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Inquiry should call upon former health ministers

CALGARY, AB (January 11, 2013): Former Health Ministers Gene Zwozdesky, Dave Hancock and Iris Evans should be called upon to take the stand at the preferential access inquiry, Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

 “As former Health Ministers, they could have information pertinent to the inquiry and should be called to the stand to see if they can remember more than our current Health Minister was willing to put forward,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. Minister Fred Horne failed to recall significant details about his job as a parliamentary secretary and discussions on queue-jumping while preparing the Alberta Health Act. Further, during his testimony, Horne admitted that in his past role as parliamentary secretary he was not privy to all communications that may have been shared between the Minister and health department officials regarding the allegations of queue jumping. The Alberta Health Services document “Moving Forward” weighed the need for legislation on queue-jumping and was tabled while Horne was parliamentary secretary in 2010. Justice John Vertes raised questions about Horne’s lack of knowledge on the issue within the department. “These former health ministers were directly responsible for the performance of our health care system and should be asked to give their accounts of what plagued our healthcare system throughout this time period,” Forsyth said.