Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan announces Alberta Liberal policies to help close the Gender Gap on International Women’s Day.
Khan stated, “Alberta women are strong, capable, and visionary. They are making this province a better place. I celebrate Alberta women on International Women’s Day and every day of the year. Alberta Liberals are announcing a series of policies to support women and break down inequality barriers.
“The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives data confirms Edmonton and Calgary have the 25th and 21st largest Gender Gaps of 26 major municipalities.
“Alberta is the only province in Canada without Pay Equity legislation. That is shameful.
“Alberta Liberals are committed to introducing Pay Equity Legislation. We are pushing for this essential reform to close among the largest gender pay gap in Canada.
“We will also support women’s reproductive rights by ensuring abortion is more fairly and easily accessible. This is especially important in rural areas where access is limited. We will make free birth control available. We will fund one cycle of in-vitro fertilization treatments. Every woman should have the ability to control when and whether they will become a parent, regardless of income. We want women to freely pursue their own passions and to be caregivers if they choose.
“Alberta Liberals are committed to universal $25-a-day affordable, accessible daycare. We also want to support all mothers by providing refundable tax credits to low-income stay-at-home moms.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following release on vaccination education for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.
Khan stated, “I oppose excluding children from public schools if they have not been vaccinated. While I fully and completely accept the science behind vaccination and herd immunity, there are social factors that complicate this.
“Instead, I support mandatory education for any parent who chooses not to vaccinate their children who attend public school. Parents who do not vaccinate their children should be required to review the science behind vaccinations. They should then have to sign a waiver recognizing those risks, and acknowledge that they will be required to withdraw their children temporarily from school if an outbreak occurs.
“Banning these children from public schools is heavy-handed and harsh. Many “anti-vaxxers’” rejection of vaccinations is rooted in a fear of Government. This skepticism is especially prevalent among certain minority groups such as Indigenous peoples or the differently-abled who have been historically subjected to harmful and hateful mandatory Government medical procedures including sterilization, and child apprehension policies including residential schools.
“Banning these children from school only reinforces that skepticism and fear. It does not address the root cause of a lack of information and a lack of trust. It also further isolates these children from mainstream society.
“Children going without vaccinations is a serious problem, but it is not one we can solve with heavy-handedness and coercion. Instead, we need to keep a level head and use the tools of education and trust.”
David Khan stated, “Alberta Liberals demand that seclusion rooms be banned immediately.
Education Minister David Eggen’s decision to wait another six months is deplorable. The NDP Government continues to subject vulnerable children to the barbaric practice of seclusion rooms for the rest of this school term. That is unconscionable.
“Even worse is that some Alberta schools will be allowed to continue seclusion room use after August 30 if they can convince the NDP Government. This is one step forward and 10 steps back.
“Alberta Liberals believe the NDP Government has also failed to address the key issue of true inclusion of special needs students. We must have more resources to properly support teachers in classrooms with these vulnerable children. We need to hire more educational assistants and provide more funding for the creation of Individualized Education Plans and Positive Behaviour Intervention Supports. Unsupported mainstreaming of special needs children is not inclusive education.
“We have been pushing for this decision for months. The NDP Government finally agreed with the Alberta Liberal policy position. The right action is to safeguard vulnerable Alberta school children NOW – not next Fall. There must also be proper resources allocated to ensure special needs students are fully included in mainstream education.”
David Swann said, “We called for more stringent rules and mandating clear reporting practices last fall. We helped concerned parents organize a demonstration on the steps of the Legislature. We put forward our recommendations for a ban and more resources to facilitate special needs students. The NDP Government should have acted much sooner. But clearly, this government still does not get it.”
Khan continued, “Advocates are right to continue demanding a ban from the NDP Government. We will continue to work with these concerned Albertans. Our priority is to monitor the misuse of these draconian rooms for the rest of the school term. We will vigorously hold this Government to account on this important issue.
“True inclusion is a priority for Alberta Liberals.”