Give the provinces $2 billion.
Officials in Ottawa have few clues as to how well the cash was spent by most provinces since 2004. Provincial reports are months or even years overdue - when they're provided at all.
It's a blind spot that critics loudly warned about when past Liberal governments first started funding a national child-care system that was seen by many as encroaching on provincial social-policy turf.
A chart compiled by the association says reports for 2004-05 have still not been filed by Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, the Yukon or Nunavut.
The federal government's own child-care reports are missing for 2004-05 and 2005-06 "for a number of reasons," said Glennie Graham, director of child and youth policy for Human Resources.
Just five of 10 provinces reported on federal cash for the fiscal year 2004-05, and only Saskatchewan and British Columbia have filed for 2005-06, Lysack says.
Nonetheless, another $950 million was transferred from Ottawa to provincial and territorial governments in the last fiscal year. Senior officials with the federal Human Resources Department confirmed the missing data.
With this deal, the provinces get the best of all worlds. They take the money, don't tell the feds where it's gone because it's a provincial matter, then hold out their hands for more.
For all we know, it went to beer and popcorn.
Yet another reason for the feds to stop buying their way into provincial jurisdiction.