Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Campaign Update: Erin Weir

Erin's website: LINK

Costing Backgrounder: LINK

Erin Weir's campaign also made a major announcement today with their introduction of Erin's childcare proposal for the province. In addition to the link for the media announcement, I've included the link to the costing backgrounder provided. We'll talk a bit about the plan, but all of the key details can be found in the attached links.

The proposal covers a universal daycare system and an early learning program for children between the ages of two and five. The bulk of the idea seems to stem around Erin's call for the provincial government to establish new spaces in Saskatchewan through the use of existing schools.

Erin's argument also suggests that the creation of these spaces within existing schools could also help keep schools facing closure open. Erin also calls attention to the fact that these spaces are already equipped to deal with looking after children, as they have education, recreational, and nutritional facilities already built. However, Erin's plan also seems to take into account that some directly new spaces will need to be built.

The plan calls for about 17,000 additional childcare spaces to be created within the province, and for Saskatchewan to adopt Quebec's flat rate of $7 per day per child. All in all, Erin's campaign puts the implementation of his childcare plan at $180 million. Erin's campaign also suggests that creation of these new spaces would allow the government to end most childcare subsidies and recoup the $18 million currently spent on those subsidies.

This is Erin's first foray out of economic policy in the campaign thus far, and it's likely to be an issue that should generate a lot of good buzz for the campaign. The addition of the costing document to the announcement is also a pretty strong standing point for the campaign, as I think people will respond pretty positively to knowing how such a program will be paid for and just how much it will cost.

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