Bye bye Mr. Duckett

Thank goodness for YouTube. What a treat for viewers to really see a certain politician’s true colours.

As pretty much every knows by now, former Alberta Health Services CEO Stephen Duckett was shown the door last week after his infamous cookie escapade with some Edmonton reporters.

They were trying to get answers to questions that Albertans deserve to have properly answered about ongoing healthcare worries. Duckett, however, was just too busy enjoying an apparently irresistible cookie to take even a moment and thoughtfully answer a few questions.

It would have taken mere minutes to satisfy, for the time being, these reporters. But Duckett didn’t see it that way. He was rude, condescending and downright ignorant, even at one point virtually shoving a cookie into the face of a female reporter.

It was quite a display of arrogance, and one has to wonder what on earth was he thinking with recording equipment not to mention TV cameras capturing his every move. Clearly, he didn’t care.

We believe he simply had to go, and that the Alberta Health Services board made the right call. For Albertans to be paying his salary of about $600,000 per year, and for him to act in such an immature, irresponsible manner is absolutely unacceptable. Albertans truly deserve better.

Some political opponents have painted Duckett as the scapegoat for greater government evils, and there could be some truth to that. Was he the fall guy for a bunch of incompetence at higher levels when it comes to crafting health policy and seeing some of it go up in flames?

Primarily, we feel he was nailed for acting in a ridiculous manner quite simply.

His dismissive attitude was also troubling. This was a man whose salary was covered by Alberta’s taxpayers, and as Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason pointed out, it was like Duckett was pretty much saying ‘Let them eat cake’.

Another disappointing aspect of all of this is why do the bureaucrats have to present it as a joint decision – a proper time for Duckett to “move on.” Blah, blah, blah. And with a giant severance package to boot. We’re even paying for him to move back home to Australia, for heaven’s sake.

What message does this send? ‘Politicians, you are free to talk rudely, act stupidly and yes, you may lose your job. But the financial perks will almost make it worthwhile.’

Ultimately, we hope that was a darn good cookie. And as they say, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

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