Alberta Still Needs a New Health Minister
In the cover of darkness last night, the UCP put out a statement: after months of work, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) has rejected an agreement with the province. No matter how Minister Shandro tries to spin this, it was unsurprising news. And it underlines the fact that for over a year, Alberta’s Ministry of Health has lacked stable, competent, honest leadership. It is long past time to call for Minister Shandro to be replaced.
This week marked the one year anniversary of a Minister of the Crown showing up at a doctor’s driveway to yell in front of the doctor’s kids. Dr. Zaidi and his family have never received an apology.
The Alberta Health Minister has also unilaterally torn up Doctor’s contracts. In an unprecedented move, 98 percent of doctors voted that they had no confidence in him. UCP press secretaries have resorted to name calling of individual doctors on social media. The AMA has sued the province. And Minister Shandro has misappropriated private information to call doctors critical of him on their personal numbers late in the evening.
An Alberta Minister has been locked in a very volatile, very public fight with doctors for over a year.
And yet, earlier this month, he said “there was no fight with the Alberta Medical Association.”
That is either an outright delusion, or a blatant misdirection. Either way: Minister Shandro has no business leading Alberta’s most important ministry. Especially while it is at the forefront of our fight against a pandemic.
Acting Leader, Jackie Fenske:
“Minister Shandro has repeatedly shown a lack of leadership, terrible judgement, and blatant disregard for the truth. He’s ready to fight our doctors, but he has no interest in building collaborative relationships to protect the health of Albertans. In a time of great fiscal pressure, Albertans deserve a competent leader at the head of their biggest Ministry. More importantly, as we face a global pandemic, Albertans need a capable Minister of Health. It is long past time for Minister Shandro to be fired. If Jason Kenney has any interest in providing adequate leadership, he will appoint a new Minister of Health immediately.”
Alberta needs to reach agreement with its doctors. It also needs to reach an agreement with nurses. And it has dozens more high priority needs within the Ministry of Health. Minister Shandro has proven himself unable to deliver.
The Alberta Party has long been calling for the resignation of the current Health Minister. But that time has passed. It is now time to call for Premier Kenney to fire Tyler Shandro.