Feds delay B.C.-Ottawa child care funding deal amid heightened pipeline dispute

VICTORIA — Officials in Premier John Horgan’s office are confirming the abrupt postponement by Ottawa last week of a scheduled joint news conference on a child-care funding agreement.

But they are not blaming the simmering oil pipeline dispute between Alberta, B.C. and the federal government for the delayed announcement.

Horgan’s officials say the dispute over the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project was not mentioned when federal officials pulled out of last Friday’s scheduled announcement.

B.C. government documents signed Friday show a three-year early learning child-care agreement between the federal and provincial governments worth about $153 million.

Katrina Chen, the minister of state for child care, didn’t know the reason behind the postponement, but says she’s proud to be part of a government standing up for the province’s interests.

Federal and provincial bureaucrats have been meeting since last Thursday over issues arising from B.C.’s plans to challenge the federally-approved pipeline over environmental concerns.

The minority New Democrats outlined plans this week to create tens of thousands of child care spaces in the government’s throne speech.

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