Friday Focus Aug 20th, 2021: COVID, Childcare, and Economy

Saying Goodbye to Affordable Childcare in Alberta?

Affordable child care is critical to parents getting back to work. It’s not only good for them and their families’ economic prospects but also a clear winner for the provincial economy. More money for families means more money available to purchase goods, which means a healthier economy for everyone.

One election promise that will make things worse for working parents in Alberta is the federal Conservatives’ proposal to scrap the $10 dollar-a-day affordable childcare plan from the current federal Liberal Government. 

Eight other jurisdictions were able to strike a deal with the federal Liberals on the plan. In addition, the Chambers of Commerce of both Edmonton and Calgary have also voiced support for affordable child care as a critical policy for boosting labour participation. It’s a win-win.

If Jason Kenney is serious about helping Albertans and about living up to his grandiose promises on job creation, supporting the Liberal child care plan is a great place to start.

The Business Community and Election Platforms. 

The Chambers of Commerce for Edmonton and Calgary highlighted what is most important to Alberta’s economic success. While their documents are targeted federally, many principles apply to what we are doing here provincially. 

The UCP government is out of step with Alberta’s business community on more than just childcare. The Chambers also highlighted the importance of environmental action, an inclusive recovery, and economic diversification. 

Of great significance is the Chambers call to support economic diversification through funding post-secondary research. This is in direct contrast to the UCP’s approach.  The UCP has made unprecedented, deep cuts to post-secondary and changed the funding model to disincentivize research at universities. 

Alberta needs a modern and sophisticated approach to a dynamic economic landscape. We need to look forward, not backward. We need to encourage investment in our future.

COVID-19 Data Delays.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our province, there are calls for the government to be more transparent about the data.

We are all left wondering how the government can justify eliminating protections while at the same time hold back on telling Albertans what’s going on? 

Is this lack of transparency because the data doesn’t support the UCP’s political choices? Are they stalling for time to make sure as few people see it as possible? They have failed Albertans. They oversaw the worst COVID third wave numbers in North America. They need to earn back Albertans' trust. Hiding the truth is not the way to do it.

Albertans need a government they can trust, not one that hides the truth. Albertans need a Liberal government.