EDMONTON, AB (August 10, 2012): Health Minister Fred Horne has once again shown his incompetence and failure of leadership over his department, contradicting himself on the planned closure of the Little Bow Continuing Care Centre in Carmangay just days after claiming ignorance on Allaudin Merali’s history of expense abuse.
On July 18, Horne defended the closure and Alberta Health Services, saying residents were fully aware of the closure and rejecting claims that the closure announcement was abrupt and unexpected.: “Alberta Health Services has been planning this relocation for some time and I know they’ve been working with staff and residents and residents’ families.” However, yesterday – after weeks of criticism over how badly he has handled the Little Bow closure – Horne backtracked, completely contradicting his earlier statement and absolving himself of any responsibility for the Carmangay mess: “I did hear that people weren’t consulted, I did hear that they had been told they had to move quickly or take the first available placement, and so that’s not right. In my view, and I’ve told Alberta Health Services this morning, there’s a number of things that are required – the first is an apology from Alberta Health Services. ” Earlier this week, Wildrose called for Premier Alison Redford to remove Horne as Health Minister for his ongoing mismanagement of several key health care files. His self-contradiction on Little Bow comes just days after Finance Minister Doug Horner contradicted him on what cabinet knew about Merali’s involvement in the Ontario eHealth expense scandal. “The damning evidence against this Minister continues to pile up,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. “Not only is he completely in the dark about what is happening in the health care system, he continues to duck responsibility and blame everybody else for his own incompetence while our unbelievable health care professionals continue to work hard under very difficult conditions.” “Minister Horne is becoming an expert is shifting blame, dodging accountability and diving for cover,” Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw said. “It’s becoming impossible for Albertans to trust him with the management of our health care system. What’s the actual truth here? Were Little Bow residents notified or not? Did they know about Merali or not? Horne has made it difficult for Albertans to know the truth.”