UCP accuses NDP of rule-breaking after campaign-style event at hospital
The UCP is accusing Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP of violating Alberta Health Services (AHS) policy, after holding a political event at a hospital in southern Alberta.
During her visit to the Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge on Saturday, Notley boasted about her party’s healthcare record and criticized her opponent in the upcoming election.
“The need for healthcare is growing, and Mr. Kenney’s prescription is to freeze our health care system.”
UCP Leader Jason Kenney, who announced his health care plan last week, struck back, accusing Notley of “abusing” hospitals.
“To do partisan campaigning in a hospital is against the rules, and we think it may be against the law,” Kenney said. “AHS hospitals belong to Albertans, not the NDP, and our premier should know better. She should know the rules.”
The UCP cited an AHS policy document that prohibits political parties from holding campaign events in health care facilities: “AHS facilities shall not be used for any political activity, including, but not limited to use for the purposes of canvassing, campaigning, making political announcements, touring and other activities.”
On Monday, Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous said the NDP is speaking with AHS officials to find out if the party violated the rules.
“If it was a mistake, then we obviously apologize for it, and we’ll try to rectify it and not repeat it in the future,” Bilous said.
UCP House Leader Jason Nixon has asked Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner to investigate the event.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Bill Fortier