Fact check: Did the Alberta NDP charge ‘$40 per day’ for ‘basic’ health care?

With health care a top concern among Albertans in the upcoming provincial election, United Conservative leader Danielle Smith took to Twitter to post a graphic that purported to compare public health care under United Conservative and Alberta NDP governments.

“The NDP wants you to forget they were charging Albertans $40 per day to get access to basic healthcare,” Smith wrote Saturday afternoon.

But were the NDP charging a daily fee to use public health care? Let’s look at the claim.

A $40-per-day user fee for room and board while at residential addiction treatment was removed by the UCP government.

“For the first time in Alberta’s history, publicly-funded addiction treatment will be extended to all Albertans,” then-associate minister of mental health and addictions Jason Luan said on Nov. 6, 2020.

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Luan’s own words acknowledged the daily fee precedes the 2015 election, when the Alberta NDP was voted into government for the first time.

The fee for residential addiction treatment was shown in pamphlets for facilities like the AHS-operated Northern Addictions Centre in Grande Prairie.

Residential addiction treatment facilities in the province typically include services from addiction counsellors, therapists and registered nurses.

The province funds more than 6,700 residential treatment spaces.

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