EDMONTON - Alberta's top health bureaucrat is leaving his position,
days after rebuffing reporters at an emergency meeting on long wait
times by telling them he was eating a cookie.


Alberta Health Services chairman Ken Hughes said CEO Stephen Duckett and the board agreed to part ways after more than a day of discussions.


Duckett's status had been looking increasingly tenuous in recent days.


emergency room waits have drawn growing criticism and sparked an
outburst last week from an Edmonton member of the legislature who is
also an ER doctor.


Duckett's own style hadn't won him many friends since he was hired by the government last year to oversee health delivery in Alberta.

Premier Ed Stelmach said he was sending the health services board a strong message about Duckett's fate when he called the cookie comments offensive in the legislature.

Chris Eagle, currently a vice-president with Alberta Health Services, is taking over as acting CEO.