A member of the Alberta legislature who was suspended from caucus yesterday for criticizing his government colleagues over health care is refusing to back down.

“I’m not quitting and I’m not crossing the floor and I’m not going to stop advocating for patients,” said Edmonton Conservative and emergency room physician Raj Sherman.

“For me, it’s a matter of principle. I took an oath as a physician. It’s a covenant that I make to patients. I have a moral and ethical duty to report to the public what’s happening.”

Tory whip Robin Campbell confirmed that Sherman, parliamentary assistant to the health minister, will be off the government’s benches until he meets certain conditions, although Campbell wouldn’t say what those conditions are.

“Raj was given some direction. Those directions were not followed,” said Campbell. “Raj knows what he has to do.”

Sherman, who said he hadn’t decided what his next move would be, didn’t sound in a retracting mood yesterday.

“The government knows what it has to do to stop me from advocating,” he said. “The system must be fixed.”