A month ago, Alberta’s election hadn't been called yet, but that didn't stop the NDP from getting into full campaign mode.
February 27, 2019, Premier Notley and her Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, held a press conference at the Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, Alberta at which Notley made some highly partisan remarks against UCP leader Jason Kenney.
It was evident that this was not a government of Alberta announcement, but rather a partisan NDP event replete with NDP sloganeering across the podium.
Kenney called it an unethical use of government resources.
The NDP campaign event breached the Alberta Health Services policy preventing political campaigning inside their facilities.
In response, Notley’s chief spokesperson Cheryl Oates claimed:
“Not a single tax dollar went to this announcement. The nurses who came to speak out about the dangers of Jason Kenney’s plan to privatize health care, came on their own time because this issue is important to them.”
But after the event, one of those nurses said she felt used, and didn't realize it was an NDP stunt as opposed to a government of Alberta healthcare announcement.
That untruth from Cheryl Oates begged further examination. If she was willing to lie about the nurses coming on their own time, was she also lying about not a single tax dollar being spent on the announcement?
Did the NDP use government resources and staffing hours, to do their partisan, unethical announcement in the Lethbridge Hospital?
Watch as I show you what we found in three separate Freedom of Information requests we filed to see if we could find the truth.
Both the Premier's office and Shannon Phillips’ Ministry claimed to have no documents or records regarding how two of them came to be standing in front of a podium at a press conference in a hospital making a partisan NDP announcement in the middle of a government work day.
But even sketchier was the response we received from Alberta Health Services. They claim to have so many documents and records, that they need more time to respond to our request!
And conveniently for the NDP, the extra time AHS needs means we won't have those records in our hands until after the provincial election.
Just like with the Election Commissioner’s attacks on Rebel’s free speech, this wouldn't be the first time the NDP have weaponized the bureaucracy for their own benefit.