This is from the Edmonton Sun.
There is not much information about the content of the ads. The remark by the representative of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation is interesting. He is a bit coy about criticising the ads, no doubt because he is probably sympathetic to the government on the issue. It is good right-wing policy. There should be a grassroots campaign fighting back at this ridiculous centralisation of power in one board with advisory groups as window dressing rather than having any real power. Actually I imagine even a lot of right-wingers would oppose the policy since even many on the right are in favor or local control and democratic input.
May 19, 2008
Health care ads criticized
By DAVE DORMER, SUN MEDIA
CALGARY -- Taking full-page ads out in several newspapers to better explain recent changes to the way health care will be administered raises concerns with one medical advocacy group.
The provincial government should be using taxpayers dollars to better deliver health care rather than spending it on advertising, said Ted Woynillowicz, president of the Calgary chapter of Friends of Medicare.
"Judging from media critiques, people aren't happy," he said of the recently announced changes. "This may be damage control or trying to settle things down so people won't be concerned."
Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert announced last week he had dissolved the province's nine regional health boards and replaced them with one Alberta Health Services Board, effective May 15.
In the full page ad, which appeared in yesterday's Edmonton and Calgary Suns, Liepert explains that three advisory councils will also be created to report to that board on cancer research, addictions services and mental health services.
"All health care services will continue being there when and where you need them," the ad reads in part.
Woynillowicz worries the government isn't being completely forthright with regard to future changes to health care.
"I think (the ads) were made to appease people and assure people everything is as is, and to a certain extent it will be for a while, but I think they've got other plans," he said.
"If they didn't, they would be assuring the public, saying 'hey, we're not privatizing or anything like that,' but they're not."
While not exactly happy to see the ads, Scott Hennig, the Alberta chair of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the ads weren't out of line, considering the massive changes being made.
"The government does a lot of advertising that is questionable, but if this is one of them, I don't know," he said.
"I wasn't completely outraged when I saw (the ad)."
Liepert could not be reached for comment.