Photo: The Canadian Press
Protesters are escorted from the building after disrupting United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith’s campaign announcement in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 11, 2023. Albertans go to the polls on May 29. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith had to be hustled offstage by security after a handful of placard-waving protesters disrupted her news conference over comments about selling hospitals.
One protester managed to reach the stage and refused to leave while others were held back by staffers at a south Calgary hotel, where Smith was making a campaign announcement ahead of the May 29 election.
They held up “for sale” signs demanding Smith’s answer for 2021 comments in which she muses about selling government hospitals to private operators.
The news conference was disrupted for a few minutes, but Smith returned to take questions after the protesters were taken away.
She compared the protesters to the NDP, saying both seek to misrepresent her position on health care and that her government is committed to not making people pay out-of-pocket for medically necessary services.
Smith says her government is using private surgical suites to reduce wait-lists, but says the work is covered under medicare and that her government will not privatize entire hospitals.