April 09, 2013

QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: PCs stumble on health, carbon tax and justice

EDMONTON, AB (April 9, 2013):  PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith on increases in AHS budget for administration and reports of increases to salaries for AHS executives, Health minister Fred Horne said, “Mr. Speaker the honourable member is obviously behind the times… The AHS board chair announced… a freeze in management salaries.”

 FACT: According to an interview with AHS chair Stephen Lockwood by Metro News, an increase in AHS executive pay is on the table: Lockwood didn’t rule out adjusting executives’ salaries to account for the loss of pay-at-risk.  “We’ll look at those salaries, we’ll adjust them accordingly, if necessary,” he said, adding that an independent third party will review overall executive compensation.  

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Smith on the cost increase of generic drugs as a result of the changes to funding formula for pharmacies, Health Minster Fred Horne tried to insinuate that there would be no changes for services and costs of drugs by saying, “The drug ketorolac for example has been replaced with same active ingredient by toradol” 

FACT: Toradol is the brand name drug, while ketorolac is the generic replacement.  100 pills of toradol cost $76.15, while the delisted ketorolac was $40.85 and now will be $51.92. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson on the government implementing a massive carbon tax increase, Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk said, “they’re making this kind of noise that is totally unsubstantiated.” 

FACT: To date, the government has yet to deny the several reports that the Alberta government is considering a drastic carbon tax increase of up to $40 per tonne.

PC CLAIM: Responding on question from NDP Leader Brian Mason about $52 million dollars in cuts to continuing care, Health Minister Fred Horne said “I don’t know where the honourable member is getting his information.” 

FACT: The proposed AHS budget for 2013/14 compared to 2012/13 gives a cut of $52 million dollars to continuing care, while increasing the budget for administration by $84 million dollars. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw on the deportation of Allyson McConnell, Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said, “our department filed the appeal immediately and has left no stone unturned whatsoever.”

FACT: A letter from McConnell’s attorney states that there was a five month delay in filing supporting documents with the court, after various extensions.  Further, Federal Minister Vic Toews made it clear last Friday that the Alberta government failed to inform the federal government of the case in time.



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