A Dynalife employee is accusing the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSSA) of misrepresenting United Conservative Party leader Danielle Smith to push Alberta NDP talking points and a “self-serving agenda.” 

Kari Chatten, who’s paid union dues to the HSAA for over 20 years, sent her union execs an email saying she feels the need to educate them because they are portraying “one side” of the debate on Alberta’s health care crisis in communication to union members. 

Chatten said the union should be non-partisan and give the best political information, meaning to fairly represent both the UCP and NDP platforms and allow members to choose freely “without interference from you.”

“You have been so biased with your attack ads and your member emails by taking a partial comment from Danielle Smith and putting that in your ad so that it is taken out of context,” she wrote.

“You are not showing both sides of the current situation AT ALL. Why would you not just present ALL the facts and allow your members to decide how they feel about things?”

HSAA is a trade union which represents approximately 29,800 members. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment from True North. 

One recent HSAA email to union members accused Smith of pushing “dangerous for-profit health care, instead of real solutions to the crisis.” The union said Dynalife is an example of the “harms of privatization” with patients reporting long waits since the company took over. 

“The UCP government and Dynalife promised faster patient care and a more stable workforce, but Albertans are getting neither,” the email alleged. 

In her response, Chatten said the union is not accurately portraying the situation with Dynalife. The company has only just stepped in to fix a disaster created long ago, she wrote. 

“Dynalife took over 5 months ago. What the heck are you expecting?”

She also noted that HSAA has represented Dynalife employees in Edmonton for years, “yet all of a sudden, now, Dynalife is an evil private company.” 

Chatten went on to debunk several Alberta NDP attack lines that she said had been repeated by union communication. She said Smith isn’t pushing for for-profit health care and she won’t charge Albertans for a visit to a family doctor. 

Chatten also pointed out that under Notley, Albertans were paying $40 a day for a mental health addiction bed. Those charges were dropped under the UCP.

She further wrote that HSAA is “fear mongering” about American-style health care because the Canadian constitution protects health related values and access to medically necessary services. 

“Also, we have had many private services for many years,” she continued. “For example, you can pay to get an MRI privately if you have the means. This, in reality, frees up spaces for the people who are unable to pay out of pocket. How is that not beneficial?”

And Chatten said EMS began to crumble when the government took over 10-15 years ago. Smith is the “only premier who has begun to address the fractured system” and can’t be expected to fix what has been broken for decades in six short months, she said.

“The agenda you are pushing is completely self-serving and I sure hope that your members start seeing the charade if they don’t already,” Chatten wrote.

“I have many co-workers who use their brains to think and are onto the programming being carried out by HSAA.”


  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.