June 09, 2011

If we had the evidence, we wouldn’t need an investigation!

posted by Diana Gibson

This week allegations of influence peddling by MLAs who were getting priority access for friends and family to health care services were brought to light. Stephen Duckett, formerly of health superboard infamy, mentioned in a speech that this behaviour had been a concern for him when he was chief administrator- enough of a concern that he issued a memo on it.

Health care activists and the NDP opposition have called for both a criminal investigation and an investigation into violations of the Canada Health Act. Minister Gene Zwosdesky claims that no investigation is warranted because there is no evidence. Ed Stelmach chimed in to echo his comments.

It is a good thing Alison Redford was actually Chief Justice Minister and that she chose to speak out. We would never get any crimes solved if the province made it the mandate of police not to investigate allegations unless there was hard evidence. Why investigate once you have hard evidence? It is precisely the job of the investigations to check into allegations, find out if there is adequate evidence and, if there is, pursue charges.

Evidence has already come out that doctors and other health professionals have had their voices suppressed within the system. Within that culture of fear, those MLA's guilty of using their privileged position to benefit family and friends can rest easy - there is not a lot of room for health care professionals who care about their job to speak out. If we are going to wait this one out, it is unlikely evidence will just show up.

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