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

Pretium Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital.

Smithers man leaves $1 million to children’s hospital

Jim Bolster wanted to help out children with health problems like his own

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

New ownership resurrects BV Taxi

The new owners expect to be taking fares by mid-August

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Most Read