Posted on Mar 27, 2020


EDMONTON – Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley issued the following statement following a report by CBC News regarding the behaviour of Health Minister Tyler Shandro:

“Today’s revelations in the CBC regarding the behaviour of the Health Minister are shocking.

“First, I want to be clear on what happened. The Minister saw a doctor he knew post a meme on social media that he didn’t like. Then on Saturday, at 7 o’clock at night, the Minister and his wife went to a doctor’s personal residence and spoke to his sons. He told them he wants to speak to their father and they should stay inside because ‘they don't want to listen to what is going to happen’.

“This doctor comes outside his home, in his evening wear, and a Minister of the Crown proceeds to yell, scream, insult, berate, and intimidate this doctor—a private citizen—in front of his wife, his children and his neighbours… while he pleads with the Minister to stop. This doctor now says his wife is ‘fearful for the safety and security of myself and for the family.’

“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.

“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.

“This has been building up for months. This Minister has fostered an antagonistic relationship with doctors and health care workers who just want to work with him. He used his platform as Minister to call doctors overpaid and accuse them of engaging in shady billing practices. 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.

“Rather than work to repair this relationship, it’s clear he’s gone the opposite route. He’s become defensive and angry. The CBC uncovered other emails where the Minister demonstrated a surprising lack of judgment and professional conduct. In an email that was sent to a company that’s allegedly in a blind trust relationship to the Minister, he responded directly within hours, calling one Albertan ‘crazy’ and threatening a response from protective services on another.

“This is a profound lapse in judgement. This alone raises the question of whether he is suited to provide leadership for Albertans at this historic time.

“That is not how a Minister of the Crown serves the public.

“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.

“That is why today I am asking Jason Kenney to immediately remove Tyler Shandro from his post and appoint another member of his caucus as Minister of Health.

“I do not say this lightly. We are in the middle of a pandemic. People’s lives are at risk.

“Albertans deserve a Minister who is laser-focused on keeping them healthy and safe and frontline health care providers deserve a Minister who is laser-focused on giving them all the resources they need to keep Albertans healthy and safe. Albertans need confidence he is doing that. And frontline health care workers need confidence that he is doing that.

“Today, no one has confidence in this Minister.

“He cannot continue. 

“He must go.”