I can’t serve as a volunteer with a gag on

I have been a volunteer in Red Deer for over 30 years in a variety of positions with several organizations, including Alberta Health Services.

I have been a volunteer in Red Deer for over 30 years in a variety of positions with several organizations, including Alberta Health Services.

Recently, I spoke to a reporter regarding the wasteful use of AHS staff at H1N1 clinics. While staff waited, vials of vaccine sat unopened, and many citizens waited anxiously for their eligible H1N1 category to be called.

The day after my comments were printed in the Advocate, I received a stinging “slap on the wrist’ and stern lecture from an Alberta Health Services staff member. My actions were a direct breach of the AHS staff and volunteer “Code of Conduct” and “Confidentiality” policies that we have heard so much about recently.

Of course, I was well reassured that these policies were not gag orders but simply guidelines how we “must act when belonging to the organization!” Apparently this includes speaking to the media regarding unnecessary government spending, mismanagement, and failure to prepare and implement an effective action plan.

Still reeling from the slap, I was then accused of “fuelling the fire.”

In reality, the Ed Stelmach government and AHS have enough matchsticks and fuel to keep the controversial health-care fires aflame for quite some time and without help from an unassuming volunteer. A botched H1N1 rollout, lack of transparency and accountability, proposed cuts to beds, staff and services, critical concerns over seniors’ care, and a multitude of other blazes are all reaching the explosive stage in this province. . . and those are just in the health care sector!

I am unable to continue as an AHS volunteer with such restrictions placed on my freedom of speech, and ability to express my opinions openly without fear of reprisal.

I greatly admire and respect the dedication and hard work done in this city by hundreds of health care volunteers. I will truly miss working with many of you. Good luck and continued success in providing the excellent services to the citizens of Red Deer.

Rae Ing

Red Deer

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read