Alberta health minister Tyler Shandro has ordered a review into the health authority’s response after a noose found in a hospital in 2016. (The Canadian Press)

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

Alberta’s minister of health has ordered an independent third-party investigation into how the province’s health authority responded to a racist act at one of its hospitals.

Tyler Shandro said in a statement Friday that a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016.

“In August of 2019, I was first made aware of this incident and was reassured by senior officials that the matter was being dealt with appropriately,” he said.

Shandro added, however, that he recently heard about it again and there are questions about how Alberta Health Services handled the matter in 2016.

“I share their concerns and I am not satisfied that this matter was handled appropriately,” he said.

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system.”

The Opposition NDP’s deputy leader and former health minister, Sarah Hoffman, said she hadn’t been told about the racism at the time.

“I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the violent, racist incident that occurred at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016,” she said in a statement Friday. “If I had been informed, I would have taken swift action.

“My record on confronting racism is clear. In 2017, when two AHS employees used a racial slur against an Indigenous woman, we moved swiftly to dismiss them.”

Hoffman added she’s concerned that Shandro has known about the incident for nearly a year but has not raised it publicly or acted.

Shandro said in his statement that the initial investigation may have been limited by medical staff bylaws that govern how the health region responds to complaints and disciplines staff.

“These bylaws have not been updated in more than a decade,” he said. “Consequently, I have issued a directive requiring AHS to revise their bylaws within 60 days.”

He said he would be introducing legislation next week that would increase the number of public representatives on college councils, hearing tribunals and complaint review committees, which will increase the public’s oversight of health professions.

“These initial steps are only the beginning,” said Shandro.

“The review, which will be made public, will undoubtedly bring further required changes to our attention.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

South Okanagan sees increase in real estate activity

More single family homes sold at higher prices when compared with a year ago

Penticton Peach Fest headliners moved to 2021

Artists include Glass Tiger, Simply Queen, Jess Moskaluke and Honeymoon Suite

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read