EDMONTON, AB (February 26, 2019) – Jason Nixon, United Conservative candidate for re-election as MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, has issued the following statement on the ongoing NDP hospital controversy, wherein the NDP misused a public hospital for a campaign stunt:
“On Sunday, United Conservatives wrote to Alberta Health Services (AHS) to ask how it was possible for the NDP to host a partisan campaign event in Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital – in an apparent direct contradiction of stated AHS policy.
“Yesterday, AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu responded in writing to our letter. We thank Dr. Yiu for her prompt and thorough response. In her letter, Dr. Yiu notes ‘we had understood that a health care announcement was to be made at the site.’ The AHS letter also notes that they’ve reached out directly to the Minister’s office to clarify political activity policy.
“This raises the question: who first reached out regarding this supposed ‘health care announcement’ at the hospital?
“Did the taxpayer-funded office of Premier Notley or Deputy Premier and Health Minister Hoffman first reach out AHS and/or Chinook Regional Hospital under the auspices of a Government announcement? If so, it seems even more likely that a violation of the Code of Conduct for employees serving in the offices of the Premier and Cabinet Ministers has occurred.
“It’s clear that the Premier’s office wasn’t truthful when they claimed that everyone who participated did so with full knowledge of what Saturday’s campaign event was all about. Two of the nurses are now saying they were misled and feel used. It’s incredibly disappointing.
“The Premier, Minister Hoffman, and Minister Phillips must answer on their potential involvement in arranging this prohibited event. The NDP must immediately come clean on this clear breach of public trust.
“I have provided AHS’ response to the Ethics Commissioner. I also thank the Commissioner for reaching out to meet with me on this important matter.”