CALGARY, AB (June 27, 2012): The Redford government is deliberately attempting to run out the clock on the coming health care inquiry, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today. With yesterday’s news that the inquiry won’t get underway until October because of cabinet not approving the inquiry’s budget, the government will have wasted eight full months of the 14-month window the inquiry has to complete its work and report to the Legislature.
When the inquiry was announced in February, Albertans were told it would submit findings to MLAs no later than April 30, 2013. “It’s going to be almost November before this inquiry starts hearing evidence. That’s eight months gone out the window,” Forsyth said. “This government deliberately dragged its heels getting this thing going and now it will be slapped together and rushed through in a matter of weeks.” Premier Alison Redford originally said the inquiry would be “well underway” before the spring election. Forsyth is calling on Redford to bump up the start of the inquiry so a thorough investigation into queue-jumping, bullying and intimidation can be conducted. “Albertans deserve answers, and as it stands, this inquiry is being intentionally delayed so they don’t get them,” Forsyth said. “However, it’s not too late to change course and get this inquiry underway as soon as possible so we get the full review we need. “It’s not too late to expand the scope and include the bullying and intimidation of our health care workers. Albertans have the right to know and health care professionals have the right to be able to bring their concerns forward. Premier Redford talks about being open, transparent and accountable. This would be a positive step forward to prove she is serious about that.”