Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry

Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry

November 29, 2012 16:00 ET

Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry Media Policy

Message from the Executive Director

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry

Journalists and other media representatives play an important role in the democratic process - providing the public with news and information about government initiatives and reporting on the views and opinions of all parties involved. The Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry wishes to establish a positive relationship with the media to promote public awareness and understanding of its Public Hearings process associated with the responsibility it has been given by the Government to investigate the serious allegations of preferential access to medical services in Alberta (commonly referred to as 'queue jumping'). To this end, rules and procedures have been proposed while ensuring that the participants engaged in the judicial process remain unimpeded in their work and responsibilities.

The Public Hearings will take place in Edmonton from December 3rd to 13th at the Shaw Convention Centre. The general public is invited to attend.

A tentative schedule of witnesses to appear at the Hearings will be released by the Inquiry on November 30th, 2012.

Sheila-Marie Cook, CVO, Executive Director


The Commissioner has authorized the sound and visual recording of the public hearings.

A Media Centre will be established at the site of the public hearings and the Inquiry Media Staff will assist in providing these services to any duly accredited member of the media. Members will be asked to check into the Centre and present their credentials at the beginning of each day's hearings.

The Media Centre will be equipped with photocopying/fax facilities, wireless-internet, audio/visual feed services and access to the Inquiry's website which will feature a webcast of the proceedings for the public. In addition, copies of the daily transcripts and the registered exhibits will be made available for reference purposes within the Media Centre. Daily transcripts will be made available on the Inquiry's website within three hours of the closing of the hearings for the day. Remote visual coverage of the proceedings in the hearing room will be available on screens in the Centre.

  • Cameras and microphones will be located at pre-determined places in the hearing rooms. Only fixed cameras and the fixed lighting system will be allowed.
  • Copies of the recorded and visual proceedings will be made available at the end of each day to members of the media who have made prior arrangements with the Inquiry for this service.
  • No media scrums, interviews, or reporting will be allowed in the hearing rooms or within the distance of ten (10) meters from the hearing room entrances.
  • Should the Commissioner decide to proceed in camera or to issue a publication, disclosure or communication ban, the Inquiry Media Staff will take all necessary measures to ensure that all tape recording or sound recording machines have been turned off.
  • Interview requests should be directed to the Inquiry Media Staff. Interviews will be conducted during breaks in the hearings. The Inquiry Media Staff will not schedule interviews with Intervenors however, where possible, may direct the Media to the appropriate media representative for the parties.

The Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Hearing Room

Any personal electronic device (PED) using cellular GSM-based or other wireless technology set so as to receive or transmit information, data or other signals via radio frequency, including mobile telephones, iPhones, BlackBerrys, Palm Treos, and portable computers, must, subject to the terms of this Notice, be turned off while the Inquiry is in session.

Notwithstanding the above, an individual user of such a PED who is a journalist from a recognized media organization may obtain permission in writing from the Inquiry to use the PED to "TWEET" or otherwise transmit digital information concerning the proceedings from within the hearing room in pursuance of the users' journalistic responsibilities.

Terms and Conditions

  • User will identify himself/herself and the PED to be used to Inquiry Media Staff upon entering the hearing room
  • User will sit in the back three rows in the hearing room
  • User will not use the audio capacity, including the sounds and signals, of the PED in the hearing room
  • User will not take or create any photograph or video in the hearing room
  • User will comply with any publication ban imposed by the Commissioner
  • User will not transmit or disseminate information at all from the hearing room during the testimony of any person where so ordered by the Commissioner
  • Use of PED by user will at all times be unobtrusive and silent and will not disrupt the proceedings or other persons or interfere with the digital recording system in the hearing room
  • User undertakes to comply with any other direction from the Commissioner relating to the dissemination of information about the proceedings or the use of PEDs in the hearing room

Contact Information

  • Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry
    Samantha Beckett
    Media Contact
    403-270-2059 ext. 110
    Cell: 403-804-9239