rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Fact-checking Adam Vaughan and $15-per-day child care

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

The 2015 federal election promises to be an ugly fight, with a lot of half-truths and fact twisting. This has been the tone set by the Harper government so far, and it shows no sign of changing course. Luckily, rabble.ca together with our allies will be pulling together real numbers and evidence to refute the mistruths and fact check the election campaign.

The claim: only eight per cent of families in the riding of Spadina-Fort York have children, so the NDP's plan for $15 per day daycare doesn't resonate with the riding's residents.

There are 82,000 people in the riding of Spadina-Fort York. This is a new riding that represents the downtown core of Toronto. In 2011, there was very strong NDP support, with some Liberal support in the northeast part of the new riding. Sean Marshall combined the results of the two byelections show just how up-for-grabs the riding is: most of the orange in the 2011 map flipped red during these byelections.

This riding is extremely important to both the Liberals and the NDP and Adam Vaughan is under great pressure to save his seat. It might explain why he'd utter a fact that doesn't seem to add up.

Consider City of Toronto data from the 2011 Census: in the municipal riding of Trinity Spadina (which is most of the Western half of the new riding) about 2.9 per cent of the population are under five and in Toronto Centre-Rosedale (most of the Eastern half), the under five population is 4.6 per cent (compared with a Toronto average of 5.4). Nineteen per cent of families living in Spadina-Fort York have children living at home with them and 8 per cent of those children would be eligible for daycare. Teasing out the number of families, or adults who would benefit from cheaper daycare costs from this number becomes tricky. 

There is also a mini baby boom happening within the waterfront communities, all of which are in the new riding. There has been a 66 per cent surge in the number of babies, This is the second-largest baby boom among Toronto communities.

Of course, it's important to note that per-child costs at the Toronto Early Years Centre are $106.90 per day for infants to 18 months and $95.16 for toddlers. If you're lucky, you might be able to find a home daycare and pay $45.51 per day.

Maybe Adam was simply caught on a bad day. As a left-leaning Liberal, he probably hates having to argue why $15 per day child care would be a bad thing.


An earlier version of this incorrectly interpreted census family data. 

Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

Image: Flickr/@spaikin

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.