Landmark child care deal is an amazing victory for working families and a testament to the power of civil society

“We should never stop celebrating this victory, nor forget how it was won: through the power of citizens working together in civil society.”

The following is a statement from Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

EDMONTON - “The Alberta labour movement welcomes news that the Alberta government will finally join most other provinces in signing on to the Trudeau government’s $10-a-day national child care plan. This is a win-win-win scenario for all Albertans. It’s a win for parents, because it means they’ll save about $10,000 each year for each of their kids who need child care. It’s a win for the economy because it means it will be easier for parents of young kids to work without sacrificing their careers or their family’s standard of living. And it’s a win for kids, because it means they will receive access to high quality early education and care, even if their parents aren’t wealthy.

“This is a historic moment for our province – a true game changer. Credit needs to be given to Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government for finally delivering on this important promise. Credit also goes to Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, who forced the Kenney government’s hand by making it clear that she would pursue a deal with the federal government on her own if the UCP would not.

“Credit also needs to be given to former Premier Rachel Notley, for starting us down this path with her pioneering $25-a-day child care pilot program, and to the NDP Child Care critic, Raki Pancholi, for her passionate and tenacious advocacy over the past two years. But mostly, credit needs to be given to the civil society groups and thousands and thousands of ordinary Canadians who pushed towards the dream of universal child care over the past four decades.

“We are proud that unions – including the Alberta Federation of Labour and all of our affiliates – have been active participants in these efforts from the beginning. And we are deeply moved by the knowledge that future generations of working parents won’t have to endure the hardship and heartbreak that burdened previous generations who struggled so mightily to balance the need to work with the desire to give the best to their kids.

“Today, Premier Kenney will attempt to claim credit for this amazing accomplishment, but he and the UCP deserve none of it. This victory belongs solely to those who made it happen, not those, like the UCP, who did their best to delay and obstruct it. If there was ever an illustration of the power of citizens working together in civil society, this is it. Together, we made this happen – not because of politicians or governments, but in spite of them. We should never stop celebrating this victory, nor forget how it was won: through the power of citizens working together in civil society.”


Ramona Franson
Director of Communications, AFL
[email protected]