CALGARY — The Alberta Liberal party is outraged it has been asked to shut down a website launched earlier this month that critiques the provincial health minister.
The site, liepertmustgo.ca, set up three weeks ago, calls for Health Minister Ron Liepert to be replaced and asks Albertans to submit their thoughts and stories about provincial health care.
“We set it up to allow Albertans to express their ideas about the health care system; many people feel like they can’t speak out about it,” said Liberal Leader David Swann, adding the site received about 300 submissions in its first week.
“(Liepert) isn’t competent to make the decisions he’s making,” he said.
“Patient access to services is a problem and getting worse in some places.”
Swann was disgruntled when just before Christmas, the site faced a “backlash from the legislative offices” in the form of an official request from legislative clerk David McNeil to remove the site.
The letter states the website breaches current caucus expenditure guidelines by singling out and personally criticizing Liepert.
“We understand that it is a valid role for any opposition caucus to provide criticism of government policies and their implementation,” writes McNeil.
“However, this communication goes further and contains personal criticism of a member.”
Swann said he has requested a Members’ Services Committee review, which will likely happen in mid-January, as he strongly feels the website should be allowed to stay up.
“It’s not an attack on (Liepert’s) person, it’s an attack on his performance and that is the role of the official opposition,” he said.
Howard May, a spokesman for Alberta Health and Wellness, said neither he nor Liepert would comment on the issue.