This is about the PC leadership review Nov. 7, and the rest of us.
Media reported that the Alberta Progressive Conservative party is happy with the policies of Premier Stelmach. While party members were giving the premier standing ovations, hundreds of Alberta citizens of all walks of life came together to gave him a different message in a large Red Deer rally with the message “Stop the Cuts.”
The record of local MLAs for listening and answering questions and concerns of constituents is poor to say the least. Their professed efforts of wanting the best for us are in doubt. Thirty-seven years of PC planning and governing has brought us to the chaos we are in today.
Perhaps the MLAs’ influence at caucus meetings and at the cabinet table is obscured by the ideology of “private is easier and therefore better.”
What about the PC delegates who represent the party in our communities? What was discussed by them at this meeting?
Do these delegates listen to people other than party members? Do they have the interest of the community or only the party at heart?
How did the revolving door of change in health care administration come to be so chaotic? Was it their deliberate plan to have it so?
Minister Liepert has used the centralisation of power into Alberta Health Services to escape his ministerial accountability. He regularly refers hard questions to others subcontracted to do his bidding.
The public health issue and rollout on H1N1 is a good example of that.
The decision not to refurbish but to close beds at Alberta Hospital is another — and there are many more.
Now the minister has commissioned yet another Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health Care. The committee has invited 35 “stakeholders” to meet with them, behind closed doors.
Liepert stated that he will act on the committee’s recommendations. Is there any allowance for input by interested community groups and citizens to make recommendations and have them considered? How will citizens in Red Deer be represented?
Some months ago the Alberta Health Services Board asked for applicants to a “Health Care Advisory Council”, this was shortly after the “Code of Conduct” placed a gag order on anyone connected with the Health Service. Applicants have yet to hear about selection, never mind opportunity to meet and report on and to their communities.
All this brings us to recognition that the PC party is not representative, not accountable, and not transparent. It does not accept good advice and ignores criticism.
We have a democratic deficit, and the only people who can repair it are premier Stelmach and his government. Liepert has referred to two years plus to the next election as his mandate to change our health care to his plan. Albertans will not accept such a dismal lot without speaking out.
We need quality health care access for all, according to need, not according to wealth. A progressive tax system and universality are the most efficient way to deliver that.
Sam Denhaan, President
Central Alberta Council on Aging