by Morinville News Staff
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley is calling on Premier Jason Kenney to fire Health Minister Tyler Shandro after allegations were made that the Minister confronted and berated a neighbour over a social media post. The allegations were reported Friday by the CBC.
The Minister has taken criticism on social media as his wife Andrea Shandro is a principle at a Calgary company called Vital Partners Inc. that offers health insurance. The Health Minister has shares in the company through his holding company, but the Ethics Commissioner last week reported Shandro is not a director in the company and the shares are in a blind trust.
The meme the neighbour allegedly shared that caused the alleged altercation is a photo of Shandro and the words, “So every Albertan that I can kick off health care is another client we can sign up for Vital Partners! We’ll be rich!
NDP Leader Notley said Shandro’s actions in allegedly confronting the neighbour were a “profound lapse in judgement” that raises the question of whether he is suited to provide leadership for Albertans at this time.
“We are in the middle of the most pressing public health emergency in recent memory. Albertans are nervous. Many are losing their jobs and some are closing up the businesses they worked their whole lives building. Some have been given the scariest diagnosis they’ve ever received, some are fighting for their lives in the ICU, and everyone else is wondering who will be next,” Notley said in a statement released to media.
“They are ALL looking to their leaders for help. When it comes to health, we need focused and steady leadership preoccupied solely with our response to the coronavirus pandemic and the health of Albertans. Instead, the Health Minister is going to the home of private citizens at night and publicly threatening them.”
Notley went on to say the tension between the Minister and doctors has been building for months and that Shandro has “fostered an antagonistic relationship with doctors and health care workers.”
“He used his platform as Minister to call doctors overpaid and accuse them of engaging in shady billing practices,” Notley said. “He’s attacked primary care, threatened to cut nursing positions, and put incredible stress and pressure on frontline staff… the very people working so hard to make Albertans safe at this critical time.”
Notley went on to say she believes Shandro has become defensive and angry.
“That is not how a Minister of the Crown serves the public,” she said. “That is not how leaders act. That is not what we expect from the Minister in charge of a public health crisis. And no Albertan deserves to be threatened at their homes in front of their families by a government MLA and the Minister overseeing their profession.”