Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on Education Week

Alberta Liberal MLA has released the following statement on Education Week:

I am proud to stand up and recognize the important role education, educators and their support staff play in our society.

Education Week 2018’s theme – Learning is a Journey – reflects an important truth: that education is more than an end goal to work towards. It is also an enriching personal experience.

The Alberta Liberals will continue their commitment to policy that delivers high-quality education accessible to all of Alberta’s students.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on National Day of Mourning

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement on National Day of Mourning:

On April 28,  National Day of Mourning we remember the workers lost to workplace related injury or illness, including the 166 lost in Alberta in 2017 My thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families.

This day is a time to commemorate those workers who have been tragically killed, injured or suffered sickness due to workplace related hazards or incidents.

This important day began right here in Canada and is now observed in over 80 nations across the globe. It is a day to show our support to those we have lost and renew our commitment to safer working conditions for those who remain.

As an elected official I promise to continue fighting for the safest working conditions possible in our great province.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann calls for greater public education on cannabis health effects after hundreds of Calgary cannabis retail applications

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann is calling for more public education on the health effects of cannabis after more than 220  cannabis retail applicantions were made in less than 24 hours to the City of Calgary:

Dr. Swann stated, “With an avalanche of applications on the first day its clear entrepreneurs believe Albertans are interested in this product. What isn’t clear is that the public has enough information on the health impact of cannabis.

“Albertans need the facts on the risks of cannabis use, for both their own personal health and safety and to reduce the broader costs to society from misuse.

“I’m especially concerned for Albertans under 25. Cannabis use has a detrimental effect on a developing brain according to Ottawa’s public health agency. Brain development occurs until roughly 25.

“I believe the NDP Government must put forward a robust cannabis health education program in our schools. They should also be considering a targeted online campaign for adults aged 18-25 supplemented with initiatives on Alberta’s post-secondary campuses.

Under current legislation Pot Shops can be set up near schools if they are at least 150 meters away from the property line.
Dr. Swann will be hosting a public forum on cannabis this evening: “The Risks and Benefits of Legalization. It will feature Dr. Swann and a panel of experts discussing with the public the effects cannabis legalization will have on crime, health, safety, and our economy in Alberta.

The forum is taking place from 7:00-9:00 pm on Wednesday April 25, 2018 in room 205 of the Kerby Lecture Hall.
Dr. Swann will be available for interviews in advance of the event by phone or skype and from 6:30 – 7:00 pm at the forum.

You can find more info on the event here.

You can view Dr. Swann’s video invite to the event here.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann hosts public forum on cannabis: The Risks and Benefits of Legalization

Liberal MLA David Swann will be hosting a public forum on cannabis this evening:

“The Risks and Benefits of Legalization” will feature Dr. Swann and a panel of experts discussing with the public the effects cannabis legalization will have on crime, health, safety, and our economy in Alberta.

The forum is taking place from 7:00-9:00 pm on Wednesday April 25, 2018 in room 205 of the Kerby Lecture Hall.

Swann will be joined by the following panelists for the forum:

Rebecca Haines-Saah, BA, MA, PhD: Assistant Professor, Community Health Science, Co-Lead and Member, O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

Lorian Hardcastle, JD, LLM, SJD: Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Member, O’Brien Institute for Public Health

Scott Calling Last, Outreach Worker with Alberta Health Service’s Indigenous Health Program

Michele del Valle, MA, BA: Business Strategist, Calgary Community Standards, The City of Calgary

Constable Andrew Fairman, Drug Recognition Expert, Calgary Police Services

 

Dr. Swann will be available for interviews in advance of the event by phone or skype and from 6:30 – 7:00 pm at the forum.

You can view Dr. Swann’s video invitation to the event here


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases Earth Day Statement

Liberal MLA David Swann has issued the following statement in recognition of Earth Day:

I’m inviting all Albertans to join me in participating in Earth Day this Sunday.

For nearly 50 years people across the globe have come together on Earth Day to raise awareness and fight for positive change on environmental issues.

This year’s theme is ending plastic pollution. Earth Day Network is asking citizens of the world to pledge to reduce the amount of plastic products they use.

It is of vital importance that we take care of our planet for our own well-being and that of the rich and diverse life that share it with us.

The Alberta Liberals are proud to be the most environmentally responsible party in the Alberta Legislature.

We’ll keep fighting for progress on important environmental issues like wildlife rehabilitation, combating climate change, protecting our watersheds and implementing Extended Producer Responsibility recycling in Alberta.

This Earth Day, let’s all aspire to be better stewards of our planet.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann calls out the NDP Government’s half-measure wildlife rehabilitation reforms

Liberal MLA David Swann is calling out the NDP Government for their half-measure reform on wildlife rehabilitation that only allows for wildlife rehabilitation of orphaned black bear cubs:

“Sadly, this is yet another example of the NDP doing the bear minimum on environmental and progressive issues.”

Dr. David Swann tabled a petition with over 20 thousand signatures demanding the Minister of Environment and Parks to reassess, update, and complete written protocols for all species on which restrictions on rehabilitation or fostering are placed earlier this month.

That pushed the NDP Government to announce they were lifting the ban on rehabilitating orphan black bear cubs but the government hasn’t extended this to all mammals.

Swann stated, “I’m disappointed that NDP Government can’t use the existing research to permit rehabilitation of other mammals.”

“We need to improve protocols for species for which there are rehabilitation restrictions.”

“Grizzly cubs are particularly vulnerable as an at-risk species. It is troubling that this Government did not consider their protection important enough to include in this policy change.

“We have a moral responsibility to help ensure the health of species in our ecosystem. Restricting rehabilitation permits prevents injured and orphaned animals from receiving the assistance and rehabilitation they need.”


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann demand more action on Legal Aid, court wait times

Alberta Liberals David Khan and David Swann have released the following statement in response to today’s announcement from Alberta Justice:

Alberta’s Justice Minister announced the government is introducing more duty counsel services at first appearance bail hearings to reduce court backlogs.

Both Khan and Swann say this will help as a limited step forward – but ultimately this is a grossly inadequate solution.

“We are supportive of the move but it does not address the real issues. The NDP Government lacks a comprehensive strategy to address systemic problems with court wait times.”

Khan stated, “This only addresses first appearances. There is too much self-representation in the courts which slows down trials, clogs up the system and denies disadvantaged Albertans a fair and equitable hearing.

“The Government should be heeding the advice of Criminal Defence Lawyer Association (CDLA) and providing an immediate 40% funding increase for Legal Aid as part of a 65% increase over the next four years. We also need to see income thresholds for support raised. Too many Albertans who need this service aren’t even eligible to receive it.

“The Government also needs to be implementing other strategies for reducing court wait times, such as reviewing the efficiency of the “file ownership” system for Crown Prosecutors, implementing a universal province-wide trial scheduling system, enforcing timely release of disclosure, appointing and funding more provincial court justices, and pressuring the federal Government to fill Superior Court Judge vacancies.”

Swann added to Khan’s remarks “This Minister is not listening to all sides on this issue. I am hearing from defence lawyers in Alberta that they are not being properly consulted. Justice is about balance and that means bringing all stakeholders to the table to find solutions to these problems.

“The Minister also needs to get serious about addressing the backlogs and systemic issues at the Calgary Medical Examiner office which have led to lengthy turnaround times for death investigations.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann calls for action on broken Calgary ME Office

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann is demanding the Justice Minister take responsibility for Calgary’s broken Medical Examiner Office and act swiftly to address systemic issues:

Swann is calling for concrete action to deal with the staff revolving door at the Calgary ME Office and repeated reports of lengthy turnaround times for death investigations and the impacts on morale that result.

Swann stated, “Eleven months waiting for drug toxicology and final reporting is unacceptable.

“The Minister has not met her 2017 commitment to reduce turnaround times by 50% and now 4 out of 5 pathologists have left or are leaving the Calgary office. This seriously compromises death investigations including homicides and overdoses.

“Despite extra training, forensic pathologists working in the Justice department are receiving substantially less pay and benefits than their AHS counterparts and will continue to leave for better working conditions elsewhere in North America. Additionally, they receive no pay incentive to address massive backlogs with such departures.

“Dealing with these issues is a necessary first step to addressing high-turnaround times and high turnover rates.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan are calling for support to the Siksika Nation as they face state of emergency with flooding crisis

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Liberal Leader David Khan are calling for action from the NDP Government on the Siksika Nation state of emergency flooding crisis:

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann says the NDP Government should immediately reach out to support the Siksika Nation as it is facing a crisis today and not wait for proposed changes to the Emergency Management Act in the fall.

The Siksika Nation has declared a 7-day local state of emergency as it struggles with massive overland flooding and limited resources to deal with the crisis.

Siksika Nation chief and council says there is a risk to people, property and infrastructure.

At an emergency meeting Tuesday, Chief Joseph Weasel Child said 30 homes are affected by flooding and up to 300 kilometers of the 500 kilometers of road on Siksika land are under water.

Weasel Child added “the crisis is now” and is concerned about river flooding once the snowpack melts.

“This is the worst I have seen in my life on the nation,” he said.

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says “Siksika Nation needs help now – not later this year.”

“Waiting for the report will be too late to assist the Siksika Nation which has suffered a series of disasters including the flooding this week, wildfires in October and the massive Southern Alberta Flood in 2013.”


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann react to Bill 12

Alberta Liberals David Khan and David Swann have issued the following release on the NDP Government’s proposed legislation to reduce natural gas, crude oil and refined bitumen exports to B.C. through licensing:

Khan and Swann spoke on Bill 12 saying, “Pushing the price of gasoline to $2 a litre in BC won’t build the Trans Mountain Pipeline. It will build a backlash against Albertans.”

David Khan stated, “This is divisive strategy that will harm Alberta with job losses, reduce provincial revenue and will not get this pipeline built.

“Bill 12 grants extreme new powers to the NDP Government that will them to unilaterally force industry to reduce exports without any accountability. That is undemocratic.”

Dr. Swann criticized Bill 12 saying, “The lack of details in this legislation is disturbing. The NDP Government wants extraordinary powers to interfere with the oil and gas industry but won’t provide specifics or limitations on those new powers.

“There is no proper arm’s length appeal process. The NDP Energy Minister will act to both cut export licenses and renew export licenses. The NDP Government drafted this legislation for its political convenience – not for the good of Albertans.”