Tyler Shandro

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Tyler Shandro

Tyler Shandro June 2020.jpg
Minister of Health of Alberta
Assumed office
April 30, 2019
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded bySarah Hoffman
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary-Acadia
Assumed office
April 16, 2019
Preceded byBrandy Payne
Personal details
Bornc. 1976 (age 44–45)[1]
Edmonton, Alberta
Political partyUnited Conservative Party
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta
OccupationLawyer 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.[2] 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.[3]

Early life[edit]

Tyler Shandro was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and later moved to Calgary to attend the University of Calgary and begin his legal career.[4][5] 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.[1][6] 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.[7][6]

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.[4] The hamlet of Shandro, Alberta in [Two Hills County] is named in honour of Shandro's ancestors.

Political life[edit]

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.[4] During this time Shandro rejected calls to merge the Progressive Conservatives with the Wildrose Party, calling the idea "insulting to most of our members".[4] 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.[4] 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.[4]

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%).[8]

Minister of Health[edit]

On 30 April 2019, Shandro was appointed to the Executive Council of Alberta as the Minister of Health.[9] The 2019 Bill 21 gave Shandro the right to unilaterally end the long-standing master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).[10] 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".[11]

Media coverage[edit]

On March 19, 2020 concerns were raised on social media[12] 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.[13] 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".[14] 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.[15] On March 22, Shandro and his wife went to Zaidi's nearby private residence and berated him.[15] They asked him to remove the post, which he did.[15]

By the end of March, there was considerable media coverage of Shandro's response to these concerns including articles in the Medicine Hat News,[16][17] the Edmonton Journal,[13][18] and the CBC,[19] 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.[18]

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".[20] 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.[18]

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.[19]

Shandro was supported by Premier Kenney, who said that Shandro's behaviour was justified given that Shandro felt he was defending his family.[18][21]

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.[22]

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.[23] In a July 2020 survey of Alberta doctors, 98% of respondents said that they had lost confidence in Shandro.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Shandro is married to Andrea and they have two children.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Renfrow, Selina (October 19, 2010). "Tyler Shandro". Avenue Calgary. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  2. ^ "Alberta election: Calgary-Acadia results - Calgary". Global News. 2019-03-17. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  3. ^ "Alberta Premier Jason Kenney appoints cabinet ministers" (Video). Global News. April 30, 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gerein, Keith (May 14, 2019). "Keith Gerein: New health minister brings strong bloodline, "unassuming" personality to tough portfolio". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Tyler Shandro". albertastrongandfree.ca. United Conservative Party. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Tyler Shandro - Wilson Laycraft". Wilcraft.com. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  7. ^ Bill Kaufmann (14 May 2018). "Calgary police see internal complaints soar". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  8. ^ "01 - Calgary-Acadia, 2019 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "Premier Kenney appoints strong team ready to lead" (Press Release). Government of Alberta. April 30, 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  10. ^ Bruch, Timm (February 20, 2020). "Province implements new framework for physician pay". CTV Calgary. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  11. ^ Knight, Demi (April 9, 2020). "Alberta Medical Association files lawsuit against provincial government". Global News. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "Wing Kar Li, PhD on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Tuesday's letters: Shandro should do the right thing". Edmonton Journal. March 31, 2020. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  14. ^ Trussler, Marguerite (March 20, 2020). "Response to complaints". Office of the Ethics Commissioner. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Hudes, Sammy (March 27, 2020). "Kenney refuses to fire health minister over confrontation with doctor". Calgary Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "Laying It Out: We need a new health minister, stat". Medicine Hat News. March 28, 2020. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  17. ^ "Notley calls on Kenney to fire Health Minister". Morinville News. March 27, 2020. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d Hudes, Sammy (March 27, 2020). "Kenney rejects NDP's calls to fire health minister over confrontation with doctor". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  19. ^ a b Rusnell, Charles (March 27, 2020). "Alberta health minister accused of berating Calgary physician, 'intimidating' citizens". CBC News. Edmonton. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  20. ^ Shandro, Tyler (March 27, 2020). "Minister Shandro's statement". Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Rusnell, Charles; Russell, Jennie (March 31, 2020). "Calgary doctor says family fears for safety after confrontation with Health Minister Tyler Shandro". CBC News. Edmonton. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  22. ^ von Scheel, Elise (April 3, 2020). "Alberta health minister used confidential information to call protesting doctors". CBC News. Calgary. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  23. ^ Braid, Don (April 30, 2020). "Braid: Poll shows Dr. Deena Hinshaw's a smash hit, while government popularity lags". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  24. ^ French, Janet (July 29, 2020). "98% of doctors who voted in survey have no confidence in Alberta health minister". CBC News. Edmonton. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Tyler Shandro". The United Conservative Party. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Sarah Hoffman Minister of Health
April 30, 2019–
Incumbent