Invitation-only ‘public’ consultations on health act spark concerns
EDMONTON – The Alberta Government’s invitation-only consultations on the proposed Alberta Health Act defy the meaning of public consultation, and will not truly reflect the views of the people, says AUPE President Guy Smith.
“Despite their stated purpose of inviting the ‘breadth of local opinion,’ there will still be a great many groups and individuals who will not be given the opportunity to have input, simply because there will be a cap on the people who can participate, and someone in the government will be deciding which people get the golden tickets,” Smith said.
The dates for the government consultations have not been announced, however Friends of Medicare is responding to the restricted meetings by hosting eight fully public meetings on the proposed Health Act throughout June around Alberta.
“We are also urging concerned Albertans to sign up for the government consultations,” said David Eggen, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “We hope that many people who support public healthcare will be invited to attend, but we’re also interested in how many requests will be denied.”
People interested in signing up for the government consultations should email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-888-436-0986, and ask to be included in the process. Friends of Medicare is asking that those who sign up send an email to email@example.com to inform the coalition they have made the request and what any response has been.
Those interested in attending Friends of Medicare’s public meetings should visit on www.albertahealthact.ca for meeting dates and information.
“I encourage all our members to attend a meeting on the Health Act,” Smith said. “Whether the government consultations or the Friends of Medicare meetings, it’s important that we have our say.”