minister’s advisory group for early years and child care.

Our government already engages with stakeholders within the child care sector. This includes for-profit, not-for-profit, associations, direct operators and regional governments. And included within the ministry’s advisory group are representatives for francophone communities, northern and rural communities, Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of other groups and people of colour.

Speaker, the NDP bill calls for representation from labour unions on its proposed committee. I think I must remind my NDP colleagues that the majority of early childhood educators are not a unionized sector, so I’m not sure how that might work in practice.

And to be honest, I’m more than a little surprised by some of the calls to action listed within the bill. For example, the bill calls for “increasing wages and adapting salary scales to increase compensation based on skill and experience level.” It could be possible that the NDP missed this announcement, but late last year our government announced that beginning January 2024, starting wages for registered early childhood educators, or RECEs, within the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system increased to $23.86 an hour from $20. That is a 19.3% increase, and it applied to all new hires and current employees. This new hourly rate will bring them in line with the starting wages of school-board-employed RECEs, helping to narrow the wage gap and create interest in the profession.

Many of the people I know would welcome a 19% wage increase, Speaker, but my NDP colleagues apparently think that’s just not enough. Their approach is always to throw money at a problem, raise taxes and then throw even more money at the problem.

The NDP bill calls for, “Strategies to enable” RECEs “and members of the child care and early years workforce to advance their qualifications,” as well as recruitment from northern and rural areas, francophone communities and immigrants to Canada. Well, Ontario already has an existing qualification upgrade program for people who would like to progress in their careers as early childhood educators, and we continue to implement our recruitment and retention strategy.

Amazingly, Bill 191 calls for, “Strategies to implement the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system.” My NDP colleagues might have missed this, Speaker, but CWELCC already exists, so there is no need to implement this system. In fact, parents are currently benefiting from a 50% reduction in child care fees, with more fee reductions to come.

Had our government listened to the NDP, we would have omitted 30% of child care operators from the program, which translates into 70,000 child care spaces, and families would have not been included. We would have faced larger wait-lists for care than we already face, we would have eliminated choices for parents, killed thousands of jobs across the province and negatively impacted child care centres, many which are predominately female-operated.

I’m not sure that my colleagues in the opposition benches gave much consideration to these matters when they drafted this bill. Ontario does not need another new committee, and it should not impose new mandates on the child care sector.

Our government is creating new spaces, raising wages in the sector and lowering costs for hard-working parents.

I urge my colleagues to vote against Bill 191.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam: I’m very proud to rise in this House today to speak in favour of Bill 191, and I want to thank the member from London–Fanshawe for bringing this particular piece of legislation forward.

We want to invest in high-quality, affordable child care. We need to be able to set up our children for future success, and that begins with early education, where it is well funded and widely available. It also allows parents—in particular, women—to then re-enter the workforce so that they can be active contributors to the economy.

It’s important to recognize that despite the government’s sort of name-calling about how this piece of legislation is ideologically driven—let’s be mindful that this piece of legislation is being widely, widely endorsed by early childhood educators themselves.

In my community of Toronto Centre, I have a child care facility called St. Bartholomew’s, and they have been providing service for 40 years. Most recently, they were provided a notice of termination because their building was going under renovation. The staff worked around the clock, despite the fact that they’re caring for their children, to do what they needed to do, which was to identify and find a new facility. I was able to provide a little bit of support to get them over the finish line, but I can tell you, Speaker, it was the staff, it was the hard-working ECE workers, who actually led that strategy and moved them forward.

Ontario needs an estimated 65,000 additional child care workers to meet the demand for the $10-a-day child care. We need to ensure that the profession is attractive to new employees. We need to make sure that they’re properly compensated. This government must respect ECE workers, and they must be able to provide them the right working conditions so that they can be successful—everything that the government has talked about and they have not acted on.

This is what this particular motion will do, and I urge all members across the House—and in particular, think about the children, think about the families you’re turning your back behind when you don’t support a simple strategy like this to develop the workforce strategy that we need.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Ms. Chandra Pasma: I’m very happy to rise today to speak to my colleague’s bill to create a child care workforce strategy advisory committee, which I was very happy to co-sponsor, because we know that child care is essential to enabling parents to work and to providing the early learning opportunities that our children deserve in Ontario.

As every parent knows, without workers there is no child care. Even the Ministry of Education acknowledges that we have a severe shortage of child care workers in Ontario. Instead of expanding child care spaces, centres are closing or they’re capping enrolment. So it has been amazing to hear the parliamentary assistants patting themselves on the back for this government’s record when we don’t have workers to actually provide child care. It’s part of a consistent pattern with this government, where hospital beds that don’t have nurses are somehow providing health care and classrooms without teachers are somehow providing education, and now we have child care without child care workers.

The government cannot seem to understand that how you treat the workers makes a big difference to whether or not they stay or whether or not they can afford to stay.

We need to listen to the people who are at the heart of child care: the workers. That means we need to create an advisory committee to actually listen to them and hear their recommendations on wages, working conditions, career advancement, recruitment strategies, collective bargaining and immigration strategies, to ensure that we are actually recruiting and retaining workers in Ontario.

This bill also requires the Minister of Education to report publicly on actions taken, because the minister loves to use the word “transparency” but doesn’t show a lot of it.

I’m really disappointed to hear that the parliamentary assistants don’t support our workers in Ontario.

I do urge government members to vote for this bill and show their support for child care workers.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Ms. Bhutila Karpoche: Early years and child care workers have long been overlooked in discussions around child care policy. The vitally important work of those in the sector, overwhelmingly women, has been historically undervalued, with low pay, poor working conditions and high turnover. The sector relies on early years and child care workers who do everything they can to ensure children can benefit from the safest, happiest and most educational child care experience possible.


But child care workers are constantly being asked to do more with less. There is a chronic worker shortage in this sector, and there has been for a while. The national $10-per-day child care program cannot succeed without addressing the workforce crisis. The province needs a plan so that child care centres can find—and keep—tens of thousands of early childhood educators and other staff to cover the demands of $10-a-day care.

High Park YMCA had to close their infant program earlier this year due to staffing shortage. Ola Daycare pulled out of the $10-a-day child care program due to operational underfunding that is meant to cover things like staff wages. Sunnyside daycare announced that they faced possible closure due to underfunding from the province. They had to cut the number of staff and staff wages while they waited for the new funding formula to be implemented, and the promised emerging needs funding was grossly insufficient. They tapped into, and ran out of, reserve funding.

The parent community has written to the Premier and the minister, and they are awaiting action and funding.

Speaker, investing in child care workers is the right and fiscally responsible thing to do, and it must be done in consultation with these very workers and those who represent and advocate for them to ensure their input is incorporated into action on this important issue, and it is also necessary to build the national child care system we need, for women’s equality, for our children’s education and well-being, and for our province’s economy.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Mme France Gélinas: J’aimerais remercier ma collègue de London–Fanshawe d’avoir présenté cette motion visant à créer un groupe de travail dédié au soutien des éducatrices de la petite enfance en garderie et à la résolution de la crise du recrutement et de la rétention dans nos garderies.

Lorsque les éducatrices de la petite enfance en garderie reçoivent du soutien, les parents et les enfants qui comptent sur elles le reçoivent également. Le groupe de travail donnerait aux travailleuses de la petite enfance une voix à la table pour apporter les changements dont nous avons besoin pour garantir que les services de la garde d’enfants soient abordables et accessibles à tous les Ontariens et Ontariennes.

Pour tous les francophones de l’Ontario, le problème est encore pire, car non seulement qu’il n’y a pas suffisamment de places en garderie pour permettre aux parents de retourner au travail après la naissance d’un enfant, mais, également, une place en garderie francophone est encore plus difficile à atteindre.

Saviez-vous, madame la Présidente, que les écoles francophones étaient les premières à offrir des garderies dans les écoles, incluant la garderie avant et après l’école—un modèle qui a été plus tard adopté par les écoles anglophones, plusieurs années plus tard?

Le coût de la vie augmente de jour en jour et nous avons de plus en plus besoin de service de garde d’enfants qui est abordable et en français. L’Ontario a besoin de 65 000 nouvelles travailleuses en garderie pour répondre à la demande prévue de services de garde. L’Ontario est loin d’être là où nous devons être pour répondre à la demande à laquelle nous sommes confrontés en matière de services de garde accessibles, abordables et en français.

Malheureusement, les membres du gouvernement de M. Ford ne prennent pas cette crise au sérieux. Les familles méritent de savoir qu’elles auront accès à des services de garde accessibles en français. Les garderies méritent de savoir qu’elles auront une survie financière.

Le projet de loi de ma collègue constitue une étape importante pour le succès d’un système de garde d’enfants qui fonctionne pour toutes les familles—et ça, bien sûr, incluant les familles francophones. Nous avons une chance aujourd’hui comme législateurs d’adopter immédiatement ce projet de loi afin que le comité puisse se mettre au travail. J’encourage tous mes collègues des deux côtés de la Chambre de voter en faveur de ce projet de loi.

Nous avons besoin d’un système de garderie qui fonctionne. Nous avons besoin d’un système de garderie qui rencontre les besoins de tous les Ontariens et Ontariennes qui ont des enfants et qui veulent travailler. Et ça, ça inclut beaucoup de travailleurs de la santé. On a une pénurie d’infirmières en Ontario. Une des grosses raisons pour ça, c’est qu’elles ne peuvent pas se trouver de garderies qui rencontrent le type de travail qu’elles font—de jour, de nuit, de fin de semaine etc.—pour pouvoir retourner au travail. C’est tellement important.

On doit regarder ce que ma collègue a mis de l’avant pour s’assurer que tout le monde a une voix, qu’on prenne le défi que l’on a au sérieux et, également, nos responsabilités face à relever ces défis-là. C’est ce que ma collègue veut qu’on fasse.

J’espère qu’on va pouvoir compter sur l’appui de tous les membres, incluant des autres partis.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

Mr. John Fraser: I’m pleased to rise today in support of Bill 191, the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, 2024, and I want to thank the member from London–Fanshawe for bringing it forward, and everyone else who is included on her bill.

Early years and child care are not just critically important for the development of our children; they’re critically important to our economy. Fuller participation in the workforce is the way to build and grow an economy, and that’s one of the most important reasons why we’re doing this.

I listened with interest to the other side’s arguments about not supporting this bill.

To the member from Markham–Unionville: I don’t think it’s a good idea, on that side of the House, to talk about grandstanding. It was unfair and I think a bit of a chippy shot to the other side. There is a problem. It’s not working. We’re having a problem of not being able to recruit and retain early childhood educators. If we can’t do that, then it’s not going to work, and if it doesn’t work, our economy is not going to do that well. It’s that simple.

So when someone is suggesting something that is positive, in a good light, in an effort to improve a situation which is not good right now—and I wouldn’t be crowing about how good it is, because it’s not. We need to do something. Members have suggested something that could help, so I think perhaps in speaking to that, members on the other side could recognize that there is a problem that needs to be addressed—because if you’re talking about your own committee, it ain’t working, folks. So I wanted to express that.

Sometimes we get stuff written for us that we read. I didn’t like that grandstanding remark. I don’t always agree with my colleagues to the right, who are to the left, as I should say, but I don’t think that the member from London–Fanshawe has ever grandstanded in this Legislature since I’ve known her, and we’re from the same class, the class of 2013.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): Further debate?

I will return to the member for London–Fanshawe to conclude with a two-minute remark.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: The work that we do here is so important, and I know each one of us takes such pride and integrity in the work that we bring forward, and I think this bill, Bill 191, is reflective of that—because it wasn’t me proposing what to do; it actually came from the workforce. They proposed this legislation because they want to make sure that child care is a strong, supportive, accessible service to the people, like the families and the kids, and to make business thrive, and to have some dignity in the job that they do.

I understand that sometimes it’s hard to admit when something isn’t going right. There have been far too many examples from that side of the Legislature where their things haven’t gone right—that’s a fact—and you’ve had to repeal and you’ve had to rip up legislation or change legislation.

I’m imploring the other side to understand that this is about strengthening the child care system so we don’t go down a road where we’re putting children, child care—whether we need services—and parents and the economy at risk for not having a sector that supports those things. So that’s where this legislation is coming from. It’s coming from the workforce and the child care operators, letting us know that this is needed.

The member from Parkdale–High Park talked about how there are already signs that this is going off-track. Ola, one of the child care centres, opted out. Sunnyside Garden daycare is saying they’re desperate right now. They have to make a decision: opt out or close doors. In London, child care providers—they don’t want to be named because a lot of people are hesitant to do that, but they have also said that they don’t have enough workers to fill spaces. They have rooms but no workers for that.

The last thing I want to do, though, Speaker, is I want to say hello—they weren’t here earlier during the debate. I want to say hello to Marsha Duncan, Angelica Alexander-Felix, Chandra-Li Paul, Patricia Clarke, Clarissa Mach and Nicole Nourse. They’re in the Legislature here today, and they’re the ones who helped develop this legislation. I want to give them a big round of applause.


The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): The time provided for private members’ public business has expired.

Ms. Armstrong has moved second reading of Bill 191, An Act respecting the establishment of a Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee. Is at the pleasure of the House the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion, please say “aye.”

All those opposed to the motion will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

A recorded vote being required, it will be deferred to the next instance of deferred votes.

Second reading vote deferred.

The Acting Speaker (Mme Lucille Collard): All matters relating to private members’ public business having been completed, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, May 29, at 9 a.m.

The House adjourned at 1841.