Critics say Alberta health minister used his position to obtain phone numbers for doctors
EDMONTON -- The provincial opposition is calling for Health Minister Tyler Shandro to step down after they say he used his office to obtain personal contact info for two doctors.
Steve Buick, the press secretary for the minister, told CTV News Edmonton via written statement that the minister was approached by the doctors at an event. He later called at least one of the doctors at the doctor's personal phone number.
“The Minister unfortunately couldn’t speak at that time, but still wished to follow up by phone,” Buick said. “The Minister asked officials for Dr. Julyan-Gudgeon’s contact information so he could follow up. He later called Dr. Julyan-Gudgeon, and they had a very civil conversation.”
New Democrat Health Critic David Shepherd held a press conference on the issue on Friday evening. He said Shandro’s actions were an abuse of his position.
"This is a clear pattern of behaviour on behalf of this minister,” he said. “I tell you, I’ve talked with dozens of doctors across this province, all with their consent, and I can tell you that these are not the only instances where the minster has shown incredibly poor judgement, incredibly thin skin, and an inability to handle even the slightest amount of criticism."
"It’s utterly unacceptable behaviour. It’s clear that the minister needs to step down, or Premier Kenney needs to remove him from that office."
Buick said Shandro's intent in contacting the doctors was not malicious.
Critics called on Shandro to resign last month after he got into a verbal altercation with a different doctor.
Calgary physician Dr. Mukarram Zaidi said he was confronted by Shandro and his wife while at his home because of a Facebook post he had made, calling Shandro’s role as health minister and his wife’s dealing in private health insurance into question.
Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner ruled Shandro was not in conflict of interest in that case.