Spouse of ex-health minister provides tearful testimony at Shandro legislation society listening to

“This can be a particular person with credibility in the neighborhood, he’s sporting his stethoscope, he’s on Twitter telling members of the general public they’re going to get kicked off healthcare”

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The spouse of former UCP cupboard minister Tyler Shandro testified via tears as she described an alleged marketing campaign of harassment she and her firm confronted following a collection of contentious selections her husband made as well being minister.

Andrea Shandro gave proof Tuesday at her husband’s Legislation Society of Alberta tribunal listening to. The previous minister of justice and well being — a non-practicing lawyer — is accused of breaching skilled requirements in his interactions with three medical doctors and one member of the general public in February and March 2020.

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Shandro testified at size concerning the tense dialog her husband had with Dr. Mukarram Zaidi outdoors Zaidi’s Calgary residence. 

Zaidi posted a meme on March 21, 2020, suggesting Tyler Shandro wished to kick individuals off public well being care so as to profit his spouse’s firm, Important Partners. The corporate — a third-party health-care advantages brokerage which Andrea Shandro based together with her sister in 2015 — grew to become the main target of public debate and, in some circumstances, scorn, after the UCP terminated its grasp settlement with the Alberta Medical Affiliation in February 2020.

Shandro remembered calling her husband into her residence workplace and exhibiting him the meme. “(Tyler) stated, ‘That’s our neighbour, I’m going to be again in a minute,’” she testified.

She adopted a short while later and located her husband on the foot of Zaidi’s driveway.

“(Tyler) stored saying ‘Andrea helps employers pay for his or her workers’ glasses,’” she stated. “I stated, ‘No, no, don’t discuss to (Zaidi)’ and pushed (Tyler) uphill towards our home.”

Shandro described Zaidi as an “web troll … blasting out misinformation” that was resulting in threats and harassment towards her household.

“This can be a particular person with credibility in the neighborhood, he’s sporting his stethoscope, he’s on Twitter telling members of the general public they’re going to get kicked off well being care,” she stated of Zaidi.

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“That’s despicable.” 

Tyler Shandro misplaced his seat in final month’s provincial election by 25 votes.

‘Fairly terrifying’

The discord between Tyler Shandro and the Alberta Medical Affiliation coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three days after the province declared a state of public well being emergency, AMA president Dr. Christine Molnar issued an announcement urging members to not have interaction in “cyberbullying” over the contract dispute.

Andrea Shandro stated her husband was working 18-hour days in Edmonton responding to the pandemic, leaving her and their youngsters, eight and 10, alone in Calgary. She stated she didn’t wish to hassle him with the harassment due to the menace posed by COVID.

The confrontation with Zaidi got here on certainly one of Tyler Shandro’s uncommon days at residence, his spouse stated. She seconded his claims that he was having a measured dialog with Zaidi about how “misinformation” was fuelling the harassment and threats.

Zaidi, then again, claimed Shandro demanded he take down the publish, and was so emotional Andrea Shandro needed to restrain him.

Shandro insisted her husband was neither yelling nor crying. Nevertheless, she stated being “nose to nose with an web troll that’s attempting to take out my household” introduced her to tears.

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Andrea Shandro
A 2012 file picture of Andrea Shandro. Photograph by File /Postmedia

Shandro learn into the document a collection of messages — unconnected to Zaidi — that she and her firm acquired in response to rumours she was concerned with a Telus telemedicine app which some believed was a harbinger of personal well being care.

“Issues like, ‘Die die die, you f—ing b—h.’ Simply horrible issues. ‘I hope you and your loved ones get COVID and also you die.’”

The Shandros filed a police report after one nameless sender advised Shandro to observe her again.

“It was fairly terrifying,” she stated.

Shandro claimed medical doctors like Zaidi had been creating “conspiracy theories” to focus on her husband as a result of he was attempting to “make the well being care system higher.”

“They wished to discredit Tyler, they wished to discredit the federal government, they had been prepared to do something they might.”

Legal professionals for the legislation society, then again, say Tyler Shandro lashed out at members of the general public vital of presidency coverage.

In concluding Andrea Shandro’s cross-examination, lead legislation society counsel Ken McEwan stated that whereas the Shandros had been receiving “vile” threats, the Zaidi incident stemmed from the reposting of a political cartoon.

Ethics commissioner: no ‘pink flags’

Tuesday’s listening to additionally heard proof from Marguerite Trussler, Alberta’s ethics commissioner.

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Trussler had a collection of conferences with Tyler Shandro after his election in Calgary-Acadia in April 2019. She stated all members of the legislature are required to fulfill together with her to make sure compliance with the Conflicts of Curiosity Act.

On the time of the 2019 election, Andrea and Tyler Shandro had been 50/50 shareholders in Shandro Holdings, which held half the shares in Important Companions. Trussler directed Shandro to resign as a director of the holding firm. When it appeared he would develop into well being minister, she advised him to put his shares in belief.

The difficulty of Andrea Shandro’s involvement in Important Companions lay dormant till March 2020 when the UCP authorities made adjustments to Alberta Blue Cross protection for seniors with spouses beneath the age of 65. In a single weekend, Trussler’s workplace acquired 35 emails asking whether or not the change would profit the Shandros personally.

Trussler reviewed the scenario however concluded there was no battle as a result of Important Companions solely bought group advantages packages for providers together with physiotherapy, imaginative and prescient and dental, which aren’t lined by authorities.

“I actually felt there was nothing to research at this stage,” Trussler stated.

Shandro’s listening to concludes Wednesday with closing arguments. Legal professionals discovered responsible of misconduct can face penalties together with fines, suspensions and, in probably the most critical circumstances, disbarment.



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