Quebec Premier Legault will not fulfill election promise to offer kindergarten – Montreal

Quebec Premier François Legault has defended his government’s failure to deliver on a major campaign promise to offer kindergarten classes starting at four years of age for all the province’s children.

Legault said Wednesday it would be impossible to achieve his government’s target within the allotted time frame because of a teacher shortage.

Legault campaigned heavily on the issue during the 2018 election, even saying his seat would be at stake if he failed to deliver on his promise.

The Québec Avenir Coalition party initially promised to open 5,000 classes for four-year-olds within five years, but that target was later scaled down to 2,600 classes by 2025-26.

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Education Minister Bernard Drainville told TVA on Tuesday that the lower target would not be met because of a teacher shortage, and the government pushed the time back to 2029-30.

Legault said Wednesday he still believes in his promise to offer universal kindergartens, which he said would benefit children with learning disabilities.