Dr. Swann disappointed as the government votes down amendment to protect Alberta’s medical and health research community

Edmonton, AB (May 18, 2016): Today the government used their majority to vote down Dr. David Swann’s amendment to the Alberta Research and Innovation Amendment Act (Bill 11). The proposed amendment would have protected the identity and unique contributions of our world-class medical research to public health and to business innovation.

By failing to pass this amendment, the government has risked losing visibility and investment for Alberta’s vibrant health research community. Without a distinct identity, attracting funds and world-class researchers will be more difficult.

The amalgamation of Alberta Innovates will further remove health research from Alberta’s struggling health system and the hinder the collaborative work needed to improve access, quality and cost-effectiveness.

“The roll-up of Alberta Innovates: Health Solutions into this large amalgam called Alberta Innovates is a problem,” said Swann. “It is going to reduce our visibility on the national stage. It is going to reduce our credibility across the world as a leader in medical research and it is going to diminish our capacity to improve the very system that is costing us so much.”

“Alberta has been a leader in health research for 40 years, since Peter Lougheed first initiated the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research,” Swann continued. “By burying health research under the umbrella of a generic agency focused largely on economic development and diversification, Alberta loses its flagship research organization.”