TORONTO — The federal government says Ontario submitted its spending plan for billions of dollars in proposed child-care funding "late last week."
A spokeswoman for Families Minister Karina Gould said Tuesday that negotiations on the proposed $10-a-day child-care deal are able to "move to the next phase" now that Ontario has submitted its plan.
Mohammad Hussain said in an email that all provincial and territorial governments were asked to submit plans on how they would meet objectives set by the federal government.
Ottawa's goals for the funding include reducing fees by an average of 50 per cent by the end of this year and getting fees to an average of $10 per day by 2026.
Ontario is the only province that has yet to strike a deal with Ottawa on the child-care plan, after all other provinces and territories signed on.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce says all plans requested by the federal government have been submitted.
Lecce and Premier Doug Ford have maintained that they are pushing for more money than the $10.2 billion on offer and that they want assurance that the program will last longer than five years.
"We've sent all the technical details to the federal government to make the case that we need more investment to reach $10," he said on Tuesday.
"We have said from the beginning, we want to get a deal that is better for families."
Lecce also said the province is committed to getting a deal "as soon as possible."
Hussain said Ottawa recognizes "the importance of reaching a deal before the end of the fiscal year" at the end of March, "to ensure that Ontario families have access to all the funding that was allocated for them to help make their lives more affordable."
"Although there is work ahead, Minister Gould remains optimistic that we can work together to secure a deal that will deliver for Ontario families and children," he said in an emailed statement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2022.
Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press