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UCP and Ottawa fail to reach affordable child care deal before writ drop

Click to play video: 'Alberta not part of feds’ $10/day daycare' Alberta not part of feds’ $10/day daycare
WATCH: Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals want to make sure child care is a big issue on the campaign trail. Before the election, the Liberals signed deals with nearly every province to have universal $10-per-day daycare in place by 2026, but Alberta didn't sign on the dotted line. As Tom Vernon reports, the UCP says it wasn't for lack of trying. – Aug 17, 2021

The federal election means it will be at least the end of September before Alberta families find out if the province and federal government are able to sign a deal on affordable child care.

In the 2021 budget, the federal Liberals committed to funding a Canada-wide child care system which would see parents pay an average of $10 per day for children under the age of six. The plan requires individual agreements with all Canada’s provinces and territories.

The Liberals were able to strike deals with eight jurisdictions, but Alberta was unable to complete negotiations before the election writ was dropped on Sunday.

READ MORE: Liberal, Conservative child-care plans ‘disingenuous,’ one critic says. Here’s why

“We worked very hard, right up until Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, to see if we could come together on an agreement,” said Alberta’s Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz, who believes both sides are committed to signing a deal if the Liberals are re-elected in September.

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Schulz says the proposal put forward by the UCP government would have created thousands of new spaces and, on average, cut fees in half within two years, with subsidies for families making less than $200,000 per year, and then see fees reduced to $10 per day in five years for the vast majority of low and middle income families.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan signs on to $10 a day child care agreement' Saskatchewan signs on to $10 a day child care agreement
Saskatchewan signs on to $10 a day child care agreement – Aug 16, 2021

“We know that Alberta parents and families want to see these dollars come back to Alberta to be invested in child care. We know Alberta parents see this as a huge driver for economic recovery.”

READ MORE: Will $10-a-day child care bring more women back to work?

The NDP doesn’t believe the UCP was negotiating in good faith.

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“Jason Kenney has failed in leadership on this issue,” said Rakhi Pancholi, who points out both British Columbia and Saskatchewan were able to reach agreements.

Click to play video: 'B.C. and the federal government reach a deal on child care funding' B.C. and the federal government reach a deal on child care funding
B.C. and the federal government reach a deal on child care funding – Jul 9, 2021

“We are surrounded by provinces that are well on their way now to $10 per day child care — this actually puts Alberta families at a disadvantage.

“We don’t have the opportunity now to attract families, to encourage them to stay here.”

Along with British Columbia and Saskatchewan, the governments of Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI, Nova Scotia and Yukon Territory have also signed deals with Ottawa, totaling $12.5 billion.

Click to play video: '‘Apparently Quebec parents and kids get favorable considerations’: Kenney slams feds over childcare funds' ‘Apparently Quebec parents and kids get favorable considerations’: Kenney slams feds over childcare funds
‘Apparently Quebec parents and kids get favorable considerations’: Kenney slams feds over childcare funds – Aug 6, 2021

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