EDMONTON, AB (April 10, 2013): The Wildrose Official Opposition is today calling on the PC government to reverse a decision that will end discounted transferable annual hospital parking passes for Canadian Forces veterans in Calgary. Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith today questioned Health Minister Fred Horne on the decision by Alberta Health Services, calling it “stingy at its worst.” “It’s another tax Mr. Speaker, on the men and women who have served and sacrificed for Canada.
The Premier promised no new taxes, but we see different adjustments, increases, fees, charges and program changes that mean more citizens are paying more money to the government,” Smith said. “Will the Minister immediately order AHS to maintain its practice of selling parking passes for Calgary veterans?” In the Legislature, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson challenged the statement by an AHS vice-president who defended the move by rhetorically asking of veterans, “Why is this one group more worthy than others?” “One has to wonder what kind of fantasy world one lives in who has the audacity to ask such a mind-numbingly and ignorant question,” Anderson said. “It’s because they were willing to leave their beloved families behind and die for us so we wouldn’t have to salute a swastika one day. I hope that clears it up for this AHS vice-president and some of the other thoughtless individuals who had a hand in this stupidity. And hopefully it helps our own Health Minister to stop his bumbling and get this ungrateful and morally reprehensible policy reversed – today – lest he forget what we owe these heroes.” Military veteran and Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin said maintaining the program is the least AHS can do for Alberta veterans. “If AHS executives are going to keep collecting their bonuses and boosting their bureaucratic budgets, they can certainly keep this courtesy to our brave men and women,” Anglin said. “I’m disturbed by the suggestion from AHS that veterans would abuse the program. If there’s any abuse going on in the health system, it’s the ongoing abuse by senior officials helping themselves to pay raises and bonuses.”