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 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

Maintenance work at lower City Centre Mall parking lot. (Clare Rayment/Kitimat Northern Sentinel)
Lower City Centre Mall entrance by No Frills closed

District doing maintenance work from 8 a.m. to early afternoon Wednesday (Jan. 27)

Collision at the Haisla/Kuldo Blvds. intersection Tuesday (Jan. 26). (Clare Rayment/Kitimat Northern Sentinel)
Collision at Haisla and Kuldo Boulevards

Five people taken to hospital with minor injuries

Angie Mindus photo
Clare’s Corner: A place for everything — and I mean everything

It’s amazing to see how much ‘stuff’ one can accumulate in their house over several months

(Jacqueline Sweet photo)
Jacqueline Sweet, right, at her graduation from the Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University with her friend and fellow graduate, Laura Taylor.
In Our Valley: Jacqueline Sweet

Sweet said her career can feel isolating in the North, but she loves that she’s able to help people

(Cara Webb photo)
Cara Webb’s dog, Millie, who bolted during New Year’s Eve fireworks and was missing for almost a week. She was eventually found by Webb’s neighbour.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Most Read