Posted on Jul 13, 2021

NDP Children’s Services Critic Rakhi Pancholi issued the following statement in response to news that Nova Scotia has reached an agreement with the Government of Canada to implement universal, affordable child care:

“Today, Ottawa signed an agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia to move forward with universal, affordable and quality child care. This is the second agreement announced this month, following an agreement reached with B.C last week. This means parents in B.C. and Nova Scotia will see an immediate reduction in child care fees and an immediate investment in early childhood education.


“This begs the question: where is Alberta's commitment? Why is the UCP so far behind on this?


“Instead of moving forward with the high-quality, affordable and accessible child care that Alberta parents deserve, Jason Kenney is moving backwards. The UCP cancelled the $25-per-day pilot program that helped thousands of working parents and theur claw backs have cost us nearly 4,000 early-childhood educators in the last year alone.


“Alberta has seen the greatest drop in women’s participation in the workforce in the country. We have the youngest population in the country. Alberta routinely scores the lowest in terms of early-childhood education, and child care costs in Calgary are among the highest in Canada. So let’s be clear: we need this investment in Alberta NOW.


“If we are going to achieve a stronger, more diversified, economy, we must stop pretending that paying for child care is just the cost of having a family. Economists, the heads of banks and many prominent business leaders all agree that child care is an economic win that carries with it real social benefits. Under our plan, a province-wide child care program would not only put 40,000 people back to work and generate an estimated $6 billion dollars in annual GDP, it would make a fundamental difference in the lives of children.


“Jason Kenney now has the most expensive Cabinet in Canada and Albertans have every right to expect them to be focusing on the things that matter. It’s time the UCP got to work securing universal, affordable and accessible child care here in Alberta.”