“Today, we’ve learned that the federal government and Quebec have agreed to a $6-billion child care agreement without conditions. This is the exact arrangement Ottawa rejected when Alberta asked for it this week and last week. Furthermore, when we asked Ottawa if any province would receive a straight transfer of child care dollars with no conditions attached, we were told no.

“This is dishonest, bad-faith negotiating from Ottawa right before an election. It’s frustrating to see Alberta parents could be left behind because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cynical pre-election manoeuvring especially given that we are absolutely committed to affordable, accessible child care that meets the diverse needs of Alberta kids and families.

“We believe we can reduce child care fees to $10 per day or less for low-income families and cut fees by an average of half, respecting the choices that many parents make including out-of-school care and overnight child care. That’s why we asked for the flexibility Quebec received today.

“We have an action plan that meets the goals of the federal government and is flexible enough to meet the needs of Alberta parents. We are optimistic that given Alberta’s continued investments in child care and the renewed bilateral agreement signed last month, we can come to a new agreement quickly. With an election call any day, we call on the federal government to give Alberta a fair deal and provide full child care funding without conditions through a signed early learning and child care agreement as soon as possible. Our economic recovery and working parents, especially women across this province, are counting on it.”