Minister, you & your govt have consistently lowered the bar in how you define "most in need" (see: AB Child & Family Benefit). Albertans are right to be mistrustful of how you define "need", especially since your govt's policies have created more inequity not less. #ableg
2 parents working FT at min wage jobs would make more than $50,000/year, putting them above the income threshold for full subsidy. And even those qualifying for full subsidy can play close to $750-1000/month for childcare in #yeg or #yyc. Still unaffordable. #ableg
Evidence is clear that access to affordable childcare is needed by most working Albertans, not just lowest income Albertans. Lack of it is a barrier for women of all income levels to participate in the workforce. I know your dept has access to all the research to support this.
The evidence is also clear that investing in universal affordable childcare has a guaranteed return on investment. It saves money in health & education interventions for children later & creates money by putting Albertans to work, paying taxes & spending in our economy. #ableg
Universal affordable childcare is not charity. It is an economic imperative. We don't income test for access to health care or education. We shouldn't for access to early childhood education either. It is a public good that benefits us all, particularly the economy. #ableg
And your govt does have the funding to support universal affordable childcare. As you know, Minister, governing is about choices & priorities. You are not choosing Alberta families. You are not prioritizing early childhood education. You've made other choices & priorities. #ableg
So no, Minister, I don't agree with your definition of "need". I don't agree with refusing to make the strongest & most guaranteed investment in our economy. By refusing to support universal affordable childcare, you are choosing to make all Albertans "losers". #ableg
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