EDMONTON - In response to UCP Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz comments regarding the Quebec-Canada agreement on a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, issued the following:
“Quebec has a long history of prioritizing child care and early learning. In 1997, Quebec introduced universal, government-subsidized child care for all Quebec residents which has been held up as a strong model by advocates and parents across the country for 25 years.
“It is exciting news to hear that Quebec has signed on to the new proposed framework from the federal government, and will accept a federal transfer of nearly $6 billion over five years. A significant portion of the funding will be used to improve the system, open up more spaces, and improve working conditions for educators.
“Minister Schultz’s disingenuous statement implies that Alberta asked for the same deal without conditions. However, one only needs to look at the Kenney government’s extensive track record of distorting the facts to know this is spin.
“The Kenney government has undercut the child care and early learning sector at every turn – from scrapping the successful $25-a-day pilot program, to cutting the Benefit Contribution Grant and Staff Attraction Incentive, they’ve shown time and time again that their interest is not in a robust sector that works for the public good, but rather in propping up market-driven private solutions.
“The Kenney government would rather play petty politics and leave billions of dollars on the table, which could go towards building a child care system that works for everyone. We need universal $10-a-day child care – for children’s development, for poverty reduction, for parents’ and mothers’ workforce participation and so much more. We deserve more than to be kept in perpetual limbo as the provincial government hedges bets on the upcoming federal election. Join us in demanding $10-a-day child care now.”