Alberta’s Justice Minister is going in front of a Law Society of Alberta hearing to answer allegations of breaking the lawyers’ code of conduct.
The trio of allegations against Tyler Shandro stem from his time as health minister early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first alleges Shandro “behaved inappropriately” when he attended the private residence of a doctor, shouting at them in a driveway in March 2020. The law society claims that brings the reputation of the profession into disrepute.
The second citation alleges Shandro used his position of privilege as health minister to access and call personal cell phone numbers to contact members of the public outside of regular work hours.
And the final allegation surrounds Shandro’s response to an email to his wife from a member of the public. Shandro allegedly threatened to refer the person to the authorities if they did not send future emails to his office at the ministry of health, conduct “deserving of sanction.”
The hearing is scheduled for three days — Tuesday through Thursday — and will be held online.
Law society hearings have representation from the regulatory body and allow the accused lawyer to respond directly to or be represented by another lawyer. The burden of proof is on the law society to prove the breaches of conduct to the hearing committee.
Similar to legal proceedings, evidence, documents and witnesses can be called to support or defend the allegations.
Alberta health minister under fire for confrontation with Calgary doctor
Sanctions can range from disbarment at the most severe, to suspension, reprimand, imposing conditions of legal practice or payment of penalties.
The law society’s code of conduct is underpinned by two “fundamental” principles.
“First, a lawyer is expected to establish and maintain a reputation for integrity, the most important attribute of a member of the legal profession,” the code reads. “Second, a lawyer’s conduct should be above reproach.”
Shandro was called to the bar in Alberta in 2005.
He was originally sworn in as health minister in April 2019 and resigned the post in September 2021. He became minister of labour and immigration at that time and then was sworn in as justice minister in February 2022, after the law society announced the hearing into Shandro’s conduct.
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