A silver lining of the pandemic has been the consensus around child care as sound economic policy.

Of course, this wasn't news to many. There's no greater barrier to women's workforce participation than lack of child care.

But now everyone was talking about it. 🧵#ableg
Back in the early days of the pandemic, @ArmineYalnizyan talked about the "she-cession" effect and that child care was key for economic recovery. Many other noted Cdn economists shared this call for child care to be at the forefront of recovery.

Too many names to list, but I began following many who were regularly talking about this like @JenniferRobson8, @tammyschirle, @LindsayTedds, @mikalskuterud. Even noted conservative economist @KenBoessenkool was talking about prioritizing child care.

But it's not just economists. It's leading financial institutions who are highlighting over and over the important role child care plays in getting women back to work.

RBC: thoughtleadership.rbc.com/pandemic-threa…
AIMCO's Chair @MarkDWiseman spoke about the economic case for child care:

The Feminist Recovery Plan from @YWCA_Canada highlighted child care as critical to an equitable recovery to ensure women aren't left behind:

Closer to home, the @EdmontonChamber noted affordable child care as part of their recommendations for economic recovery.

And more importantly than any of these voices is the overwhelming call from Alberta women, working parents, child care providers & educators that affordable quality accessible child care is desperately now more than ever. My inbox is filled with these messages. #ableg
So imagine my surprise when I saw the UCP's 2021 Budget fails to allocate even $1 more to child care this year. In fact, the Budget is actually smaller than last year's. There are millions more for other so-called economic recovery initiatives. But $0 more for child care. #ableg
And let's not forget the UCP blew 1/4 of their entire 2020 budget for child care on a one-time payment to some parents to cover 2 weeks worth of child care that won't do one thing to make child care more affordable the next month. #ableg

By ending $25/day child care, failing to invest in the system properly during the pandemic & w/ fees going up across the province, the UCP have actually made child care more expensive for all AB parents. At a time when the world is calling for govts to make it more affordable.
I don't know if the @jkenney's blindspot is ideology or women or evidence or all of the above. But this is not a Budget for economic recovery. This is not a plan to get Alberta parents back to work. #ableg

Here's a real plan. albertasfuture.ca/albertas-futur…

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More from @pancholi_rakhi

28 Jan
The UCP has won its legal battle against a former foster child, now single mother, to go ahead with cutting 500+ young people who grew up in govt care from supports to transition them to adulthood.

If this sounds cruel, it's because it is. 🧵#ableg

These are young people who experienced significant trauma & by the very fact of growing up in care, don't have the natural family or financial supports needed to transition successfully. Supports were available until the age of 24 before the UCP cut it to age 22. #ableg
Let's take a moment to let it sink in that not only does the UCP wants to save $ on the backs of vulnerable young people, but they fought hard & spent significant resources to do it. At no point did they pause to reconsider whether this was the moral thing to do. #ableg
Read 8 tweets
27 Jan
Today, Minister @rebeccakschulz announced an additional $11.4 million of *federal dollars* for Alberta’s child care sector. Additional funding to support the sector is critical as many are struggling.

But let’s be clear about what this funding announcement means. #ableg
1) It's not provincial $$. It’s federal $$ taken from the remaining $25/day programs. They were only told they would lose this funding 3 weeks ago after having been refused approval to use it for its intended purpose - to improve quality of programming for their families. #ableg
2) Children’s Services continues to sit on ~$100-150 million of unspent dollars in their current childcare budget. The Minister has acknowledged she has unspent $$ in her budget but won’t say what or if she plans to invest it in Alberta’s child care sector.
Read 5 tweets
19 Jan
When the amended Early Learning & Child Care Act and Regulations are finally made available for all to see, here's some things to keep in mind:


#ableg #abpoli
The UCP eliminated accreditation last year, quality standards for child care. @rebeccakschulz committed to addressing it in the new legislation. That didn't happen. I tabled an amendment to expressly include quality standards in the legislation. The UCP voted that down. #ableg
I tabled amendments to recognize affordability & inclusiveness as critical for families, the important role of qualified & supported educators, children's right to access quality early learning & the importance of indigenous families & educators. The UCP voted these down. #ableg
Read 9 tweets
3 Jan
I've been an elected official for the same amount of time as the 5 (so far) UCP MLAs who decided that taking a warm vacation while telling Albertans to stay home was OK.

I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how in the world they came to that conclusion. #ableg

When you enter politics, you know your actions will rightfully be subject to public scrutiny. Not just because there's more attention, but also because you've asked the public to place their trust in you. You're expected to lead by example. Never more so than during a crisis.
Every day, I have moments where I reflect on my actions. Sometimes I'm sure I got it wrong. But the importance of that reflection has been heightened during the pandemic. It's brand new to all of us, I need to not only be seen to do the right thing, but I have to lead by example.
Read 14 tweets
19 Dec 20
Tonight I'm reflecting on the incredible & overwhelming work, resilience & commitment of Alberta's teachers, school staff, administrators & school boards over the past 4 months. And I want to tell them all that I bear witness. #ableg #abed

I watched as my daughter's Kindergarten teacher cheerfully spent extra time outside w/ them so she could take her mask off to show them how her mouth looked when she pronounced French words that were new to them. The kids had no idea this was different than usual. #ableg
I watched as my son's Grade 2 teacher brilliantly signed them up for virtual City Hall School and my son might now be more excited about what happens at City Hall than the Legislature. His teacher has done extraordinary things to keep them engaged & he's never loved school more.
Read 12 tweets
18 Dec 20
I’m happy to see that rapid testing will begin at continuing care facilities.

This is something the @abndpcaucus called for 10 days ago. #ableg

At the time we called for it, @jkenney dismissed the idea claiming "It's becoming apparent that the NDP doesn't even understand the science of the rapid testing...because it is scientifically useless on people who are asymptomatic.” cbc.ca/1.5832078
Glad to hear that the Premier was able to put aside his political posturing, get briefed by his health officials & take into consideration that his own govt had already been using rapid testing on travellers at airports. #ableg
Read 4 tweets

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