Alberta misses out on national childcare plan

Alberta fails to sign agreement with Ottawa for $10-per-day child care. Political experts say the province is playing politics.

EDMONTON (CityNews) – Alberta has failed to sign an agreement with Ottawa for a $10-per-day childcare agreement.

And as the federal election looms, political experts say it looks like the province is playing politics and might have lost this round.

“It’s unfortunate that the genuine consensus from families in terms of costly child care costs has been overtaken by politics and it think it’s partly the result of this unfortunate bad blood between Trudeau and Kenney,” said Chaldeans Mensah, a political scientist from MacEwan University.

“I think the losers here are the families in Alberta.”

Mensah says we may not see any deals in Alberta until after the election.

Under the Liberal’s plan, provinces agreed to targets on affordability, quality of care, and training of early childhood educators.

In a statement to CityNews, a spokesperson for Alberta’s Children’s Services says: “The provincial government is disappointed, the Liberals put up roadblocks at the last minute, including new requirements, and will now walk away from negotiations and proceed to an unnecessary election.”

Eight other provinces and territories have signed the agreement.

“I would guess during this election, there will be talk about this and about how the Alberta government has been advocating in favour of Albertans against the feds,” said Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University.

But that rhetoric might not work anymore, says Williams.

“The federal government might be harder to portray as failing to invest in Alberta and so the fact that the Alberta government has not accepted a very important investment to a lot of Albertans might make things more difficult for conservatives in Alberta this election.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Conservative party announced its platform which includes plans to scrap the Liberal’s $30-billion national child-care program and instead introduce a refundable tax credit.

The key difference between a subsidy and a tax credit is under the latter plan families will need the money upfront to pay for the daycare.

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