Klein in Victoria in search of sympathetic audience

News release

But British Columbians not interested in Alberta premierís "voodoo health economics", says health care union Ralph Klein is wasting his time selling his private hospital bill of goods in Victoria, says B.C.'s largest union of health care workers. The Alberta premier was in the provincial capital today speaking to a local business group while a group of medicare advocates rallied outside. "Like Albertans, British Columbians aren't interested in Klein's voodoo health economics that would shift the costs of health care to individuals and families," says Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the 45,000 member Hospital Employees' Union. "And it's an indication of the stiff opposition Klein is facing in Alberta that he must leave his province in search of a sympathetic audience for his privatization proposal." "It's time for the Alberta premier and members of his government caucus to face the music and engage in a direct debate with opponents of his private hospitals bill in Alberta." Allnutt says he's confident that Albertans will force Klein to withdraw the proposed private hospitals legislation as they have twice before. But he points out that British Columbians believe that Ottawa must take action if necessary to protect Medicare. In a February 8 - 11 telephone survey of 511 B.C. adults conducted for HEU by the polling firm McIntyre and Mustel, 60 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that the federal health minister should take all necessary steps to prevent the Alberta premier from privatizing surgical services and legalizing private hospitals.