Tommorow afternoon, Raj Sherman will announce his intentions regarding his political future. There’s no doubt in my mind that he will be joining the Liberal Party of Alberta. While we in Alberta’s NDP have openly courted Raj, his natural home it seems is with the Libs. Indeed, before being recruited to the PCs, Raj was a federal Liberal who worked on the leadership campaign of Gerard Kennedy.
While this is disappointing for us in the NDP, it is not unexpected. Raj has made it clear that he believes that only he can save health care in Alberta, and he must be the leader of a political party, and ultimately the Premier, to do so. We respectfully disagree.
The fight for health care is, in our view, the fight for public health care. It’s something the NDP invented, and we have continued to fiercely fight for it during the last 50 years. We are the only party that has consistently defended public health care, here in Alberta and across Canada.
This goes far beyond the political ambitions of one man. During the time Raj Sherman was playing second fiddle to that one man wrecking crew Ron Liepert, we were fighting for more long-term care and mental health beds, more family doctors and the retention of Alberta Hospital and other provincial health facilities. We played a key role in the defeat of the Third Way, something acknowledged by Ralph Klien. We have continued to be on the front lines, defending quality, accessable public health care.
We wish Raj all the best. But in our view, he has let his ego blind him to the real interests of Albertans. We will continue to staunchly defend PUBLIC health care, the best hope for all Albertans.