Dr. Raj Sherman, an Alberta MLA and ER doctor, has been booted from the province’s Progressive Conservative caucus after criticizing his own party over emergency room wait times. In an e-mail that was leaked last week, Sherman accused Premier Ed Stelmach of breaking his promise to fix problems in ERs. On Friday, Sherman also criticized Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert for being “rude and offensive” to medical staff. He said getting booted was a sad day for him, but he made the choice to stand up for patients. “For me, it’s really a matter of principle. I guess the principles of being a doctor and advocating for patients collided with the principles of politics,” Sherman told CBC News after he was fired. The caucus whip, Robin Campbell, disagreed. “This is not an advocacy issue that Raj was suspended for,” she said. “This was an issue of caucus discipline.” A debate over wait times was sparked in Alberta after Edmonton ER physician Paul Parks sent a letter to the health minister warning of a “catastrophic collapse” of emergency health care last month. Parks documented cases where patients had died waiting for care. Meanwhile, health care is consuming almost 50 per cent of provincial budgets across Canada as costs continue to mount.