Alberta Politics

photos: rally for public healthcare.

MLA Raj Sherman was suspended from the PC Caucus for publicly criticizing the government about healthcare.

I joined hundreds of fellow Edmontonians today for an afternoon rally for public healthcare at the Alberta Legislative Assembly building. Speakers included MLA Raj Sherman and his lawyer, Brian Beresh, who announced that he was starting an investigation into the whisper campaign to discredit Dr. Sherman.

After a month of political turmoil in healthcare, rally speakers piled on the governing PCs, who despite nearly forty years in office appear incapable of providing stability within the healthcare system. Those speakers included David Eggen from the Friends of Medicare, MLAs Hugh MacDonald and Brian Mason, Vancouver-South Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, United Nurses of Alberta President Heather Smith, AUPE President Guy Smith, and Elaine Fleming from the Whitemud Citizens for Public Health.

I snapped the below photos in the cold and you can view more on Flickr.

Former MLA David Eggen is the Executive Director of the Friends of Medicare.
Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald spoke on behalf of the Liberal caucus.
NDP MLA Brian Mason and Independent MLA Raj Sherman.
Vancouver-South Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh spoke as the Official Opposition health critic in Ottawa. Mr. Dosanjh is the former federal Health Minister and Premier of British Columbia.

14 replies on “photos: rally for public healthcare.”

This investigation will no doubt be interfered with in every way possible by the guilty tories. This is about as unethical a government as you will find anywhere. At this point I would not put anything past this group of people. They are so power hungry and corrupt they can’t even think staright and I think we will find that they have finally gone too far for even their own supporters, but how anyone can support these people is beyond my comprehension.

Raj Sherman should have been KICKED OUT of the government caucus a long time ago. I wish Stelmach was a stronger leader and had done it months ago.

Edmonton should fire and replace all those PC backbenchers who were hired in 2008, the same ones who stay quiet on healthcare, the same ones who voted unanimously to eject Sherman.

Edmonton should fire: Elniski, Bhardwaj, Xiao, Benito, Vandermeer, Sarich, Klimchuk, Sandhu and Horne. You can probably add George Rogers (Leduc) and Fred Lindsay (Stony Plain) too to this list.

Despite all their failings and their deliberate undermining of the public health system, the Tories may still form government in 2011-12 but at least we could strengthen the opposition to hold them more to account. 10 or 12 seats in Edmonton going Liberal and NDP and perhaps as many as 6 or 8 in Calgary going Alliance could have a profound effect on Alberta politics, and I am not even talking about “rural” Alberta at all. They’re mad too.

Sherman is all over the map. First he joins the PC caucus, now is with Liberals, NDP, and left wing groups like Friends of Medicare. What does he stand for other than himself?

It’s clear that the anti Shermna comments are being made by people with ties to the government. No thinking compassinate person could ever support what was done to Dr. Shermna. He was simply doing his job, standing up for his constituents. It’s hard to believe that some people still think that MLA’s should stand for their party first and constituents second. Those that stand for their party first should stand in front of the taxpayers and explain why they are reprsenting us, th3e4y never will because they have no guts. They only care about the,mselves and not the people.

People all over are tired of this mentality and we are starting to see a shiuft in voting patterns. Just wait, you’ll see, the PC’s have dug a hole that they can’t get out of and the rats will abanb\don ship before the next election. At least 1/3 will retire prior to the election to avoid the embarrassment they will face if they don’t.

So, any solutions other than Fire the Tories! The Enlightened Savage has tried to actually talk about what to do about the system. Here all the comments are about individuals.

Is the answer just to give more of the GOA budget to Ministry of Health?

Bjorn: thanks for the comment. This post was specifically about the rally. It is a shame that some people have turned this recent healthcare debate into a judgement of character against Dr Sherman and others (mainly Dr Duckett) because we have an opportunity to have a real debate about the future of public healthcare and why it is important to Canadians. Enlightened Savage deserves props for participating in a positive debate.

On November 23 I wrote smoker along the same lines offering reflections on the system and some ideas for solutions. You can read the post here:

Chester J, I don’t understand your comment (in fact I found it quite jarring), people are people are suffering (and sometimes dying prematurely) it was very courageous of Dr. Sherman to do what he has done. Please explain your comment to me.

The problem with these sort of rallies is that they consist of what Ralph Klein once called the “usual suspects”: UNA, Friends of Medicare, NDP & Liberal MLA’s, other labour unions, etc (full disclosure: I am a member of both UNA & the NDP). This government doesn’t pay any attention to any of these groups. It will only be when their political allies start to call them on this that they will pay attention. Since that is unlikely to happen, the only real solution is to defeat this government at the next election. Since that also is unlikely to happen, I fear we are hooped.

People need to take a deep breath and relax. We’re not “hooped”, we’re not in a crisis, and we definitely should not be degrading ourselves and others because they disagree with us.

Dr. Sherman is a great doctor and a good man. He is just not a very good politician. That does not mean he should be a media poster boy for what is wrong with health care. He has valid points and they should be addressed. What occurred to get him kicked out of the PC Caucus has really noting to do with health care, so the media, the government and the opposition need to move on from this.

Secondly, we live in the best province in the best country in the world. Reading some of these posts you would think the Alberta Government has us all living in hovels and dieing on the streets. Some reality needs to make its way back into the debate, and unfortunately the UNA, Friends of Medicare, and sadly the opposition parties do not seem to have that.

No more name calling people, we’re better than that. We all deserve better than that.

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