Braid: A startling proposal for private health care from Kenney’s party

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That, at least, is the explanation of what the delegates approved. But the stark resolution itself (“privately funded and privately managed health-care system”) is open to much wider interpretation.

During the 2019 campaign, Kenney theatrically signed a big placard headed “Public Health Guarantee.”

His name is right underneath the pledge to “maintain a universally accessibly (sic), publicly funded health care system.”

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney unveils the broad policy plans in Edmonton, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 for his party’s health platform ahead of Alberta’s election campaign. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dean Bennett

Now, no political leader wants to tell party members they have a say on policy, charge them a convention fee for stating their views, and then completely dismiss what comes out.

But sometimes, a leader has to do it.

Kenney was in a squirmy situation much like this in May 2018, when delegates at the UCP’s big founding convention passed a motion calling for parental notification if kids were being taught anything about sex, or joining gay-straight alliances.

Kenney said he didn’t agree with notification and crisply closed off the issue.

“Guess what — I’m the leader and I get to interpret the resolution and its relevance to party policy.”

He does indeed. The premier himself needs to clearly reject the new policy approved by his party.

This column has been updated to reflect house leader Nixon’s statement on private health care

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

Twitter: @DonBraid

Facebook: Don Braid Politics

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