Liberals accuse Francois Legault’s CAQ government of not being able to deliver on its flagship promise – CTV News Montreal

Posted: February 27, 2021 at 3:19 am

QUEBEC CITY -- Liberal education critic Marwah Rizqy says CAQ Premier Francois Legault's flagship promise, which he put his seat at stake over, was only empty words.

The Liberal education spokesperson reacted Thursday to the Legault government's announcement that it will take two more years to create 2,600 kindergarten classes for four-year-olds.

She said that parents are the ones losing out, since the two ministers who represent them, Jean-Francois Roberge (Education) and Mathieu Lacombe (Family), were unable to deliver.

Kindergarten classes for four-year-olds is a new, non-compulsory program still being phased in across the province.

The CAQ's campaign platform included the opening of 5,000 preschool classes during its first mandate. This figure then fell to 3,400 and then to 2,600.

The Ministry of Education issued a brief news release Wednesday at 5 p.m. to announce that it "now plans to open all [kindergarten] classes [for four-year-olds] by 2025-2026."

The ministry says the delay is being caused by "availability of premises and manpower."

Meanwhile, construction cost estimates of have exploded. The average amount to create a new four-year-old kindergarten class, estimated at $120,000 during the election campaign, is now $800,000.

Rizqy said the facts caught up with the CAQ.

"They were in a world parallel to ours," she said. "They denied the shortage of teachers. Shortage of premises, they denied. Today, the facts are stubborn and catching up to them."

"Not only are there no places in four-year-old kindergartens, the waiting list in childcare centres has grown," she said. "The two ministers in family and in education have failed parents."

For months, Legault has maintained that the CAQ's promises will be fulfilled, even in spite of the pandemic.

On Jan. 28, Legault said his government "will still to be able to keep ... all the electoral promises we made during the 2018 campaign."

"So that means, among other things, in education, the development of four-year-old kindergartens, the addition of services for children with learning difficulties, the renovation of schools, [and] the construction of beautiful schools."

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

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Liberals accuse Francois Legault's CAQ government of not being able to deliver on its flagship promise - CTV News Montreal

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