Edmonton – The Government of Alberta is talking about health care taxes and health spending accounts, but they aren’t sharing that conversation with Albertans.
The Alberta Federation of Labour filed requests for all documents on health spending accounts, dedicated taxes for health care services or other forms of alternative health care payment. Although these requests have uncovered that there are 26 pages dealing with health care taxes, the request was denied because of Alberta’s opaque and regressive Freedom of Information legislation.
“We asked for these documents in good faith, but the government slammed the door in our face,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “We know that the highest levels of government are talking about downloading the cost of health care on to the backs of individual Albertans, and we’re given flimsy excuses for why they have to keep their conversation secret.”
The Finance and Treasury Board denied the request outright. In their rejection letter, the officials said the records “are being withheld in their entirety” because they are advice to officials.
“The right way to make our health care system sustainable is to solve the revenue crisis with royalty and corporate tax changes, not charging ordinary families more for services they need,” McGowan said.-30-
AFL Letters received from FOIP can be found on the following pages:
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780-218-9888 (cell)
Olav Rokne, AFL Communications Director at 780-289-6528 (cell) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.