There are no public health care champions on the premiers blue-ribbon panel. But many of the members get a gold star for their efforts to push privatization. In several cases, members private sector connections are not mentioned in their advisory council biographies.
Don Mazankowski was federal minister of privatization in the Mulroney cabinet. Mazankowski is also a director of several private insurance corporations including Great-West Lifeco Inc. The insurance industry stands to benefit directly from many of the councils proposed reforms.
Dr. Larry Bryan was the first-ever chief executive officer of the Calgary Regional Health Authority, making deep budget cuts. Calgary has been a spawning ground for private hospitals ever since.
Lynda Cranston is president and chief executive officer of the Fraser Health Authority, which is planning one of Canadas first public private partnership (P3) hospitals in Abbottsford, BC.
Brian Lee Crowley is president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a right-wing think tank that pushes health care privatization.
Dr. John Evans is a director of MDS, the for-profit laboratory services corporation pushing privatization. Through its Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, MDS is a key investor in Calgary private hospital corporation the Health Resources Group.
Dr. David Low, an American-trained Canadian, has been immersed in US health care during his 11-year tenure heading the Houston Health Sciences Centre at the University of Texas.
Jean Graham chairs the Davis Thompson Health Region and has headed Albertas council of health authority chairs. She is key in soliciting buy-in from the regional health authorities.
Dr. Ken Nickerson is chief medical officer for the giant oil corporation, Syncrude. As such, he is very familiar with the private sector philosophy of health care.
Al O’Brien helped oversee cuts to health care as a deputy provincial treasurer for Alberta. OBrien is also a senior fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, a right-wing think tank that pushes health care privatization.
Dr. Eldon Smith is a medical and health consultant and professor at the University of Calgary Medical School. He is on the advisory committee of the MDS Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund and sits on the boards of several publicly-traded health corporations.