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Saskiw to call for emergency debate to delay rerouting of life-saving Medevac services

EDMONTON, AB (March 14, 2013): Today, Wildrose Official Opposition Justice Critic and northern spokesman Shayne Saskiw will ask the Legislative Assembly to adjourn the business of the day for an emergency debate on the PC government’s decision to compromise life-saving Medevac services for northern Alberta. 

Starting tomorrow, the PC government will reroute Medevac flights away from the City Centre despite the airport continuing to remain open to regular air traffic, to the Edmonton International Airport.  More than 104 doctors and counting have signed a letter saying the move will prove fatal for some patients. “The Legislature needs to hold an emergency debate immediately to do whatever it takes to keep the airport open past tomorrow’s arbitrary deadline set by the government,” Saskiw said. “This government has committed the ultimate betrayal of northern Albertans by reducing their timely access to emergency services. Second class treatment for northern Albertans will not be accepted.” The rerouting of Medevac flights to the Edmonton International Airport will add an additional 40-50 minutes travel time for northern residents who are in need of emergency treatment. Saskiw said the decision to reroute away from downtown Edmonton should be scrapped while a more appropriate solution that wouldn’t endanger lives is found. “There is no reason to rush this decision,” Saskiw said. “We still have plenty of time to arrive at a solution that will work for everybody and keep life-saving Medevac services viable for northern Alberta. Doctors have said that the Premier’s relocation plan on March 15th is flawed, costly, unnecessary, and will have fatal consequences and, for critically ill northern Albertans, there will be needless death and disability.  Let’s not wait for a tragedy before changing course.”