colourful political trio behind private resort hospital in vietnam.

Q: What do you get when you send Lyle Oberg, Hung Pham, and David Aftergood to Vietnam?
A: North American Healthcare International Inc.

The unlikely trio of former Alberta cabinet minister Lyle Oberg, former Calgary Progressive Conservative MLA Hung Pham, and Calgary businessman David Aftergood recently formed North American Healthcare International Inc. and plan to open a private-for-profit “five-star” resort hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. As the Socialist Republic of Vietnam opens its markets to outside investors, it is not surprising that westerners are moving in to make a profit on this new market. It is a bizarre trio of Alberta politicos who have implanted themselves in Vietnam’s new boutique health care hotelier industry.

Architectural rendering of the proposed hospital resort. Credit Card or Cash?

It makes one wonder what kind of advice Dr. Oberg is giving Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, to whom he has recently started to offer political advice. Before earning a reputation for thumbing his nose at his party’s establishment, Learning Minister Dr. Oberg travelled to Vietnam a number of times, including once in 2003 with Mr. Pham to an education conference hosted by the World Bank.

Known in political circles as the “MIA MLA” for his lacklustre attendance record in the Assembly, Mr. Pham served in the PC backbenches as the MLA for Calgary-Montrose from 1993 until 2008. He resigned in 2008, after a prolonged legal fight between his constituency volunteers and the PC Party. On his way out, he blasted his party for being “dishonorable.”

Calgarians may remember Mr. Pham and Mr. Aftergood named in connection to the 2004 Ward 10 election dispute when Margot Aftergood was elected as a City of Calgary Alderman under suspicious circumstances. Mr Pham was not charged as a result of the investigation,though his house was raided by police during the 2005 investigation and his brothers Anh Pham and Thanh Pham were charged. Mr. Aftergood was convicted of violating the Local Authorities Election Act though charges against him were later dropped by Alberta Justice.

Mr. Aftergood is a well-known figure in Calgary political circles. He was a candidate for the PCs in the 1993 federal election and was President of the Montrose PC association from 1996 to 1997 (the constituency represented by MLA Mr. Pham). It was uncovered in 1997 that Calgary-McCall MLA Shiraz Shariff owned stocks in Applied Gaming Solutions, a company that was offering offering Video Lottery Terminals to the Government of Alberta. Mr. Aftergood was the company President, presenting the suggestion of a conflict of interest.

The CFO of North American Healthcare International Inc. David Jones is also the former CEO and CFO of Pacific Lottery Corporation (PLC), a company founded by Mr. Aftergood. On August 24, 2010, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada halted trading on PLC stocks, which held contracts with the Vietnamese government, leaving many investors wondering what happened (a number of them contacted me when I tweeted about this topic earlier this week).

With this colourful Alberta political trio on the job, this blogger will certainly be paying close attention to their nouveau ventures in the Far East.

16 thoughts on “colourful political trio behind private resort hospital in vietnam.

  1. why_knot1

    Dave, you forgot about the grants fiasco, supposedly for water systems in Vietnam that involved our friend Pham.

    Reply
  2. why_knot1

    Embattled MLA lashes out at critics
    Alberta’s ethics commissioner is investigating whether Calgary MLA Hung Pham has breached provincial conflicts of interest legislation.
    By The Calgary Herald August 19, 2006 Be the first to post a comment
    Alberta’s ethics commissioner is investigating whether Calgary MLA Hung Pham has breached provincial conflicts of interest legislation.

    And as the probe gets underway, Pham is lashing out at the provincial Liberals, who sparked the ethics investigation, and members of his own party he says are using it as a pawn in the Tory leadership battle.

    “This is a political ploy,” said Pham, believed to be a supporter of Tory Lyle Oberg in the leadership race.

    Ethics commissioner Donald Hamilton is looking into allegations that Pham may have helped the Applewood Park Community Association obtain grants from the Wild Rose Foundation in exchange for volunteer labour or campaign donations.

    Edmonton Liberal MLA Bharat Agnihotri, who launched the complaint, says evidence uncovered by the Grits suggests Pham may have breached the Conflicts of Interest Act.

    “I believe the matter deserves a full and complete investigation to ensure the integrity of the Wild Rose Foundation is protected,” said Agnihotri.

    “There are so many questions that have not been answered.”

    In a letter to the ethics commissioner, Agnihotri alleges there is a trail from the Wild Rose funds to Applewood, from Applewood to the Vietnamese Caodaist Society, and from someone sharing the same name and home address as the society’s founders to Pham’s PC constituency association.

    Pham denies the accusations and called the complaint frivolous. He said it is a “stretch” to suggest he lobbied for the grants in exchange for donations.

    The embattled Calgary MLA also suggests that “individuals” within his own Conservative party, who are Jim Dinning supporters, may be conspiring with the Liberals in order to prevent Pham from rallying support in the city’s Asian community for an opposing candidate. Pham is well-known within the party for his ability to organize large numbers of supporters, particularly the ethnic vote in his northeast constituency.

    “That is a very dirty tactic that they’re playing,” said Pham.

    A spokesman for the Dinning camp could not be reached for comment.

    The ethics investigation is the latest twist in a saga that has dragged on for two years, stemming from $20,000 in charitable funds doled out by the province for foreign aid projects in Vietnam.

    © (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.
    http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=00b69274-198a-44ef-b8fa-27fdbe454e80&k=39130

    And there was the 2004 nomination scandal as well!

    On July 30, 2004, Mr. Justice Peter Martin ruled in favor of Mr. Gus Barron, in his lawsuit against the Calgary Montrose PC Nominating Committee. Justice Martin stated that the procedures and process followed by the Nominating Committee did not follow natural justice. In his decision, Justice Martin stated that the process and procedures that the Nominating Committee for Montrose followed were not open, fair and democratic.

    The judge set aside the disqualification of Mr. Barron as a PC candidate for nominee for the Calgary Montrose district, he set aside the acclamation of Mr. Hung Pham as winner of the nomination procedure by default, and he directed that the nomination process restart. The judge has given the Nominating Committee a minimum of one month to six weeks to accomplish the vote.

    http://www.gusbarron.com/

    Reply
  3. FACLC

    Shouldn’t it shame at least a few irrational public healthcare defenders to discover that Alberta is now falling behind Viet-F’ing-Nam in private delivery of healthcare (to people who aren’t necessarily hockey players)?

    Reply
  4. Y O Y

    I think it is amusing that Lyle Oberg led the Royalty Review that Wild Rose has thumbed its nose at. But now he introduces Smith at dinners.

    Reply
  5. Rob H.

    I find it amusing that so many paint Oberg and Smith as having polarized positions on the Royalty Review.

    Smith complained the review didn’t follow it’s own foundational principals and that it was going to result in harm to our Province.

    Turns out she was right, confirmed by the Government’s roll back of the royal increases.

    Oberg was the Minister responsible for the review, but clearly was opposed to the government response to the review, suggesting that it would hurt the province.

    The response of Premier Stelmach to Oberg’s questioning was, “Well, let’s put it this way, there’s great danger in anyone disagreeing with me on my position and my government’s position on the royalty framework.”

    Next thing you know Oberg is gone.

    Next thing you know after that, the royalty increases are rolled back.

    So.

    Not so “amusing” that Oberg supports Smith.

    The rest of the article really is a drive-by smear, suggesting because Lyle does business with someone that, by implication, is a Wild Rose issue – when clearly it isn’t.

    But good for Lyle if he can operate a successful business.. were that our current Government could do the same.

    Reply
  6. Mr. T

    There are so many people lining up at the private health care starting gate in Alberta, some of them just can’t wait. Desperate to start moving into SOME sort of private health adventure they are willing to hitch their wagon to Hung Pham, Lyle Oberg and their flim flamary.

    Reply
  7. Scottie

    The Pham-Oberg connection doesn’t surprise me. Pham supported Oberg for the PC leadership until Oberg dropped off after the first voting round.

    Reply
  8. Joe Albertan

    With the news about Wildrose supporter Lyle Oberg involved in a private hospital, the Wildrose needs to come clean about its hidden agenda to privatize health care in Alberta.

    Reply
  9. BabaSue

    Next thing we`will hear is Ralph Klein is the mastermind of the venture. If I remember correctly, many believed that privatizing health care was Ralph`s retirement plan.

    Reply
  10. Pingback: doug elniski on wildrose alliance advisor’s private resort hospital in vietnam. | daveberta.ca

  11. Rick Newcombe

    Joe Albertan. Please understand that ADDING a delivery model that includes offering health care by competent health care professionals that also operate as business people (that in fact already exists), does not constitute a hidden agenda. It’s out in the open and has been articulated many times. Intentionally inaccurate and inflammatory language to the contrary is little more than “show boating”.

    If you have EVER gone to a “Medi-Center” conveniently close to your home, you are supporting “private health-care delivery”. Please don’t try to mislead people with hyperbole and innuendo.

    Stay well.

    Reply
  12. Rick Newcombe

    Joe Albertan and others, there are over 15,000 paid up members of the Wildrose Alliance party with the numbers growing EVERY DAY. Please avoid making such huge generalizations about the party and it’s policies when it seems obvious you don’t research any of your unqualified statements.

    We all understand not everyone will support the party and they are entitled to their own views. This is the beauty of a democracy…you get to freely vote for what you believe in. You are not however helping any citizens of Alberta decide anything by attempting to create controversy where none exists nor by spreading untruths which are little more than personal opinion.

    Reply
  13. Ken Markkula

    Hung Pham may have been a back bencher : he was also (promoted by Ed Stelmach) a Member of Alberta Treasury Board, the government body responsible for all expenditures and budgets, and
    Chair of the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund which was valued at 14 billion dollars.
    Mr.Pham also (to me this is very interesting)
    graduated from the University of Calgary in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science with “Distinction in Computer Science” and Bachelor of Science with “Distinction in Pure Mathematics”. He went on to take the Computer Science Masters program at the University of Calgary, specializing in “Artificial Intelligence”

    Reply

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