Letter to editor

While claiming to apologize for the mistakes of the PC government, Premier Dave Hancock failed to do so. [Edmonton Journal, May 2, “Premier: ‘I’m truly sorry.’]

He should have said: “We made mistakes. Cabinet made mistakes. Individual ministers made mistakes. PC MLAs made mistakes.” By doing so, the premier and his government would have directly accepted responsibility and ownership. But he didn’t.

Instead, he passed the buck. He said: “Mistakes were made. Our cabinet knows it. Our MLAs know it.” By using the passive voice [“were made”], the premier employed a strategy to shirk responsibility and to distance the PC government from past mistakes.

Who made the mistakes? Hancock didn’t say. Maybe it was those damn civil servants responsible for Bill 45 and Bill 46. Maybe it was the travel agent. Maybe it was the architects who didn’t initially include the “Premier’s premier palace” – a new spin on the P3 – in renovations to the Federal Building.

The premier made a distinction between behavior and character, saying: “Behavior can be changed. Character is a different matter.”

Yet, earlier that same day Health Minister Fred Horne twice demonstrated that a change in behaviors has yet to arrive.

Example No. 1: For years Strathcona County residents were promised a hospital. On May 21 the Strathcona Community Hospital will open – but it will be a “hospital” [sic] without operating rooms and without in-patient beds. Strathcona’s mayor rightly expressed frustration. [Wish I’d included this line: Even a MASH unit has operating rooms and in-patient beds.]

Example No. 2: When Alison Redford was running for the PC leadership against Gary Mar, she proposed family care clinics [FCCs] to differentiate herself from Mar and the primary care networks [PCNs] that originated when Mar was health minister.

FCCs were always an advertising slogan in search of a product. Tens of millions of dollars later, Horne admitted that there are only 12 FCCs, not the 140 promised by the PC government.

Here’s the statement by Horne: “Being committed to implementing the vision is far more important than 140 FCCs ….” Yeah folks, things are just fine. No acknowledgment of a broken promise. Good luck, premier, on changing behaviors.

Ronald Kustra
5 Woodstock Place
St. Albert

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