|Minister of Health of Alberta|
|Assumed office |
April 30, 2019
|Preceded by||Sarah Hoffman|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary-Acadia|
|Assumed office |
April 16, 2019
|Preceded by||Brandy Payne|
|Born||c. 1976 (age 44–45)|
|Political party||United Conservative Party|
|Occupation||Lawyer and Businessman|
Tyler Shandro (born c. 1976) is a Canadian lawyer and politician, who was elected in the 2019 Alberta general election to the 30th Alberta Legislature representing the electoral district of Calgary-Acadia. He is a member of the United Conservative Party and was appointed to the Executive Council of Alberta as the Alberta Minister of Health on April 30, 2019.
Tyler Shandro was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and later moved to Calgary to attend the University of Calgary and begin his legal career. During his legal career he served as a member of several boards, including the Criminal Injuries Review Board, the National Parole Board, and the Municipal Government Board. Shandro also served on the Calgary Police Commission. Previously he was appointed as a member of the Disaster Advisory Committee after the 2013 Alberta floods.
Shandro's great-uncle Andrew Shandro served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the Whitford electoral district from 1913 to 1922 representing the Liberal Party of Alberta. The hamlet of Shandro, Alberta in [Two Hills County] is named in honour of Shandro's ancestors.
Shandro was a long time volunteer with the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. Following the party's defeat in the 2015 Alberta general election, Shandro ran unsuccessfully for Party President against Katherine O'Neill. During this time Shandro rejected calls to merge the Progressive Conservatives with the Wildrose Party, calling the idea "insulting to most of our members". Following Jason Kenney's entrance into provincial politics, Shandro supported the amalgamation, and wrote one of the legal briefs arguing the amalgamation was legally possible. Shandro served on the committee which set out the terms forming the United Conservative Party of Alberta following the 2017 merger of the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Parties.
Shandro contested the 2019 Alberta general election in the district of Calgary-Acadia which was previously held by New Democratic MLA Brandy Payne, who retired from politics following the closure of the 29th Alberta Legislature. Shandro captured 12,615 votes (54%) defeating five other opponents including the next closest candidate, Kate Andrews representing the NDP with 8,049 votes (35%).
Minister of Health
On 30 April 2019, Shandro was appointed to the Executive Council of Alberta as the Minister of Health. The 2019 Bill 21 gave Shandro the right to unilaterally end the long-standing master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA). He terminated the agreement on March 30 and introduced a new fee structure. On April 9, the AMA filed a lawsuit against the province, citing the termination of the agreement as well as the "government's conduct during negotiations".
On March 19, 2020 concerns were raised on social media that there was a potential conflict of interest on the part of Health Minister Tyler Shandro, who has shares in Vital Partners, along with his wife's sister, and his wife, Andrea Shandro. In response to complaints sent to Alberta's Office of the Ethics Commissioner about Shandro's alleged conflict of interest, Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler, wrote in a March 20, 2020 letter that, since Shandro was not the director of Shandro Holdings, the company that owns Vital Partners, and since his shares in that company are in a blind trust, he is has done "all that is required to be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act". The UCP made Ethics Commissioner's letter public almost immediately.
One of Shandro's neighbours—a Calgary physician, who was at that time, also a UCP member—had posted content regarding Shandro's potential conflict of interest regarding Vital Partners on Facebook. On March 22, Shandro and his wife went to Zaidi's nearby private residence and berated him. They asked him to remove the post, which he did.
By the end of March, there was considerable media coverage of Shandro's response to these concerns including articles in the Medicine Hat News, the Edmonton Journal, and the CBC, A CBC news article described how Vital Partners could potentially profit from changes to provincial physician reimbursement that led to physicians having to fire staff and shutter practices. The media coverage of the confrontation resulted in the political opposition and citizens calling for Shandro's resignation.
Shandro responded to the media controversy in a March 27 statement, saying that the social media posts regarding Vital Partners had led to his family being "subjected to an online campaign of defamation". In his March 27 statement he said he regretted his actions because they were a distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic but he refused to publicly apologize to the physician.
A March 27 CBC article described another incident in which Shandro allegedly threatened a constituent who had confronted him about the conflict of interest, saying he would send provincial security services after her.
According to an April 3 CBC article, had allegedly obtained the personal phone numbers of two physicians from Alberta Health Services illegally. He phoned the two individuals on their private phones, which raised concerns about privacy violations.
Shandro has struggled to recover from this incident, with a mere 34% of Albertans expressing their approval for his handling of COVID-19—the lowest approval rating in Canada. In a July 2020 survey of Alberta doctors, 98% of respondents said that they had lost confidence in Shandro.
Shandro is married to Andrea and they have two children.
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|Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney|
|Cabinet post (1)|
|Sarah Hoffman||Minister of Health
April 30, 2019–