Former Alberta minister Tyler Shandro now on Covenant Health board of directors

Shandro was appointed to the role on Jan. 31, joining the 10-person board chaired by former premier Ed Stelmach

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Former Alberta justice and health minister Tyler Shandro is among the latest appointments to Covenant Health’s board of directors.

Shandro was appointed to the role on Jan. 31, joining the 10-person board chaired by former premier Ed Stelmach.

“This decision was made after much careful review and discussion by both the Covenant Board of Directors and the Spiritus Vitae Catholic Health Sponsor Board,” read a statement from the Catholic health provider.

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Covenant Health said Shandro was one of six new board members appointed over the past two years after “a comprehensive review of its governing role, responsibilities and accountabilities.”

“All of our board members, including Mr. Shandro, were subject to thorough assessments and were chosen based on their alignment with Covenant’s values, their connection to the community and ways in which they can contribute to and enhance our goals for health care within Alberta,” Covenant Health said.

“Collaboration, compassion and stewardship are three of our core values, and we are confident that all of our board members will uphold these values as they work together and lead us into the future of health care.”

Shandro declined to comment to Postmedia, deferring to Covenant Health.

Covenant Health did not state his remuneration. Compensation disclosure data from 2022 — the most recent year available — indicates some members were paid as much as $13,600, though most received substantially less and some received nothing.

Board members also receive reimbursement for their travel expenses, a meeting fee and an annual retainer.

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The office of Health Minister Adriana LaGrange said it was aware of the appointment but noted that Covenant Health’s board appoints its members without government input.

“Between his experience as a lawyer and cabinet minister in various high-profile ministries, Mr. Shandro is well qualified for this appointment, and we wish him the best in this new role,” she said in a statement.

Opposition weighs in

Opposition health critic Dr. Luanne Metz said the move won’t help the government improve its relationship with those who work in the provincial health system.

“Mr. Shandro started a war on health-care workers ahead of a global pandemic,” she said.

“Mr. Shandro does not bring any true credentials to this role of what is needed to improve health care in Alberta. He has demonstrated his best skill is to cause damage.”

Shandro’s history

Shandro was the subject of an Alberta Law Society hearing related to several incidents from his time as health minister.

He was accused of inappropriately contacting Red Deer doctors Lauralee Dukeshire and John Julyan-Gudgeon on their private cellphones after a tense exchange at a funding announcement.

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He is also accused of confronting Dr. Mukarram Zaidi on the driveway outside the doctor’s Calgary home after Zaidi posted a meme critical of a health-care company operated by Shandro’s wife and contacting a member of the public, Janice Fraser, with his government email after Fraser sent a message to Shandro’s wife alleging they were in a conflict of interest. That hearing wrapped up last September. The decision was reserved and has not yet been published.

He was also the health minister in February 2020, when the government unilaterally ended its master agreement with doctors in an attempt to impose a new pay framework.

His relationship with doctors soured by July of that year after an Alberta Medical Association referendum found 98 per cent of doctors, residents and medical students who voted had no faith in him.

Shandro became justice minister in February 2022. In January 2023, he received a phone call from Premier Danielle Smith inquiring about whether he, as attorney general and justice minister, could get involved in the prosecution of a Calgary street preacher. The call was later found to be in breach of ethics rules on the premier’s part, and Shandro was cleared.

He was narrowly defeated in his Calgary-Acadia riding in last year’s provincial election by 25 votes.

— With files from Jonny Wakefield

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