$10-a-day, publicly-subsidized child care is on the way to Alberta, finally. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Edmonton to announce it at a press conference with Jason Kenney on Monday and you could tell the Premier wasn’t feeling it.
For months Kenney has been hostile to the daycare deal, often pointing to what he characterized as unfairness in favor of Quebec. The federal government was making Alberta jump through hoops to get the funding that Quebec didn’t have to, he claimed. There wasn’t much substance to his allegations. It was easy for Quebec to qualify for the funding simply because they already did publicly-subsidized child care.
Only one of these men was having a good time on Monday. (Image from the Government of Alberta's livestream of the press conference.)
Far-right trashbags associated with Edmonton’s hate-gang scene tailed the PM to a local YMCA, which was hosting the press conference, where they joined raging anti-Semite and anti-vax influencer Chris Sky and a small group of like-minded scumbags in banging on the windows and screaming that Trudeau was a pedophile. But Trudeau seemed unbothered, focused instead on enjoying Jason Kenney’s obvious misery. By the end of the presser, Kenney was taking embarrassing questions from the press about the slow collapse of the United Conservative Party with his nemesis standing right behind him.
The subsidized child care program is understandably very popular with folks who have been struggling with the rising cost of daycare, and will be implemented over the next five years. The general consensus of the pundit types has been that Kenney obstructed the deal in the hopes that the Conservative Party would win the federal election and get rid of it. You might expect that a year of playing hardball at least let Kenney wring some concessions out of the feds—but no. Alberta is getting virtually the same deal as British Columbia, which signed on months ago.
Vancouver is practically cut off from the rest of Canada at the moment thanks to a worse-than-once-in-a-century climate event. Incredible flooding just inland of the city has led to at least one town being completely evacuated, completely shut down the rich agricultural region around Abbotsford, and broken major transportation routes including the Coquihalla. The consequences of this disaster for the national economy are expected to be severe—hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods pass through Vancouver every day.
Alberta’s vaccine passport program got a little stricter on Monday: locations requiring proof of immunization now specifically require the print-out from the Alberta government with the QR code on it. If you aren’t handy with a printer, you can get your vaccination card from any provincial registry office.
22 UCP constituency organizations—those are the local volunteer groups which make up the heart of any political party—have demanded that the party step up its leadership review to sometime before March 1. Meanwhile, Jason Kenney’s rival of the day Brian Jean got his campaign for the UCP candidacy in Fort McMurray off to a hot start this week with a racist post on LinkedIn.
- The Gidimt’en clan, one of the five clans which make up the Wet’suwet’en nation, have successfully evicted Coastal GasLink from Wet’suwet’en territory.
- Something is amiss at the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. CEO Alicia Dubois abruptly resigned last week, and a director of the organization is mired in a $25 million class action lawsuit alleging racism and sexual harassment.
- In Edmonton—as in several cities in the province—unhoused folks and their advocates are bracing for a brutal winter. More people than ever are out on the street and it’s about to get very, very cold. Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi is pleading with the provincial government to provide more funding for shelters; given that we all know the UCP aren’t going to spend a dime to help any of these folks out, if the new mayor and council actually care about this problem, they should be taking a hard look at where else they can squeeze money out of the city budget. The Edmonton Police Service budget remains quite ample.
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