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Alberta

Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan repeats request for government inquiry into harms of covid restrictions on Alberta’s young people

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This announcement submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

Today I made a member statement in the legislature, reiterating my requests for a public inquiry,  including a full-cost analysis of the harms of COVID restrictions on children and young adults.  I also asked why, on a per capita basis, does AHS not even produce half of the ICU beds as the lowest of the US states?   Trust would increase if AHS was more honest in acknowledging its own failings.

 My statement was as follows:

The truth is non-partisan.

Since last spring I have asked for an independent, comprehensive public inquiry, including a full-cost analysis of the harms of COVID restrictions on children and young adults. 

 Young Albertans are not “overwhelming our health care system”.

 We spend about $23 billion on this system, among the highest per capita in Canada. 

 Why, with this massive amount of money, can AHS only produce ICU beds, on a per capita basis, that is not even half of the worst of the US states?

 Trust would increase if AHS was more honest in acknowledging its own failings.

 Let’s give Alberta families and individuals a voice!  Where there is a famine of truth; contention fills the void.

 Dividing, labelling, compelling, and coercing others destroys trust.  Seeking to misrepresent others or twist their words is wrong.

 Some make sweeping judgements about others who do not agree with their opinions, framing them as extremists, seeking to vilify them.  This is not how things really are.  The truth about our neighbors is more complex, more nuanced, each of them possessing unique contexts and circumstances, all of which can be valued and respected.

 Mercifully a loving God views all of us, His children, by our eternal possibilities and in our best possible ways.

 Conflict is inevitable, contention is a choice.  Choosing to do what is right makes us happier and better.

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Alberta

Alberta ombudsman says she doesn't have the power to probe EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s ombudsman says she doesn’t have the power to investigate a complaint about the decision to consolidate ambulance emergency dispatch services in the province.

The complaint was filed by the cities of Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The municipalities have contended that the decision to consolidate the dispatch services to save the government money could put the lives of people in their communities at risk.

In a release late Friday, Ombudsman Marianne Ryan says the decision was technically made by Alberta Health Services, which her office is prohibited by law from investigating.

When the United Conservative government announced the consolidation in August 2020, then health minister Tyler Shandro said the province’s dispatch system would allow for better co-ordination of all ground ambulances and air resources.

At the time, the four mayors of the municipalities, none of whom are now still in office, said they were blindsided by the decision and would fight the change.

“While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction,” Ryan said in the release.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

Last February, a judge granted an interim injunction sought by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo stopped transferring emergency medical calls to the provincial dispatch centre.

The municipality, which includes Fort McMurray, stopped transferring calls after its council decided the provincial ambulance dispatch service was putting patients at risk due to delays and confusion.

A lawyer for Wood Buffalo had argued it was in the public interest for the municipality to keep handling emergency medical calls through its own dispatch centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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