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CALGARY –The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is calling for a postponement of the transfer of ambulance service to health regions after estimates of the cost of that transfer doubled.

CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz said with so much uncertainty, the Provincial government should put off the April 1st transfer date. CUPE represents ambulance attendants in Calgary, Edmonton, and a number of other areas of the Province.

“The health regions are not ready, the costs are skyrocketing, and ambulance service is going to suffer,” said Lanovaz. “This is becoming a mess.”

Lanovaz said that the new price tag of $120 million, up from $55 million, is likely still too low.

“The $120 million price tag doesn’t even include the cost of buying assets from municipalities,” said Lanovaz. “The provincial government seems to expect to get the assets for free.”

“I’m worried that the province wants to run a pared down ambulance service, because with the money they are putting up, there will be cut backs.”

“It’s time to take a step back, and re-think the governance of ambulance service,” said Lanovaz. “There are a lot of advantages to locally run ambulance, and the chaos in the Ministry of Health shows the disadvantage of the government’s plan.”

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