Alberta NDP prepping health care bill when legislature resumes sitting
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Alberta NDP prepping health care bill when legislature resumes sitting

The Alberta Legislature is shown in Edmonton, Alta., on March 28, 2014. The case of a former Alberta politician accused of sex charges involving a minor is scheduled to be in Red Deer, Alta., court today. Don MacIntyre, who is 63, resigned in February of last year after he was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference. He had represented the central Alberta seat of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake for the United Conservative Party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON (Canadian Press) – Premier Rachel Notley’s government is considering legislation to strengthen public health care when the house resumes sitting next week, sources tell The Canadian Press.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, speaking to reporters, wouldn’t confirm it will be Bill 1, but says she is working on legislation to strengthen the public health system.

The bill could be introduced and debated or abandoned if Notley decides to drop the writ after Monday’s throne speech to launch a 28-day election campaign.

Notley’s NDP has already signalled that it wants to make health care a campaign wedge issue with Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives.

The NDP under Notley has funded growth in key areas like health care and education, at the cost of multibillion-dollar budget deficits, saying that slashing critical services during an economic downturn is cruel and economically counterproductive.

Kenney has promised that a United Conservative government would honour the tenets of universal, publicly-funded health care, but explore more private delivery options under the public umbrella if that would improve services and wait times.