Posted on Mar 31, 2021

David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health, made the following statement in response to Alberta doctors’ rejection of the proposed agreement with the UCP government:

“Jason Kenney owes it to Alberta families to remove Tyler Shandro as his Health Minister and find someone who can repair the damage he has caused.

“Alberta families have endured more than a year of anxiety while Tyler Shandro waged war on their doctors during a deadly global pandemic. Last summer, doctors voted overwhelmingly that they had no confidence in him. 

“His recent attempts to rewrite history cannot erase the abusive behaviour and language from him and his office staff towards doctors in every part of the province.

“We have seen whole communities thrown into crisis in rural Alberta, and decades of effort to recruit and retain doctors in small communities destroyed. We’ve seen doctors uproot their lives, their families, their practices, and leave the province.

“Many of the doctors I have spoken with over the past few hours also told me that they cannot endorse Jason Kenney’s agenda of privatization and Americanization of Alberta’s public healthcare system. Jason Kenney must abandon this plan and instead work to strengthen the public system that has served us so well through the COVID-19 pandemic. But Tyler Shandro is not the person who can do that.

“Let me say how grateful I am to Alberta doctors for their courage, professionalism, compassion, and deep commitment to their patients. We are still living through the greatest health crisis of our time. On top of this, doctors have had to battle with a hostile premier and a hostile health minister who imposed deep cuts and sweeping changes to their ability to care for patients.

“And now they’ve had to study and vote on a detailed proposal with far-reaching consequences presented by a government they can’t trust.

“Doctors deserve better, and Alberta families deserve better.”