Latest Videos from CTV Edmonton
Expert predicts cookie comment will lead to dismissal
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, November 21, 2010 7:00PM MST
A University of Alberta political scientist argues the Stelmach administration will have to fire the province's health boss because the senior administrator's exchange with reporters last Friday continues to make national news.
Stephen Duckett, the president and C.E.O of Alberta Health Services, came under intense scrutiny over his conduct after he emerged from a day-long meeting dedicated to developing new protocols for emergency room wait times.
Instead of answering questions from media, he repeatedly talked about the cookie he was eating, and at one point shoved his snack in a reporter's face.
The incident led national newscasts on Saturday night and is the most popular political video this weekend, garnering thousands of YouTube hits.
"The numbers climb and continue to climb and I don't see why over the next few days that is going to stop," said social media consultant Walter Schwabe of the online traffic the episode continues to attract.
Some experts argue because the comments have staying power, Duckett's image cannot be repaired.
"I think [Health Minister] Gene Zwozdesky has no choice but to relieve Stephen Duckett of his contract," argued professor Jim Lightbody.
Zwozdesky said Saturday he does not plan to dismiss the health official from his role, and Alberta Health Services refused comment on Sunday.
Duckett has issued an apology for the incident through his blog. He works under a contract worth $600,000 in base salary and earned an additional $76,000 in performance bonuses last year.
With Files from Kevin Armstrong