Media releases | April 05, 2022

EDMONTON -  In response to Dr. Verna Yiu’s sudden removal as CEO of Alberta Health Services by the UCP government, Public Interest Alberta is calling for the full and immediate disclosure of the UCP Government and AHS’ recruitment and appointment plans.

“With yesterday’s news of Dr. Yiu’s sudden termination, the UCP have thrown Alberta’s public healthcare services into chaos, despite the valiant efforts of front line workers,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Since 2016, Dr. Yiu has provided much needed stability and leadership within Alberta’s healthcare system, and her removal, which will cost Albertans $573,000, means we simply have no trust in the UCP government’s plans for the executive search and appointment process for a new, permanent CEO.”

“How will candidates be screened? Who will lead and support the process? Has the Ministry of Health or AHS engaged Alberta Public Services’ Executive Search branch for support?” asked Lafortune. “At this point in time, we have no information about how the UPC government will conduct its search process, but if the past is prelude, we are very concerned about UCP insider appointments paving the way for further disruption to our public health system.”

According to the Alberta Public Service delegation authority, an appropriate process should be conducted by Executive Search, and given the concerning circumstances around Dr. Yiu’s termination, this process must be fully transparent with publicly available information regarding the criteria for recruitment, proposed compensation bands, long-listed candidates, short-listed candidates, and final selection criteria and rationale. Further, Section 16(3) of the Public Service Act must not be used to justify the circumvention of a transparent and competitive process.

 “Executive Search should directly lead the process, from receiving applications to assessing candidates in order to ensure independence and transparency,” said Lafortune. “Anything less than a completely transparent process that takes place far, far away from the backrooms of the legislature is unacceptable.”

“We can see through the UCP spin of removing Dr. Yiu to pave the way for “modernizing” the health care system,” said Lafortune. “We know this is yet another code word for privatization and Americanization. We won’t stand for it, and neither will Albertans.”