UCP donor appointed as chair of AHS board

Over the last 15 years, Greg Turnbull and his spouse have donated over $50,000 to the UCP or its predecessor.

Yesterday, Alberta’s health minister, Jason Copping, announced that he had appointed Greg Turnbull to a 3-year term as the new chair of the Alberta Health Services’ board of directors.

The AHS board of directors is responsible for the governance of AHS, including the prioritization of health services and the allocation of resources. The board is accountable to the health minister.

Turnbull spent over 35 years as a lawyer and partner with McCarthy Tétrault law firm in Calgary and brings with hims significant board governance experience as a director, officer, and counsel to various boards and special committees.

For example, he is currently a member of the advisory council at the School of Public Policy and the dean’s advisory council at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. He’s also a long-term member of the Calgary Health Trust.

While his legal and governance experience are likely enough for him to be qualified to chair the board, I think it only fair that we share his political donation history.

In 2005, he donated $380 to the Calgary–Edgemont Progressive Conservative constituency association. In 2008, he donated $1,000 to the Calgary–Glenmore PC constituency association, $1,000 to Ron Stevens’ election campaign as the PC candidate for Calgary–Glenmore, and $800 to the PC party. He also donated $1,425 to the PC party, $1,000 in 2012, $303.57 on 2013, and $3,295.02 in 2014. In 2018, he donated $2,000 to the United Conservative Party, as well as $4,000 in 2019 and $1,000 in 2020 to the Calgary–Elbow UCP constituency association. He also donated $30,000 to Jim Prentice’s PC leadership campaign in 2014.

That’s a combined $46,203.59 that Turnbull donated to the UCP or its predecessor over the last 15 years. And that’s not counting the $4,475 his spouse, Shirley, donated to the UCP in 2017 and 2019.

Turnbull replaces David Weyant, another lawyer, who served for only 2 years.

According to the Alberta Health Services website, the AHS board chair is remunerated at $47,500 per year, as well as $665 for every board meeting and $475 for every committee meeting attended (to a maximum of $1,900 per month). Plus all board members are entitled to be reimbursed for travel and other expenses.

Last year, Weyant received $69,399.92 in remuneration as board chair, as well as $4,782.55 in “other” payments.

This appointment comes only 4 months after then-health minister, Tyler Shandro, appointed his 2019 election campaign chief financial officer to the AHS board.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

One reply on “UCP donor appointed as chair of AHS board”

“AHS appoints best (qualified or most experienced) man for the job” would have removed the apparent bias. We also donate to and tirelessly work on behalf of many NFP and NGOs in our province. Yes we are systemic conservatives, meaning it doesn’t matter who the leader is. As philanthropists we encourage a NFP sector to pick up the reins in a very volatile political environment.

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