As trouble brews for the provincial government over its latest budget, the mayor of the Town of Stettler,
along with the local MLA, recently met with physicians to hear grievances.
During the regular meeting of Stettler town council Mar. 3, Mayor Sean Nolls, during the councillor
report session, reported on a meeting he had in February with Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner and
a group of Stettler-area physicians.
The provincial government was recently in mediation with physicians over fees and pay; the mediation
effectively ended in stalemate, so the provincial government nullified a long-standing guiding agreement
with physicians and announced it will introduce new rules on Apr. 1.
There have been comments back and forth from both sides in both traditional media and social media.
Mayor Nolls said the physicians weren’t very happy with the way things have ended up. “Needless to say,
they’re fairly upset,” said Nolls.
Nolls said the physicians he and Horner met with stated they were unhappy with comments the Minister
of Health Tyler Shandro made over social media platform Twitter; some government Twitter comments
appeared to take sides in the dispute, criticizing the way doctors bill patients.
The mayor said the physicians told him that they don’t feel comments out in social media like that are
acceptable. Nolls, himself a businessman, said “You can’t treat staff like that.”
Nolls said Horner promised to keep him informed about this issue, and he felt that Horner was also very
concerned about rural healthcare in general.
The mayor finished his report by saying this is a very complicated issue that all Albertans need to keep an
Councilors accepted the mayor’s report for information.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review