June 24th, 2024

UCP responsible for addressing healthcare issues here

By Lethbridge Herald on February 16, 2023.


I read with concern NDP MLA Phillips’ comments on her faulty narrative regarding healthcare in Alberta and specifically privatization. She was long on negative comments regarding both U.S. and Alberta healthcare but short on solutions. 

In the Herald article she says, “this is a direct result of the chaos that has come from the UC P war on healthcare workers, specifically doctors and nurses.”

Lets get the record straight: it was the new UCP government that successfully negotiated new contracts with our doctors in 2022-2026, adding $46 million to their salaries with many more incentives. Check it out for yourself at https://www.alberta.ca/new-physician-agreement.aspx. 

It was also the UCP government that renegotiated new contracts with the UNA with a 4.5 per cent increase, additional perks and continuing to keep Alberta nurses the highest paid in Canada.  Also, the UCP government renegotiated the contract with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees which covers off a substantial amount of the rest of our healthcare employees. 

It is no easy task negotiating contacts with major unions, especially during a “once in a lifetime pandemic.”

 Keep in mind that most doctors are individual corporations. Is that by definition private healthcare for profit? There is already, in Alberta and every province in Canada, providers of healthcare for profit. 

An example in Lethbridge is Radiology Associates, a fantastic operation, that provides timely medical procedures that are paid for by AHS. Alberta government/Alberta taxpayers = healthcare for profit. 

So I must ask Lethbridge West NDP MLA Phillips, what did your party accomplish from 2015 to 2019 to make healthcare better for Albertans? Phillips is good at holding a press conference, pretending she has answers to complex problems but really is only interested in using scare tactics.

Well, here is my scare tactic: if the Notley/Phillips NDP was successful in forming the next Alberta government, they would continue to throw money at problems rather than creating real solutions. 

With Notley’s real boss Jagmeet Singh and the real big boss, Justin Trudeau – all enemies of oil and gas – we would quickly see revenues dwindle and expenses continue to rise. To solve the revenue problem, within two years the Alberta NDP would introduce a sales tax.

Healthcare must be one of the most complex government departments to change without just throwing more money at it. Our government is focused on solving three critical immediate goals. 

They also need to look for alternative means to deliver government paid healthcare. It is also critical during these transitions, that front-line workers and Albertans are not unduly affected by these need changes. Finally, and this is critical, the government must take immediate action to open up hundreds of additional education seats in our universities for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.

Barrie Orich 


Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dennis Bremner

Barrie, you are confusing this issue with facts, which is something Ms Phillips never uses so why bother? Ms Phillips spends all her time attempting to paint herself as a wannabe leader in waiting. She spends Zero time on issues in the Downtown where an MLA with strength and resolve is needed! Neither of which she possesses!

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner

What colour is the sky in your world Barrie? Which party ripped up the master agreement with physicians in early 2020 and proceeded to go a publc campaign against physicians? The UCP. Yes they signed contracts with physicians and nurses but those negotiations were filled with unneeded animosity. Would the NDP have done any better? I don’t know but I doubt their strategy would have been the same. And then we get the reign of Danielle Smith. Rarely a week goes by without her putting her foot in her mouth and having to either change policy or “explain” her statements. I want government to be boring. Public servants doing their jobs to make Alberta better without drama.


spot on.


It is very obvious that “Barrie’s sky” is very clear. Not the grey doom and gloom we see and hear about from Ms. PHILLIPS! Remember it was Phillips who stried to lie about RCMP and got caught. It is the same Phillips who apparently held a private meeting in a public restaurant that caught the eye of some police officers (who admittedly did the wrong thing) but then she went and is still going on a personal vengeance search against them, to the point of ensuring they were fired, demoted and is now suing them. Shannon Phillips has seen her glory, and it will come to an end very soon!

Fedup Conservative

In my world it isn’t a personal vengeance search it’s trying to prove the truth to gullible Albertans , mostly seniors, who don’t give a damn about what these phone conservatives are doing to us. Where would you have liked her to hold her meeting, and why don’t you care about how these fools are treating us? The senior conservatives in my world aren’t dumb enough to support Reformers, trying to pretend they are conservatives, so why are you? Being treated like morons is not what we are prepared to accept.


“Where would you have liked her to hold her meeting” um perhaps in her private office which you and I are paying for! In fact holding a business meeting in a public area could be considered a breach of conduct, but we all know the integrity of Ms. Phillips anyway!


Here’s the thing Harold, the officers had every right to eavesdrop on her conversation because it was in public, it’s what happened afterwards that’s the problem. If a alert officer in Calgary didn’t notice the unauthorized use of CPIC it probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere, but they did. And that’s when all the other misuse was discovered. Does she have the right to sue? Yes she does as would you or me or anyone else that this happened too.


well said

Elohssa Gib

Harold, “holding a business meeting in a public area could be considered a breach of conduct”: In what way would that be a breach of conduct? What rules of conduct are you referencing?

You appear to be grasping at straws, so here’s some friendly advice: When you’ve dug yourself into a hole, it’s best to stop digging.

Mrs. Kidd (she/her)

Harold, please review your notes from class the assigned reading on the ad hominen fallacy. You can expect a question on this concept on the next in-class test, and probably also on the upcoming Provincial Achievement Test.

Elohssa Gib

Very funny. I’m still trying to figure out how a meeting held in a restaurant in full public view can be characterized as “private.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Elohssa Gib
Fedup Conservative

Great comment. I feel the same way. Too bad these ignorant seniors aren’t smart enough to figure it out. Allowing themselves to be treated like morons is all they know. I belong to senior club in Edmonton with 70 members and we know there are only 5 members as dumb as these guys, the rest of us are a lot smarter, but then were are lawyers, oilmen, accountants , bankers, doctors, nurses, teachers and many others from all walks of life and some had their careers destroyed by Ralph Klein and his massive budget that we know weren’t necessary had he been following Lougheed’s royalty and tax structures.


Can you not fast-forward to the here and now???
What happened in the Klein and Lougheed’s years is gone-gone-gone you need to get that through that thick skull of yours and move forward.

Last edited 1 year ago by johnny57

wish what happened in the klein years was indeed gone. we are suffering, still, because of him and his cronies. a massive crime: we got robbed worth many billions, and we are left holding the bag with orphaned wells, tailings ponds – massive lakes of toxic sht – toxic watersheds, above and under ground – and of course, our present set of poser cons are going to have us pay for whatever clean up takes place…another robbery.
it is one thing to prefer a “party” but quite another to be so dumb as to support anything and everything a “party” does because of one is so bought into the moniker. how about tapping into one’s common sense and ability to think?

Fedup Conservative

So Johnny is such a genius he wants to forget what Klein did to us, even though we are paying the highest property taxes in Canada, the highest power bills, highest natural gas bills, the highest vehicle registration fees, the highest vehicle insurance fees, the highest driver licensing fees, the highest long term health care fees, and the highest liquor prices, all because of Klein. He doesn’t care that we likely have the highest use of food banks in North America, or the $260 billion orphan Clean up mess, dumped in our laps by Klein. Let’s be honest the guy is an idiot and proud to prove it, isn’t he he? While Albertans talk about starting some class action lawsuits to sue these fools who helped create this mess, for our children to deal with, he wants to be first, where is the intelligence in that? Can’t handle the truth, can you Johnny, just aren’t man enough?


how on earth do you spin illegal acts and harassment as being phillips’s fault, while trying to brush off the seriousness of their offences? your last line btw, resounds like a typical “vengeance will be mine” line from the book of vengeance, the bible.


Just wait til the NDP tries to bring in another bigger SCS (drug injection site) to Lethbridge. Then you will get plenty more drama.


Compared to right now? I wasn’t a fan of the SCS or should I say who ran it and we saw how that turned out.

Fedup Conservative

Apparently Barrie has forgotten how doctors, nurses, teachers, and students have been treated in this province by these phony conservatives, Reformers, when Tyler Shandro was driving them out, accusing them of being over paid and responsible for our highest costing health care system in Canada? Yet what did they do ? Increase the costs to taxpayers with privatization .
Like Ralph Klein they had to stop the bleeding before we had none left and have bought them off, at taxpayers expense. When Notley was in power she certainly didn’t treat them the way these fools have done and the seniors in our circle of friends know they weren’t treated this way by Lougheed and Getty when they were in these positions and true conservatives were in power.
Now the UCP have their Notley attack adds in full swing, claiming that she increased taxes 97 times and destroyed 183,000 jobs, when it was the international oil industry crash of 2014 that did that before she was even elected .Who is dumb enough to believe it, fellow seniors, who are easy to fool as the retired police officers state.
Maybe you should read this: “What Rachael Notley Actually Achieved”
Now we learn of Danielle Smith’s back room deal to cheat Albertans out of another $20 billion by paying to clean up the orphan wells while the oil industry brags about record profits and under Lougheed and Getty, when I was involved, there were regulations in place that made them do it. Where is the intelligence in that?




Good letter Barrie. It is obvious that the current system doesn’t work as we all dream it should. The answer isn’t to throw more taxpayer money at it. In these time where 1 of 4 eighteen to 24 year olds want to be social media influencers and another 40% don’t want anything to do with the daily frustration, blood and gore in health care, So more money isn’t the answer as there are a limited number of bodies nation wide wishing/wanting/willing to do this. As an aside there are already over 100 private clinics across the country. Canada is the only country left in the world where people stand on a podium whining about how great single payer health care is when it is possibly the worst on the planet. Things need to change, or we can be quiet and wait for years for your surgery and whine about DS and the UCP. A question for the MLA from west Lethbridge. When you have you conferences at the Galt does your office (us) pay a fee to rent the space from the taxpayer or is it a freebie?? The cause of these issues is the blame game. Needs to be fixed.


too much of the usual, whereby one knocks a party rather than focus fully on the actual issues (the letter does, however, note that we are lacking educational space for health care workers). and issues for our healthcare are numerous and run deep. we have spent many millions on commissions and audits…and, as is usual in our crony, decrepit, sleaze and even criminal riddled system, none of the findings get acted upon. putting aside the criminal-like (ok, nothing prosecuted) actions that have siphoned untold multimillions out of us, we are overcome by inefficiencies, nepotism, waste, too much money spent on the newest pharma and tech equipment when each are at their peak expenses (we can wait a little on that stuff). thus, it is obvious why we have shortages of cash/are spending so much on healthcare. there is further the nonsense that effectively shuts out far too many doctors and professionals that have been trained abroad, which results, obviously, in the shortages that increase wait times.
when we go private, we do not address the shortages of skill – private cannot produce these people out of thin air. moreover, private is about making profit – that will cost us more in the long run. the start of the solution: dust off the findings of the commissions and the audits, and start applying those solutions; remove the ridiculous bureaucratic red tape that prevents “outsiders” from fairly accessing our system; follow the money and uncover the waste, and prosecute the crimes. the great thing about our public health system can easily be maintained: it is equitable for all, and no one gets bankrupted by poor health…unlike in the usa, where too many that thought they were covered by their private plans have been “small-printed” out of coverage by the sleaze that is private insurance.

Last edited 1 year ago by biff

Oh how
I hate to agree with biff but here I have to agree. As for the likes of Smith and her foot in mouth disease the UCP is as Fedup said. The provincial cons are not the conservatives of the past.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimO
Fedup Conservative

They certainly aren’t and when Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother in-law of one of my uncles I certainly learned what the MLAs thought about what Ralph Klein was doing to us and how they felt about the fools who were supporting him, they were furious, can you blame them. Look at the mess they have created and now Smith wants to make it a Whole lot worse.


it takes character to put aside the messenger and focus just on the message. just to say, even when we disagree, there is no denying your intelligence. and, while we have our differences, we do not disagree on everything. i am happy that we are onside supporting public health – it is among the greatest things we all share in this country.

Fedup Conservative

There is nothing more important than our health care system and I haven’t forgotten what Ralph Klein’s father said to me when Klein was closing hospitals, closing hospital beds, and cutting 5,000 nursing positions. “Al what in the hell is the matter with that my son of mine? While he gives away billions in oil royalties he is forcing us to have to live without a proper heath care system. This could cost some people their lives”. Phil was right that’s exactly what it did and lawsuits prove it. His daughter Angie also voiced her displeasure with her father for what he was doing to us and now Kenney and Smith have made it even worse, yet we still see seniors hurling sarcastic comments at us for trying to stop it, WHY?


you understand that there is a significant difference between people in power, and altruistic leadership. not sure why people support and are willing to accept corruption, sleaze, and using the public trough for self service just because those in power run under a moniker they like. surely, those that vote for a name cannot truly be so entirely supportive of the corruption, sleaze and self service that we get with regularity.