March 31, 2020
The Honourable Pete Guthrie
M.L.A. for Airdrie-Cochrane
Suite 1B, 60 Railway Street East
Cochrane, AB T4C 1B5
RE: Recent actions by the Minister of Health, The Honourable Tyler Shandro
Dear Mr. Guthrie,
As your constituent, I am writing to express my extreme opposition to the recent actions of the Minister of Health, The Honourable Tyler Shandro.
As has been well reported by multiple, respectable media sources - too many to enumerate here - the Minister of Health recently felt it necessary to personally confront and berate a Calgary physician for re-sharing an uncomplimentary Internet meme. In addition to this incident, the Minister has also levelled threats at other citizens on behalf of Vital Partners, in what appears to be an attempt to silence criticism of the perceived conflict of interest on the part of the Minister of Health and the interests of Vital Partners.
Regardless of the so-called "Venetian blind trust" currently in place, it is clear that the Minister and his family stand to be enriched by their ownership interest in Vital Partners, a company who markets supplementary health benefits for health services recently delisted by the Government of Alberta. To claim otherwise and to fail to recognize the significance of this perceived conflict of interest is intellectually dishonest at best.
Upon reflecting on the actions of the Minister of Health, I find it shocking that the Minister has found time to defend his personal and family interests in Vital Partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. This present health emergency is undoubtedly the most critical threat of our time to the wellness of the citizens of Alberta, to say nothing of the wider, global catastrophe. Support of the citizens of Alberta and the public health system that serves them should be the only issue consuming the office of the Minister at this time.
Furthermore, I believe that the Minister of Health has failed to demonstrate good judgment, critical thinking and impartiality in this matter. A notable lack of apology to the Calgary physician and other citizens threatened by the Minister is evidence to me that the Minister is unable to accept personal responsibility for his actions and recognize the damage that he has caused to the honour of his office.
It would be inappropriate for any citizen to act in such a manner and it is even more unacceptable that a Minister of the Crown should elect to make such unwise decisions. All elected officials and leaders must be held to a higher standard, and must be seen to be held to a higher standard, lest citizens lose further faith in their government.
As a citizen of Alberta it is my opinion that the Minister of Health is unfit to serve in his present capacity, or in any future ministerial capacity.
Please add my voice to the growing number of citizens and elected members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta who are calling for the immediate resignation or dismissal of the Minister of Health, The Honourable Tyler Shandro.
Cc. The Honourable Jason Kenny, M.L.A. for Calgary-Lougheed, Premier of Alberta
The Honourable Tyler Shandro, M.L.A. for Calgary-Acadia, Minister of Health
The Honourable Rachel Notley, M.L.A. for Edmonton-Strathcona