Posted on Mar 1, 2021


EDMONTON - The provincial budget presented by Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP last week once again attacked majority-female sectors in Alberta, and provided no plan to get women back to work.

“Jason Kenney and the UCP did not have a plan for women to succeed in the workforce before the pandemic, and this budget shows us that they don’t have a plan now.” said Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “This kind of thinking is putting our province behind other jurisdictions, and it’s going to hurt women and all Albertans as a result.

“Thursday’s budget is an aimless, unambitious document that abandons Alberta’s future. There is no blueprint for where we are going and there is no recognition of the unprecedented challenges our province faces,” Notley said.

Women were not mentioned once in Finance Minister Travis Toews’ budget address on Thursday. 

In his post-budget address to the Calgary Chamber of Business, Toews was asked how the budget helps women emerge from the recession. He responded with the government’s widely-criticized one-time grant for childcare costs, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, which has no specific support for businesses owned or operated by women.

Navya Baradi, a Business Major at the University of Alberta and Canadian Representative at the Girls20 Global Summit was shocked to see the UCP’s budget removed measures to track the success of young people and women in the economy. 

“Including young women in the economy transcends party politics and it’s time the Alberta government recognizes that implementing strategies to empower young women are integral to the economic recovery of our province.” said Baradi.

Heidi Bergstrom, an accountant and mother of two young children, was alarmed that there was no new money for child care in this budget while the rest of the country is stressing the importance of investing in child care as a foundation for economic recovery.

“It is now impossible to ignore the economic and social benefits of affordable and accessible child care. Which is why it's egregious that the UCP has decided not to provide any additional investment in this sector. This budget demonstrates clearly that the UCP are happy to continue to rely on the unpaid and underpaid labour of women to keep the economy going,” said Bergstrom. 

Amy Yu, co-owner of Kickbyte Digital Solutions, echoed Baradi’s concerns saying “We need to recognize that women play a significant role in Alberta’s recovery. The government needs to provide educational opportunities, support mechanisms for home life, financial supports for women in small businesses, new businesses, and advocate for women in careers such as technology.”

“Alberta women are incredibly resilient and have always made massive contributions to building and rebuilding in our communities.” said Critic for Women and LGBTQ2S+ Issues, Janis Irwin. “These have been incredibly difficult times and Albertans need a plan for the future that gives them hope.”