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UCP policy reversals costing taxpayers

Posted on August 31, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

Dear Editor:

Re: U. C. P. reversal of private medical lab testing 

Another U.C.P. reversal, the latest in a long line of policy reversals, is the buyout of Dynalife Labs by our government, after unacceptable backlogs of testing in that private provider. The U.C.P. cancelled our new public health care superlab in Edmonton, in 2019, before it could be completed and opened. Ask Danielle Smith and Justin Wright how much money we lost in that cancellation. Ask them how much money we will pay to buy the assets of the failed Dynalife Labs and to bring the function of that business and its staff  back into public health care, when the final price is known later this year.

The big blue U.C.P. pickup truck only has one gear in the transmission- reverse. More examples of policy reversals in the last four years include:

• Cancelling the oil-by-rail contracts the N.D.P. had in place by early 2019. The U.C.P. instead promised more pipelines, got none completed, and shipped no more oil.

• The U.C.P. tried to delist 164 public parks. They retreated after public backlash.

• They fought with doctors for over a year, tore up their contract during a pandemic, no less, and got to the stage where the A. M. A. publicly stated they could not trust the U.C.P., who, again, retreated after public outcry.

• In a sneaky, unpublicized move, the U.C.P. abandoned decades-old protection of our mountains and eastern slopes from mining to curry favour with an Australian billionaire. Months after environmental degradation had started they put out a low-key press release on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. Public outrage caused them to merely halt, but not to cancel their plans.

• During the pandemic our nurses were knocking themselves out for us. Their reward from the U.C.P was a pay cut, which after public outrage, was reversed.

• In September, 2020, and against all good public health advice and evidence, public health restrictions were prematurely lifted. Infections rose, hospitals were over capacity, and a few months later, the U.C.P. had to retreat from their bad decision.

• After two years of outrage from teachers the U.C.P. finally backed down from their takeover of the teachers’ pension fund.

• The “Best Summer Ever” was declared by Mr. Kenney and Mr. Shandro on July 1 2021, and health restrictions were lifted. By September 15 Mr. Kenney was publicly apologising for the entirely predictable disastrous results.

• Ms. Smith’s Sovereignty Act was going to overrule court decisions, then, it wasn’t, then Cabinet would have the power to change laws with no involvement of the Legislature, then that absurdity was reversed, but Ms. Smith told us she “didn’t know how that got there”.

The many reversals by the U.C.P. results from them having no genuine interest in progressive public policy, which leads to a complete disinterest in planning.

Gregory R. Côté, Irvine

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