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

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Most Read