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Rush to reform mental health, addiction treatment will create chaos

Alberta government has made up its mind with zero consultation, says AUPE

Apr 02, 2024

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EDMONTON – The Alberta government is rushing ahead with changes to mental-health and addictions treatment without consulting front-line workers, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).

AUPE members have not been given any time to consider how the changes will affect their everyday work. Many fear the changes will cause nothing but chaos in the system.

“It’s crystal clear from today’s announcement that the government feels it does not need to consult with front-line workers before doing what it already decided to do,” says Sandra Azocar, vice-president of AUPE.

“When you rush big systemic changes without considering the impact on staff and the Albertans who rely on these services, you run the risk of the system collapsing,” she says.

“People will die. Their lives will be on the government’s hands. These are ideologically driven decisions, not evidence-based decisions.”

The changes announced today (Tues., Apr. 2) will affect 3,500 AUPE members, 2,000 of whom work in nursing care and 1,500 in general support services.  

“Transferring thousands of workers out of the Ministry of Health and into this new organization under a new Ministry leaves many unanswered questions for AUPE members,” says Azocar.

Changes to mental health and addiction treatment are being made even before legislation is introduced and regulations have been created. Yet the government plans to have the new system in place in only three months.

AUPE has no confidence that the government’s so-called ‘engagement sessions’ will allow for any real input.


AUPE vice-president Sandra Azocar is available for media interviews.

For information, please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, at 403-831-4394 or

News Category

  • Media release


  • Health care

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