26 November 2010

Dissent from the Alberta government? You must be insane

Alberta MLA Raj Sherman got the boot the other day. Former parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health, Sherman was ejected from the Conservative caucus for publicly criticizing Alberta's handling of the backlog in the province's hospital emergency rooms. He also accused former Minister of Health Ron Liepert of being "rude and offensive" to front-line medical staff. Sherman is himself an emergency room physician and former president of the Section of Emergency Medicine for the Alberta Medical Association.

Sherman's dissent will not be tolerated by the government. Not only has it brought his political career in the Conservative Party to an end, but the new parliamentary assistant for health, MLA Fred Horne, has questioned his sanity. Apparently Horne called Dr. P.J. White, president of the Alberta Medical Association and a psychiatrist, about Sherman's heresy. Horne explained the call by saying he was simply rallying "support around a friend who's been very courageous but is also doing so under a great deal of stress." Far from an act of friendship, Sherman finds Horne's behaviour "personally offensive."
Wasn't there another government somewhere that accused dissenters of being mentally unstable?

1 comment:

  1. The Alberta government routinely employs compliant provincial bodies to bludgeon critics. It was their weapon of choice in going after Dr. O'Connor in Fort Chip and Dr. David Schindler of the University of Alberta. It's low, abominably low, but it's a stock in trade tactic of petro-states around the world. In any case, no one seems to get too upset about it.