Critics question UCP fundraiser

A United Conservative Party (UCP) fundraiser and town hall in Calgary is raising eyebrows.

An event planned for the Calgary Lougheed Constituency called “An Injection of Truth” was set to kick off at 6 p.m. on June 17. The event page has since been removed from the UCP website but was screen-captured by former Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk.

The fundraiser listed various speakers discussing the dangers of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, as well as alleged victim impact statements from children who received the vaccines

Dr. Luanne Metz, Alberta NDP Health Critic, said the event sends the message that the UCP prioritizes ideology over healthcare solutions. Dr. Metz, a medical doctor and former professor of neuroscience, said the research on vaccines is abundantly clear.

“Vaccinations save lives and improve outcomes for Albertans,” said Metz. “The UCP’s failure to comprehend this is harming Albertans.”

A spokesperson for Alberta’s Health Minister, Adriana LaGrange, said childhood vaccination is up to parents.

“Any parent who has questions about any immunization for their children should contact their primary care provider or call 811,” said Andrea Smith, press secretary for the Minister of Health.

Sam Blackett, press secretary for Premier Danielle Smith, said the premier is not involved in the event and does not plan to attend.

“Any questions about it or the speakers should be directed to the party,” said Blackett.

Harvard Media News made multiple attempts to reach the UCP’s Calgary Lougheed Constituency Association for comment but did not receive a reply. The event was pulled from the UCP website late Monday afternoon.

Lukaszuk believes the event shows Premier Smith is no longer steering the UCP.

“Premier Danielle Smith has lost total control of her party and government,” said Lukaszuk. “Her caucus members are staging political fundraisers based on conspiracy theories, misinformation, and science denial. How can Albertans have confidence in our healthcare system?”

Blackett disagrees.

“The premier represents and governs on behalf of all Albertans and takes her direction from all Albertans,” said Blackett. “As part of the grassroots party process, members put forward and vote on policy at the party’s AGM.

Nevertheless, the NDP’s Health Critic remains concerned.

“The premier’s attempt to distance herself from this event is yet another instance of blame-shifting and lack of accountability that we’ve seen from Danielle Smith and her cabinet,” said Metz.

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