September 26, 2016
Accountability needed with AHS helipad debacle in Rocky Mountain House: Wildrose
Someone needs to be held accountable after a bureaucratic error at AHS is threatening to cost taxpayers almost half a million dollars and Rocky Mountain House its iconic municipal landmark, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
AHS bureaucrats assured the municipality of Rocky Mountain House that its iconic water tower would be safe as they planned to build a hospital helipad near the structure, but these plans were in direct violation of federal regulations. Now the tower, emblazoned with the words ‘Where Adventure Begins,’ will have to be painted in a checkerboard pattern or demolished at an estimated cost of $430,000.
“This water tower is a symbol of our history and our culture; it’s a gateway to the rocky hinterland,” Wildrose Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon said. “To think we could lose this provincial landmark just because some overpaid bureaucrats didn’t do their jobs properly is very disappointing. I’m glad the town of Rocky Mountain House won’t have to foot the bill directly, but there is still only one taxpayer. People in my riding expect and deserve to see some accountability.”
Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said the debacle shows how centralized decision-making at AHS is continuing to hurt Alberta’s rural communities.
“This is a prime example of how out of touch the bigwigs at AHS are with our local communities. When there are no local decision-makers and layers of unaccountable mangers, mistakes like this will continue to happen,” Barnes said. “Health Minister Sarah Hoffman can’t sweep this potentially half-million-dollar mistake under the rug. The NDP government needs to ensure someone is held accountable for this monumental error.”