EndPovertyEdmonton's 2023 Alberta Provincial Election Priorities

Posted: May 15, 2023


Albertans go to the polls on May 29, 2023, to elect their representative in the Alberta Legislature. The incoming provincial government will have a major role to play in eliminating poverty in Edmonton and other communities across the province.

EndPovertyEdmonton will continue to work with the provincial government in all areas of poverty reduction, but there are some key priorities we would like to see addressed. This guide lays out the high-level initiatives we would like to see the next provincial government prioritize.


The next provincial government must support Anti-Racism efforts across the province to promote equitable opportunities for all.

EndPovertyEdmonton recognizes the importance of ongoing evaluation of structures, policies, and programs to promote equitable opportunities for all. Therefore, we support the Anti-Racism election priorities proposed by Vibrant Communities Calgary and suggest additional priorities initiated at the community, organizational, and municipal levels to combat racial inequity.

  1. We need an Anti-Racism Act co-developed with racialized and indigenous community leaders to standardize policies and framework for monitoring Anti-Racism outcomes. Municipal-level efforts, led by EndPovertyEdmonton and other community partners, involve convening individuals to form a community of practice for support and standardizing Anti-Racist frameworks within institutions, organizations and companies. The incoming government must lead in developing a framework for Anti-Racism policies within provincially managed systems.

  2. Canada lacks sufficient data to understand the extent of racism within our systems entirely. However, we know that reliable data is necessary to make informed decisions, and prioritizing this is crucial. EndPovertyEdmonton advocates for collecting race/identity-based data in all major systems. The incoming government must take action and provide an update to Albertans regarding the implementation of recommendations made by the provincial Anti-Racism Advisory Council in 2021. Specifically, we urge the government to report on the progress made towards disaggregated race-based data collection.

The province needs to adopt an Anti-Racist approach in all its efforts. Therefore, we strongly recommend that each government ministry should have an Anti-Racism outcome named within it.

Social Procurement

The Government of Alberta spends billions purchasing goods and services every year. Currently, the procurement system is mostly set up to achieve the best price. An alternative to this practice is called social procurement or best value procurement which aims to achieve the greatest value instead. This often means looking at how we spend, not spending more. Through social procurement, there is potential to build a stronger economy for all Albertans and achieve additional goals while remaining within existing budgets. 

We ask the incoming government to implement social procurement policies and practices in all government spending, including Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) and Community Employment Benefits (CEBS) for large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, and to work with civil society organizations that are ready to support this work.

Workforce Support

EndPovertyEdmonton believes the incoming government should facilitate greater collaboration between industry and employment supports to mutually benefit Alberta employers and Albertans under-represented in the labour market.

Accountability for workforce development and employment outcomes should be shared between industry and employment supports. Greater collaboration between these two groups will increase participation in Alberta’s labour workforce. Reallocating funds to empower both groups will lead to a system that meets the needs of employers in an increasingly diverse economy while enabling Albertans currently under-represented in the labour market to connect to employment.


Building a sustainable workforce will require the construction and maintenance industry to increase recruitment from groups traditionally underrepresented in the current construction labour force, including women, Indigenous people, and new Canadians.

Increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented groups working in construction will benefit not only the individuals themselves – and the industry – but the overall economy.

There are three initiatives the next provincial government should prioritize:

  1. Continue investing in Community programs and services to help under-represented Albertans, specifically newcomers and Indigenous people, to prepare for the Alberta Trades Entrance Exam. Ensuring support is:
    • accessible both in person and online.

    • available at no financial cost to the learner.

  2. Conduct a review of historical Alberta apprenticeship system data and lived experience of system users to understand completion rates, causes that influence recidivism, and any demographic statistics related to race, gender, age or status.

  3. Clarify pathways and training for:

    • tradespeople beyond completing an apprenticeship, and utilize this information to meet the evolving needs of the economy.

    • individuals at the beginning of their apprenticeship journey - for example, identify program options that support individuals to prepare for the trades entrance exam and reduce unnecessarily complex barriers to registering for a trades entrance exam.

Early Learning and Care

EndPovertyEdmonton calls on the incoming provincial government to dedicate significant resources to develop a province-wide system of early learning and care that would ensure both stability of the sector and universal access to quality, affordable, accessible childcare opportunities for families. This includes:

  1. Undertaking a significant revision of the Alberta Cost Control Framework and For Profit Expansion plan ensuring equity for families and no undue burden is placed on operators
    As written, the Cost Control Framework and for-profit expansion plan are unclear and leave opportunities for inequity in affordability and access to early learning and care across the province. Furthermore, it has the potential to place a large administrative burden on providers who are completely stretched to deliver the services they are already providing. The incoming government must commit to extensive community consultation with providers, educators and families to ensure the funding model is fair and sustainable before moving forward with this framework.

  2. Developing a comprehensive Workforce Strategy
    The early learning and care sector is facing an absolute labour crisis. Early Childhood Educators have long been underpaid, undersupported, and underappreciated. As a result, the sector is grappling with massive recruitment and retention challenges. There are substantial space creation targets outlined in the Canada-Alberta Child Care Agreement. To fulfill these requirements the incoming government will need to prioritize the creation of a dedicated workforce development strategy that will properly support not only the operators and families requiring access to childcare but also the educators working in the sector who deserve appropriate compensation, benefits and working conditions that reflect the value of their daily work with children and families.

  3. Partnering with school boards and municipalities to ensure that space creation works for families
    Childcare is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. To provide childcare that is inclusive, accessible, and responsive to the needs of all Alberta children and families it is essential to understand demographic data beyond the number of children of a certain age in a certain area. Partnering with local school boards and municipalities is important to understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of a certain population, the unique childcare needs of that population, as well as emergent childcare needs so that new spaces can be planned for in the future. To move forward strategically and efficiently, childcare needs to evolve from being a reactive, market-driven entity, and be considered like the public service that it is. The incoming government should prioritize building constructive partnerships with school boards and municipalities to help understand childcare needs at a local level so that the sector can mobilize to create new spaces where and when they are needed strategically and cohesively.

Economic Reconciliation

The journey to economic reconciliation will not be easy, but it is absolutely critical. The next provincial government must commit to advancing economic reconciliation in all areas of government. In addition to the work already being done, there are some vital initiatives that need to be addressed immediately. Specifically:

  • More funding for indigenous housing initiatives ensuring more affordable, accessible, culturally appropriate housing.

  • Indigenous workforce development support, including leadership and management training for Indigenous people based on Indigenous ways and knowledge, specifically in the social services sector.

Indigenous Culture and Wellness Centre

For decades, Indigenous Peoples have envisioned a place for the community to gather, celebrate, and receive services in Edmonton. Many Elders, advocates, non-profit Indigenous organizations, and community members have kept this dream alive all these years. EndPovertyEdmonton and the City of Edmonton support the development of an Indigenous Culture and Wellness Centre, and we call on the incoming provincial government to provide financial support to this critical project as well.

The Indigenous Culture and Wellness Centre is envisioned as a safe and welcoming space for the benefit of all urban Indigenous people in the region for the practice of community, ceremony, and wellness.

Grow Alberta's Housing Stock

Vibrant Communities Calgary aims to ensure that Calgary is a strong, supportive and inclusive community, where everyone has sufficient income and assets to thrive, and where all Indigenous people are equal participants in Calgary's future. They have proposed an affordable housing platform for the incoming provincial government to adopt, and EndPovertyEdmonton supports this proposal.

From https://enoughforall.ca/action/election-priorities:

Commit an additional $90 million each year to deliver on the province’s affordable housing goals.

Review operating agreements with service providers to better understand appropriate funding levels to address growing challenges facing vulnerable Albertans.

Provide an immediate 10% increase and fully index existing operating agreements.

The government of Alberta’s affordable housing strategy commits to assisting up to 25,000 additional households over the next 10 years. However, capital and operational funding allocations do not cover the costs to deliver on these commitments, let alone maintain units within the existing inventory. Mental health and addiction-related issues have also grown more complex, placing increased demands on the homeless serving sector.

The Social Policy Collaborative outlines three key policy recommendations to help the provincial government meet its commitment to Albertans in need of affordable housing. Polling data shows that 70% of Albertans agree that the provincial government has an obligation to invest in building new affordable housing units.

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