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Alberta government denies privatization plan despite "smoking gun"

Citizens rally at legislature to protest.

Citizens rally at Alberta legislature to protest health care privatization.EDMONTON, December 6, 2010: Health care continues to dominate the news in Alberta, with activists from across Canada converging on the provincial legislature to demand that attempts to privatize care be scrapped.

The event was organized by Friends of Medicare.

Vancouver MP and federal Health Critic Ujjal Dosanjh spoke at the rally, saying "Defending public health care in one province or in any province is defending public health care in the country, so it's not about Alberta – it could have been anywhere."

Former Tory MLA Raj Sherman, who was booted from the Alberta Conservative caucus for his outspoken concern over the province's health care system spoke at the rally.

"There's nothing more unfortunate than being in the wealthiest province in the wealthiest country on this planet, sitting in a waiting room five metres from care, and you're having a heart attack, and you have to wait about five, six hours," the MD-turned politician said.

Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky responded to the rally with a statement denying privatization plans.

That denial flies in the face of a government document released by Alberta Liberals that has been called a "smoking gun" pointing in exactly the direction of privatization.

The document on government stationery is dated July 12 and appears to prescribe a series of reforms to health care in the province, including allowing medical professionals to work in both the public and private system at the same time. It speaks of a "policy shift" allowing more government "flexibility".

Links and sources
  CBC News report

Posted: December 07, 2010

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