A reader recently sent me an anonymous message suggesting that I should look into Geoff Pradella, senior strategic advisor to the Alberta health minister.
According to his LinkedIn account, Pradella was appointed to this position in October 2021. Copping was appointed minister of health the month before.
And it’s not coincidental that Copping happens to have Pradella as a strategic advisor. Pradella is one of the principals—although his LinkedIn profile says “president”—at Strategy Portal Inc., a strategic consulting company.
The company’s website says that they specialize in “delivering strategies that effectively tackle complex issues involving a diverse range of stakeholders and interests in multi-layered environments and organizations for those looking to make significant operational and structural changes keeping key stakeholders ‘on side’, while building a base of support.”
It further goes on to say that their “audiences are direct decision makers and opinion leaders, or the general public in the context of moving public opinion.”
Which makes me wonder whether Copping has plans as the new health minister to make “significant operational and structural changes” in his portfolio and whether he’s desparate to build public support for those changes.
But the coincidence isn’t having a strategic advisor who has experience in managing institutional change and public perceptions. No, the coincidence is that, according to his LinkedIn profile, Copping was a partner with Strategy Portal right up until winning the 2019 election in the Calgary–Varsity riding. This is confirmed by archives on the Wayback Machine.
So, it seems to me that after being made health minister, Copping thought that he’d like to have his old business at his side.
I’m sure Copping would’ve like to have had Pradella on board earlier, but Pradella was busy managing the election campaign for Brad Field, who was running for Calgary mayor and ended up placing 4th with 4.95% of the vote.
Because Pradella’s appointment was so recent, his contract likely won’t appear on the government’s website until next year.
However, Ivan Bernardo, who was the principal advisor to Tyler Shandro, the previous health minister, had a signed a contract that included a base salary of $5,013.07 biweekly, which worked out to a little over $130,000 a year.