Danielle Smith was in Sherwood Park on Tuesday (Apr. 11) morning.
The Alberta premier stood in front of cameras at the Synergy Wellness Centre as the leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) for her first party event ahead of next month's provincial election.
Much of the talk around the event revolved around Smith and the UCP committing to Alberta's publicly funded healthcare system.
"Under the UCP's Public Health Care Guarantee, we are committing to all Albertans that under no circumstances will any Albertan ever have to pay out-of-pocket to see their family doctor or to get the medical treatment they need," said Smith.
"A UCP government, under my leadership, will not de-list any medical services or prescriptions now covered by Alberta Health Insurance. No exceptions."
This isn't the first time a UCP leader has committed to a public health guarantee. Back in 2019, former leader Jason Kenney did the same, promising increased spending on public health and maintaining a universally accessible system in Alberta.
It was unclear if there were any new commitments included in this new announcement.
When asked about why the party felt compelled to make another guarantee, Smith drew attention to recent attacks from the opposing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP).
"What we have been looking at doing is finding more ways to add more coverage and more comprehensiveness to the system," said Smith.
The Alberta NDP was quick to send out a response pushing back on Smith's comments.
"Danielle Smith, in her own words, repeatedly said that she thinks Albertans should pay out of pocket for healthcare. She’s said Albertans should pay to see the doctor. She’s said that Albertans should have to pay a deductible if they have major surgery," said David Shepherd, the Alberta NDP critic for health.
“As recently as last month when [the NDP] proposed that all Albertans have access to universal coverage for prescription birth control, Danielle Smith told Albertans to go buy private health insurance."
When questioned about a previous proposition of implementing health spending accounts, Smith responded by saying that since politicians have those accounts, so should taxpayers.
"The health spending account is to make the system more comprehensive," said Smith.
The premier will be sticking around the region, making her way to the Gibbons Community Cultural Centre tonight to meet with constituents.