November 27th, 2020

Laying It Out: We need a new health minister, stat

By Medicine Hat News Opinion on March 28, 2020.

Enough is enough. People will die here.

Ongoing adjustments to the Medicine Hat News has left Laying It Out with a lot less space to work with than previously, so we’ll have to get straight to the point.

Tyler Shandro should resign immediately as Alberta’s minster of health, and if he won’t resign then the premier needs to remove him from the position. It’s just that simple.

While the province continues to shut down and the virus continues to spread, the health minister actually decided it would be a good idea to show up at a Calgary doctor’s home, send his kids inside because they “don’t want to listen to what is going to happen,” then berate him through a teary-eyed rant over a meme the doctor shared on Facebook.

Seriously. Albertans are going to die during this pandemic and the man in charge of keeping them alive is now picking fights with doctors on their own doorstep – through rage tears.

This fight revolves around Shandro and his wife Andrea’s part-ownership in a supplementary health benefits company – somewhat of a news story this week. As the minister has repeatedly pointed out, the ethics commissioner found no conflict of interest and his wife has been subject to reportedly vicious attacks on social media – apparently receiving death threats as well.

That’s important to note because Shandro’s immediate need to step down has nothing to do with his ties to that company or his right to stand up for his own family (in a professional manner). To anyone that went after Andrea, you’re a counterproductive ass and should be ashamed. To anyone who threatened her physically, you should be arrested, and so I hope the police are already investigating these claims… Surely they are.

As for his ties to Vital Partners Inc., not many hate this government’s shift to privatized health care more than I do, but even I’m inclined to take the ethics commissioner’s word for it at the moment and set aside my skepticism over this particular issue. In case anyone hasn’t heard yet, we have a much bigger problem on our hands.

No, Shandro is unfit for his position because instead of focusing on Albertans’ health at the most important time ever, he’s throwing toddler-like tantrums on the front lawn of a respected physician. Forget the fact that in three days the bulk of fee changes for doctors will kick in – including cutting all compensation for treating a patient without a registered Alberta health number. And forget the fact that every move Shandro’s office makes directs more public funds toward private entities (this week, see: Babylon medical app). The man is so unable to control his childish outbursts (I haven’t even mentioned emails CBC obtained where he called a concerned citizen ‘crazy’), that he went all the way to a man’s home in a fit of rage and never once took a second to see it as a terribly stupid decision.

We are still seeing exponential growth of COVID-19, and the next couple of months could very well end up in tragedy for many Alberta families. Can we please, for the love of each other and our collective wellbeing, ignore the logo on Shandro’s jersey and staple his butt to the backbench where he belongs?

Children shouldn’t be cabinet ministers.

Scott Schmidt is the layout editor for the Medicine Hat News. He can be reached by email at sschmidt@medicinehatnews.com, or follow him on Twitter at @shmitzysays. Scott’s opinions are his own.

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Les Landry
Les Landry
7 months ago

Hello,

There’s another issue with this that nobody is addressing.
The UCP and Kenney said he was personally vetting all candidates before they were eligible to have their name on the UCP ticket.
So Kenney had to know about Shandro’s ties to Vital Partners Inc and that is not the issue for Shandro to be a candidate. What is at issue is the fact that Kenney knew of Shandro’s involvement with a private health care provider and the Premier should have never made Shandro the Health Minister. And that is even more unethical if Kenney made Shandro the minister before he was cleared by the Ethics Commissioner.
Even if Shandro was cleared by the Ethics Commissioner, politics is about perceptions and optics. I think it is obvious Kenney doesn’t care about either and once again we have a conservative government operating on privilege, arrogance, and self-interest.
In the last election, people forgot why we voted the government of greed out in 2015.
I will close with a quote I believe was from former Speaker David Carter;
“To make a good cabinet, you need good wood and a skilled craftsman.”
Sadly, I think Alberta’s government fits that quote perfectly and let’s not make the same mistake in 2023.

Les Landry, Redcliff, Alberta

InsaneLeftie
InsaneLeftie
7 months ago

Trudeau is doing a coward’s job in Ottawa, why aren’t you horribly biased people discussing that fact?
Gave away 16 tonnes of high quality medical supplies to China, will receive junk back from China that will undoubtedly fail most if not all tests. As for Alberta, thank the gods that “spend like a drunken sailor” Notley, and her virtue signalling crew, are gone. Any large deficit that results from covid-19 would have been exponentially higher under Notley and the NDP. Remember how she wanted to buy all those oil tanker cars? Still having a very uneasy laugh about that one.

matherjcan
matherjcan
7 months ago
Reply to  InsaneLeftie

Impala: Did you forget Kenney paid out $500 million to cancel the contracts? That money would sure have been useful about now.

Homer the Conservative
Homer the Conservative
7 months ago
Reply to  matherjcan

Yeah, I can’t imagine the Billions that Notley spent would be useful now either..

trackback

[…] Scott is the layout editor at the Medicine Hat News, and his Saturday column “Laying It Out” has drawn a great deal of attention lately as he takes aim at government misinformation, propoganda and decisions that are being made in the interest of corporations over citizens. […]

InsaneLeftie
InsaneLeftie
7 months ago

Ehh, the same handful of left wing kooks must be going crazy during the pandemic, not being able to do their non-stop whining about the current government. The same ones praised Notley and the NDP on a weekly basis. Zero objectivity, zero common sense.

Homer the Conservative
Homer the Conservative
7 months ago
Reply to  InsaneLeftie

The left loves to whine and cry about how evil Kenney and Klien are, but can’t see the massive dept that Notley racked up and how she destroyed the backbone of our economy with her fight against oil. But asking AHS to stop wasting money (and remember it is AHS that choses to lay off people in the health care system rather than trim waste) and not paying teachers aids to sit at home is absolutely criminal.
The left is living in a fantasy world and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon. I am glad that the left is the vast MINORITY!
It is a shame that the Newspaper has decided to go full blown lefty. I was hoping for at least some impartial content but that has vaporized.

longliveAB
longliveAB
7 months ago

I don’t understand why no one is addressing that blind trust is bullshit. Yes I know the ethics commissioner said it is OK, but common sense says that letting someone hold your interest in a company while you engineer the situation to make huge profit in the long term (once you quit office and retrieve your control from the trust) is a conflict of interest. Why does no one question this?

This is not about left or right. It is about politicians using your blind loyalty to use you, like tools, while they line their pockets. You look like morons applauding those that take advantage of you.