Posted on Sep 28, 2020


EDMONTON - Alberta doctors and registered nurses are quitting their jobs and moving their careers to other provinces due to ongoing hostility from Premier Jason Kenney’s government.

“Jason Kenney’s fight with doctors is only the tip of the iceberg. Alberta families will have less access to healthcare because the UCP is cutting health care and education to pay for a $4.7-billion handout to profitable corporations,” said David Shepherd, NDP Official Opposition Critic for Health. “I am deeply saddened to see healthcare professionals uproot from their communities in Alberta and move to other provinces.”

Heather and Darrell Adams are both Registered Nurses working in Edmonton. Heather was born and raised in Edmonton, and is leaving a job at a community-delivered harm reduction program. Darrell grew up in Grande Prairie and worked in oil and gas until 2012, when he went into nursing. He is leaving a job at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. 

One of their sons, Parker, is losing his PUF support at school due to UCP cuts.

“Watching cuts happen over and over again with no regard to patient safety, we couldn’t keep waiting for our lives to be significantly affected, both for our sons and ourselves. It was either make the decision to go or stay here and wait for more cuts, for the fiscal reckoning,” said Heather.

The Adams’ have no confidence that nurses will be treated fairly by the Kenney government after witnessing Tyler Shandro’s behaviour towards doctors, and the passage of Bill 21 last year.

“If the government signs a contract, and then they pass a law to cut that contract, what’s the point of a contract?” said Darrell. “Contracts are meant to protect people, but this bill means I have no trust. They can tear it up on a whim. It doesn’t feel right, doesn’t feel like democracy.”

In response to all of these pressures, Darrel and Heather and their sons are moving to British Columbia later this week.

“It’s a real blow to our community to see a young family forced to leave for another province because of Jason Kenney’s cuts,” said Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood.

In addition to the numerous family doctors who have announced that they are moving their practice out of province, the Official Opposition is aware of several specialists leaving their positions at AHS.

“I’m sorry to see young professionals like Heather and Darrell leave our city and our province,” Shepherd said. “Unfortunately their story is one that I am hearing a lot. We have warned Kenney and Shandro that their cuts would drive doctors and nurses away. I am extremely worried about the consequences of this brain drain for Albertans’ access to care.”