Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann releases statement on World No Tobacco Day

Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has released the following statement World No Tobacco Day:

“Albertans have been waiting 5 years for the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act to be fully implemented and enforced.

“Restrictions on tobacco sales to minors, protections for Albertans from secondhand smoke at work and a ban on all flavoured tobacco products. There is no excuse for 5 years of Alberta Government delay for these important policies.

“Alberta also has the most affordable cigarettes in Canada due in part to having the ninth lowest cigarette taxes amongst provinces and territories. Raising the cost of smoking is one of the most effective deterrents and raises revenue to further efforts to save lives.

“On international World No Tobacco Day, we need to recognize both the past decade of progress in reducing youth tobacco uptake and also the gaps the NDP Government in Alberta needs to fill in the fight against tobacco use.

“I will continue to demand the NDP Government follow through on its pledge to stop all private meetings with tobacco lobbyists – an industry that profits from promoting a product that produces addiction, illness and death.”

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann reacts to compensation deal with AMA

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has issued the following release in response to the doctor compensation deal the Alberta Government has reached with the Alberta Medical Association:

Swann stated, “A two-year freeze on fees is a reasonable deal for both doctors and Alberta taxpayers. Doctors in Alberta are the still the highest paid in Canada.  This decision has contributed to stability in our healthcare system and held the line as our economy recovers.

“I am concerned with the longstanding pay discrepancy and conflict over relative income which again arose this year between specialists and general practitioners(GPs). GPs play a central and important role in first contact, access to testing and referral, and a continuing care role that includes preventative care.

“It is also clear that more focus by both the NDP Government and the AMA is needed to make progress on alternatives to fee-for-services in order

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on Paramedic Services Week

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement for Paramedic Services Week:

“From May 27th to June 2nd we celebrate Paramedics Services Week. This important week is a time to recognize the tremendous dedication and skill of our EMS staff and their continued service to Alberta. They deal with the most serious injuries and illnesses with professionalism and self-control.

We should honour these hard working individuals with more than words. The NDP Government must act to improve working conditions for EMS workers.

There is an urgent need to address wasteful and frustrating ER hallway delays in transfer of patients to nursing staff. In 2016 this amounted to 650, 000 hours of time when they are not in the communities responding faster to crisis and cost roughly $21M annually. These wasted hours also contribute to both the substantial overtime demands (135, 000 hours in 2016) and increased sickness and stress leave for EMS staff.

Addressing these issues is the best way to honour the dedicated service of EMS employees. It is also a smart investment into better healthcare for Albertans. On this Paramedic Services week I renew my call for the NDP Government to fix these problems.”

Alberta Liberals are Cautiously Optimistic about Trans Mountain Deal

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann issue release on Federal Liberal Government announcement to buy Trans Mountain Pipeline:

Khan stated, “I’m cautiously optimistic construction will proceed on the Trans Mountain Pipeline project. This represents a significant economic opportunity for Alberta and Canada. A completed expanded pipeline will allow Alberta to safely ship its energy products to new markets and earn a better price. However, there are still many unanswered questions.

“We need more details about how Alberta taxpayers are exposed to possible cost overruns. We also believe the Heritage Savings Trust Fund should not be tapped to pay for this project until there are final numbers and assurances this will not be a blank cheque. We welcome the creation of project jobs and increased provincial revenue. This cannot come at any price.

“We urge Alberta’s NDP Government to withdraw Bill 12. That legislation was an extreme and desperate measure and had the potential for a severe backlash against Albertans.

“Ultimately, it was negotiations by the Federal Liberals not threats by the Provincial NDP that resulted in this deal.

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann added, “This is a hopeful announcement but there are still concerns about environmental accountability.

“We need annual full cost accounting on the tripling of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to this pipeline and public liabilities for tailing ponds cleanup. We also need to know what the returns will be on any taxpayer equity investment.

“We must be willing to be accountable to Albertans about all environmental and reclamation costs as well as the benefits associated with our oil sands for the good of the people of Alberta and our environment.”

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann will speak on “Sixties Scoop” Apology

Edmonton, AB – May 28, 2018: Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has issued the following release on his upcoming statement in the Legislature on the Sixties Scoop apology:

Swann stated, “The “Sixties Scoop” is one of the darkest chapters in modern Canadian history. Indigenous Children in alarming numbers were taken from their families, their homes and their communities. They were ripped away from the life they knew and their culture.

“I applaud this Government for taking this important symbolic step. It is important to show that we are listening. However, it is equally important to show that we are willing to take action.

“While improvements have been made, many indigenous youth in state care are still cut off from their families and culture. Our system lacks the necessary cultural support to help preserve Indigenous identity.

“67% of the youth in state care in Alberta are of indigenous descent, despite Indigenous Albertans only comprising 10% of the child population. This is no small problem. That is why I’m calling on the NDP Government to follow through on their promise to address these issues.”

Dr. Swann will speak further on the “Sixties Scoop” apology in the Legislature today.

Calgary Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann issues statement on Hidden Gems Film Festival showcasing mental health issues

Calgary’s Hidden Gems Film Festival is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with award-winning cinema from and about India. This includes films exploring mental health issues. Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann, will attend the screening of one of the films “Turtle”,  at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday May 26:

Swann stated, “This is a story about depression taken from the point of view of the man who is suffering. It’s not so much interested in the causes of depression because they are often so unique to the individual but rather looks at what people suffering from depression need such as understanding, acceptance and shelter.”

Following the film screening, Dr. Swann will talk about how depression affects people suffering with this condition and the impacts it has on their family, loved ones and friends.

Swann added, “The stigma of mental health prevents many people from openly discussing these issues and seeking treatment they need to get better and to help those around them to better cope. We have to shed light on the dark corners of mental health. We must increase and improve support for all of these people.”

The Festival runs May 25-27 and June 1-3 in the Amphitheater at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Liberal Leader David Khan call renaming of Reconciliation Bridge a positive step forward

Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA David Swann have released a joint statement on the renaming ceremony for Reconciliation Bridge set for Saturday May 26:

“As Alberta Liberals we are pleased with the renaming of Langevin Bridge to Reconciliation Bridge.

“Indigenous peoples have suffered terrible treatment. We must acknowledge this painful past and ensure it never happens again. We must also work together to heal those who were harmed and move forward in building respectful supportive relationships. By renaming this bridge we reject a painful chapter in Canadian history and begin to build an inclusive future.

“We need more than symbolic gestures to achieve true Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We must end systemic racism in our society.

“Indigenous agencies are underfunded by 22-34% compared to provincial counterparts. Tens of thousands of First Nations children lack acceptable access to culturally-based child welfare. Education funding on-reserve is far less per capita than off-reserve. Infrastructure is in decay and necessary services like clean water are far less accessible. Indigenous Canadians endure lower incomes, life expectancy and education levels, while suffering higher unemployment, suicide and incarcerations rates.

“Alberta Liberals are determined to end past policies that caused social and economic damage to Indigenous peoples. We are committed to Nation-to-Nation collaboration on new policies to help those who were harmed and support all of us going forward together.

“All Albertans should celebrate the march towards full and sincere Reconciliation. Renaming Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge is a symbolic but important step forward. The journey is not over.”

Both David Khan and Dr Swann will attend the renaming ceremony starting at 1:30 on Saturday May 26 at the Bridge on Riverfront Ave S.E.

Khan and Swann added, We urge all Calgarians to join us for the ceremony which will begin with Elders holding a prayer circle and then walking across the Bridge together.

David Khan and Dr Swann will both be available for media interviews at the ceremony.

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann will speak at Calgary Strides of Hope Walk for World Schizophrenia Day

MLA Dr David Swann will attend and speak at the Calgary Strides of Hope Walk for World Schizophrenia Day:

Swann stated, “34,000 Albertans are diagnosed with schizophrenia. When you include their families it affects over 134,000 Albertans. We have to do more to support of these people by increasing funding for health care treatment and increasing access to community programs.”

The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta is hosting the World Schizophrenia Day Strides of Hope ceremony and walk at Calgary’s Olympic Plaza from 12:30 to 1:30 today.

Participants will be walking in six cities across the province (Calgary, Camrose, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer) to raise awareness and reduce stigma for those living with schizophrenia.

Dr Swann will be available for interviews at Olympic Plaza

Alberta Liberals were right to vote against Bill 12

The Alberta Liberal Caucus and the Alberta Liberal Party has issued the following release in response to B.C. court action on Trans Mountain Pipeline developments:

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan stated, “The Alberta Liberals were right to vote against Bill 12 despite our support for the pipeline. All the bill did was provoke B.C. into filing this court action today. The NDP Government has only made this sensitive political situation even worse and Alberta is no closer to getting the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline built.

Khan added, “ The B.C. Government is giving the Premier a hard lesson on how to play pipeline politics. The Legislation has not been proclaimed, the regulations are not in place and Premier Notley won’t give a straight answer on when, or under what conditions she will use this Legislation..

Liberal MLA Dr David Swann stated, “I stood alone as the only MLA to vote against Bill 12 , the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act in the Alberta Legislature. Clearly it was the right decision. This Legislation may push gasoline prices to $2 a litre in B.C.but it will come at a painful price to this province. Bill 12 will cost Albertans jobs, reduce revenue and further damage our economy.”

“Instead of skipping out on the Premier’s conference in Yellowknife, the Premier should have attended and worked with BC Premier Horgan and other Premiers to resolve the problems holding back construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.”

Khan stated, “Alberta’s political brinkmanship may look tough but it will not get the Trans Mountain Expansion project built.”’

‘It’s time Premier Notley stopped threatening B.C. That strategy is not working.”

David Khan and David Swann are available for interviews.

Statement on World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Since 2003 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development has been celebrated by UN members across the globe. Cultural diversity helps promote economic growth and improved intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual lives.

Canada is a proudly multicultural nation that celebrates diversity but there is more we can all do. It is imperative we reflect on ways to improve dialogues and promote not just greater acceptance but greater understanding of the broader benefits of cultural diversity.

Diversity is a core Liberal value and we will continue to promote values and policy that reflect it’s immense social value.