Posted on Oct 16, 2020
KENNEY IGNORES LOCAL DECISION-MAKERS, PRESSES AHEAD WITH DISCREDITED PLAN TO CENTRALIZE AMBULANCE DISPATCH
EDMONTON - Jason Kenney’s government quietly informed municipal leaders on a Friday afternoon that the UCP would ignore their objections and proceed with taking local control of ambulance dispatch away from Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Calgary.
“Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro have refused to look at the evidence, and refused to listen to four mayors and fire chiefs from across Alberta,” said David Shepherd, NDP Opposition Critic for Health. “There’s a real chance these changes will make service levels worse in these communities. Jason Kenney is rolling the dice with Albertans’ lives to pay for his $4.7-billion corporate handout.”
Kenney’s plan to take away local control of ambulance dispatch was previously rejected by the Notley NDP government, as well as three previous PC health ministers. The plan was harshly criticized by MLA Prasad Panda when he was a Wildrose MLA, and two current UCP MLAs, Tany Yao and Drew Barnes, have recently urged Kenney to drop it.
“This is not a partisan issue. It’s a public safety issue,” Shepherd said. “It’s reprehensible that Jason Kenney is refusing to listen to four elected mayors, four fire chiefs, members of his own caucus, and the many Albertans who have studied this plan and rejected it. If lives are lost as a result of this decision, Jason Kenney will answer for them.”