Hundreds protests at premier’s riding office

Hundreds of people protesting health-care changes staged a demonstration in front of Premier Ed Stelmach’s riding office.

FORT SASKATCHEWAN — Hundreds of people protesting health-care changes staged a demonstration in front of Premier Ed Stelmach’s riding office.

The lobby group Friends of Medicare brought protesters in from Edmonton on six buses to feed the half-hour rally.

Demonstrators chanted, “Wrong way,” and “We want Ed,” but the premier was not there.

A spokesman for his office said the premier was in Vancouver as the keynote speaker at an Open Skies conference.

Michael Marlowe, 84, held a sign that read, “Seniors shafted while billions go to corporations.”

Marlowe says the provincial Tories are not listening to people and won’t even meet with their opponents.

“We’re saying, look, we want medicare the way it was originally brought in and we’re prepared to pay for it,” said Marlowe.

A downtown shop owner said it was the largest protest she had ever seen outside the premier’s office.

Stelmach later said he’s looking to heal, not hurt, the health-care system.

“No one cares more about Alberta’s publicly funded health-care system than me,” said Stelmach.

“We are looking to our partners in the system to join us in providing what Albertans want — improved patient access within a publicly funded model.”

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