Copy of Thumbnail template
Copy of Thumbnail template This article is more than 8 months old
Analysis

Tyler Shandro has Resigned. Here are His Worst Moments as Alberta’s Health Minister

Don't worry, he's going to be Labour Minister now

Following years of missteps that left Alberta’s public health system on the brink of “collapse,” Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro offered his resignation to Premier Jason Kenney, this week.

 Shandro was shuffled into the Ministry of Labour and Immigration portfolio  Tuesday. Kenney announced he will be replaced by past Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping. 

Copping will oversee a heavily strained system. The province’s ICUs are nearly full, with 302 patients — the highest since the pandemic began.  Kenney’s government is also in talks to move patients to other provinces, and implement a  triage protocol, ready to go should doctors have to decide who receives care. 

Calls for Shandro’s resignation go back at least one year, however.

Scrapping Agreements With Doctors To Save Money

In March 2020, seeking to cut costs, Shandro “unilaterally” ended the province’s master agreement with its doctors.

In August 2020, Kenney’s government tabled Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act. The act aimed to shorten approval times for private surgery clinics and even gave private companies the potential power to take over physicians’ clinics “administrative functions.” It also replaced the government’s previous “master agreement” with legislation allowing the government to sign direct contracts with physicians.

In response,  doctors voted 98% that they had no confidence in Shandro.

Kenney, however, repeated throughout the pandemic that Shandro had his personal confidence.

Chasing Doctors Out of the Province

The Alberta Medical Association warned in Summer 2020 Alberta faced a “looming exodus” of doctors.

42% of AMA members surveyed planned to leave the province,  citing government changes as the cause.

Personally Confronting Critics

Shandro’s conflict with the province’s physicians also took a strange and personal turn.

In March 2020, the former Health Minister made a house call to a doctor that criticized him with a meme on Facebook. The same doctor said he feared for his family’s safety following the incident.

When another citizen highlighted a perceived conflict of interest with his wife’s private health insurance brokerage, later last year, Shandro threatened to dispatch “protective services” to deal with the complaint.

 

 

PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.

 

Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-03-023 New

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories

Analysis

Here’s What Ontario’s Biggest Labour Unions Have To Say About Doug Ford’s Anti-Worker Track Record

View the post
Analysis

Here Are All the Corporations Lobbying Doug Ford To Privatize and Outsource Parts Of Ontario’s Health Care System

View the post
Analysis

Jason Kenney Has a Long History of Anti-Abortion Activism That He’s Now Trying to Pretend Never Happened

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.