Bill 30: A Missed Opportunity
Our Legislature is broken. Our two party system is not creating productive debate which furthers the interests of Albertans. This is typified by Bill 30: Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020.
Acting Alberta Party Leader, Jacquie Fenske:
”Bill 30 misses an opportunity to create a health care system that is focused on patient outcomes. There are elements in the bill that show promise, but also things that need more scrutiny to ensure the strengths of the current system are maintained.”
There are good aspects of Bill 30. Adding additional public members to the professional colleges, complaint review committees and hearing tribunals is a promising idea. Recognizing health authorities’ role in determining what and how to meet the needs of a region is a good step forward: it addresses the ‘one size does not fit all’ needs across the province.
But there are also disturbing aspects of Bill 30. It radically alters our health care system, paving the way for private health care. And it does this while not addressing the loss of doctors that all Albertans are experiencing due to this government’s actions.
Like any large bill, Bill 30 has perfectly reasonable elements, combined with provisions that are not in the best interests of Albertans.
In a functioning Legislature, this Bill would receive open minded debate. Suggestions from both sides of the aisle would be considered in order to amplify the good and reduce the bad in this legislation.
However, we don’t currently have that type of productive political conversation in Alberta.
The UCP has introduced this legislation as an omnibus bill. Such a wide-reaching bill is intended by the government to limit oversight. The Health Minister has proven himself incapable of working with stakeholders. And Bill 30 is a further step in Tyler Shandro’s and Premier Kenney’s combative approach to overhauling our healthcare system.
The NDP’s immediate response to Bill 30 was to issue an attack ad. Aspects of Bill 30 and our government’s overall response to healthcare is certainly worthy of opposition. However, opposition should be principle based and come with well thought out alternatives. The fact that both our Government and Official Opposition resort to aggressive personal attacks rather than passionate but civil debate is disturbing.
Instead of working with the Legislature to improve Alberta’s health care system, Bill 30 aims to overhaul the system without debate. It is a missed opportunity to truly provide patient- and outcome-orientated care for all Albertans.
And this is typical of our polarized, two-party Legislature, where substantive debate seems impossible. We need a Legislature focused on making the lives of Albertans better rather than focused on beating each other next election.
Read the Alberta Government Release for Bill 30 here.