Submitter questions if re-branding campaign is more important than ailing children

Dear Editor,

Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital international reputation as a state-of-the-art pediatric hospital now doubles as a monument to Mr. Stelmach’s PC government’s inability to manage our healthcare system.

In the last year, about 2,600 children have been treated in tents, outside the hospital, because the hospital cannot accommodate the rising patient level with the existing 12 emergency room treatment beds. Health Minister Ron Liepert promised $23 million for an expansion project to address the problem, and work had already begun when without any consultation, the budget was cut and the project was halted indefinitely.

The only official explanation given for the budget cuts by the minister of health and the premier is that our healthcare system is unsustainable. In all due respect, these excuses cannot be further from the truth. The only thing that is unsustainable in this province is the incompetency of this government to prioritize and budget properly.

Are we really so strapped for funds? Why then didn’t this government cut the $25 million re-branding campaign for Alberta? Even a sick child being treated in a tent outside an overcrowded hospital can see the wisdom of saving $2 million by cutting a $25 million re-branding campaign, which features two children running along a beach in the United Kingdom, to fund a $23 million upgrade to provide emergency healthcare to our children.

Joe Anglin

Alberta Green Party Leader