Blog | July 09, 2013

EDMONTON—Representatives from thirteen seniors’ organizations, unions and public interest advocacy groups challenge Health Minister Fred Horne today to reverse the government position on home care that has so many Alberta seniors and other home care users concerned and outraged.“Our organizations are joining together to tell this government that quality home care is not compatible with delivery by investor-owned for-profit corporations”, said Noel Somerville, Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta’s Seniors Task Force. “The recommendations we are releasing today in our position paper provide solutions to make sure that seniors and other vulnerable Albertans will get the quality home care that they deserve.”With no public consultation or notice, the Alberta government has reduced the number of agencies in Calgary and Edmonton from seventy two to thirteen and cut the amount of time home care professionals can spend with patients.“AHS claims a savings of $18 millions from new home care contracts, but the only thing that has been disclosed so far is the claim itself,” said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “There is no way for Albertans to know how this ‘saving’ will be achieved and if the new providers are really cheaper or if they are simply cutting wages and/or service hours per client. These contracts are paid for by our public health dollars, yet because they are with privately held firms they do not have to provide any accounting of how our public health dollars are being allocated or report measurable outcomes. It's a lockbox inside of a lockbox.”Carol Anne Kunicki of Edmonton said , “My mom is one tough 86 year old. She's a survivor; of Stalin's brutal WWII Labour Camps, life as a Refugee, Malaria, Cancer and so much more; yet facing the loss of her compassionate, "adopted" Care Aide, has brought my strong, stoic Mom to tears. Living in their precious twilight years, why are thousands of Alberta Seniors like Mom, burdened with such mismanaged, Home Care havoc destroying their well-being and quality of life?”PIA’s Seniors Task Force member groups are launching a campaign to educate and mobilize people across the province to challenge the Redford government’s corporatization of seniors care.“We are planning a major rally on the steps of the legislature and other locations across the province on Grand Parents Day, Sunday September 8th at 1:00 PM,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “We want seniors, their families and other organizations to go to our website ( and sign on to our home care position paper and send us stories about their experiences and suggestions on how to improve our seniors care system. This government needs to hear from the people who are most affected, rather than listening to the home care corporations who have been lobbying them.”-30-Media Contact:Noel Somerville (780) 452-1846Bill Moore-Kilgannon (780) 993-3736Read the Position Paper.