Posted on Oct 18, 2020


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro must immediately and publicly reject their party’s formal endorsement of American-style for-profit healthcare at last night’s UCP annual general meeting.

In results posted by the UCP, it was revealed that Policy 11 which committed the UCP to supporting “the option of a privately-funded and privately-managed healthcare system”, passed with 52% of the 793 voting party delegates in support.

“Jason Kenney’s UCP is now committing itself to imposing an American-style healthcare system on Albertans in the midst of a deadly pandemic,” said David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health. “They are already fighting against Alberta doctors and nurses, laying off 11,000 frontline healthcare workers, and scheming to build a massive private hospital in Edmonton. Now they are committing to undermining the foundations of our public health care system. If Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro value the lives of Albertans and the contributions of our healthcare workers, they will immediately denounce this dangerous policy.” 

During the debate UCP Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish was the only member of the cabinet to speak against the policy proposal, saying that it would “create a ton of grief for all MLAs”. Neither Jason Kenney nor Tyler Shandro bothered to speak during the debate.

There is recent precedent for Kenney to immediately disavow party policy. In 2018 Kenney vetoed a UCP party policy claiming that he held “the pen on the platform.” 

“My email inbox has been flooded with UCP voters reaching out to their MLAs and urging them to stop this attack on our healthcare system,” continued Shepherd. “It’s telling that the only worry the UCP cabinet has about this horrific policy is the grief they will get from Albertans who overwhelmingly oppose the ideological games that the UCP are playing with our health system. Glubish and his colleagues should be more focused on the hardships and suffering American-style healthcare will impose on Alberta families.

“If Kenney and Shandro won’t denounce this policy , it is because privatizing healthcare was their plan all along.”