Calgary Herald: NDP ‘will engage with Albertans’ to decide marijuana minimum age: Notley

With cannabis legalization coming down the pipe in 2017, Premier Rachel Notley said input from Albertans will help set the minimum age to purchase marijuana…

… The report said that cannabis use during adolescence may be associated with effects on brain development. Alberta Liberal leader Dr. David Swann said the marijuana minimum age should be 21 years old, citing the same health concerns as basis for his recommendation. Read Full Article…


Edmonton Journal: Opposition parties spurn government’s child welfare panel

In a rare political move, Alberta’s opposition parties banded together Tuesday to boycott the government’s all-party ministerial panel investigating the child welfare system…

… On Tuesday following question period, McIver filed into a media conference alongside Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, interim Liberal Leader David Swann, Alberta Leader Greg Clark and Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper to outline the framework they want to see before they take part in any all-party panel. Read Full Article…


Edmonton Journal: Federal government cracks down on illicit fentanyl shipments

The federal government is cracking down on illicit shipments of fentanyl and the equipment used to make pills and capsules, in a move lauded by the Alberta government on Monday.

… Interim Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann said the crisis is so bad that he has had people contact his office seeking medical help. He has taken up the cause in the legislature, demanding more information from the government and more frequent reporting on overdose deaths, emergency room visits, waiting times and the number of lives saved with the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone. He’s meeting with the government this week to encourage more transparency on the issue. Read Full Article…


Global News: Alberta appoints new chief medical examiner with extensive experience in forensic pathology

A forensic pathologist has been appointed Alberta’s new chief medical examiner.

… The appointment comes a day after interim Liberal leader David Swann called on the government to ramp up funding for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to provide more timely and effective reporting on the province’s rapidly expanding opioid crisis. Read Full Article…


Global News: Alberta opioid crisis: Liberal leader says medical examiner can’t keep up

Alberta’s interim Liberal leader is calling on the government to ramp up funding for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to provide more timely and effective reporting on the province’s rapidly-expanding opioid crisis.

“Reporting every three to three-and-a-half months on numbers isn’t enough,” David Swann said Tuesday. “It doesn’t show the level of urgency and frontline support that is needed. Read Full Article…


CBC News: Nix Chinese company’s bid to buy retirement home chain, Calgary critics urge feds

Seniors advocacy groups are urging Ottawa to reject the sale of a retirement home chain to a Chinese company.

… But Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann says there’s room for both private and public care options in the province, especially given the current fiscal situation.

“I think we have to make the best of both worlds and indeed ensure that both public and private operators meet standards,” he said.

“I’m not concerned — if we monitor them, and ensure that the standards of training, the standards of the ratio of clients to staff are maintained, and quality of care, including the cleaning … is up to a standard that we can all live with.” Read Full Article…


Edmonton Sun: Anti-smoking advocates push minister for further tobacco restrictions in Alberta

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman was given an award followed by a warning Wednesday from anti-smoking activists who say the province must implement even stronger measures to protect children and workers from the effects of tobacco.

… However, Hagen told Hoffman that more must be done, including implementing other sections of the legislation that remain in limbo. Interim Liberal leader David Swann also raised the issue during question period Tuesday. Read Full Article…


Sherwood Park News: Addiction hardships all too real in county

A local group is acknowledging the sorrow that can accompany the holidays, rather than greetings and holiday cheer, noting that holiday gatherings are not always the happiest of events.

According to Parents Empowering Parents (PEP), a local group committed to information and helping the community in relation to drug use, noted that the ongoing problem of opioid use and abuse means many families will “put on a happy face” for the holiday season.

… Emphasizing the important role parents play in advocating for not only their own children, but for regulatory and social policy changes regarding addictions and mental health, Dr. David Swann, co-chairperson of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee, said,” in order to see change, first you have to turn on the light. Read Full Article…


CBC News: Father of brain-damaged girl says he needs public support to get answers

A father is ready to stage a protest at the offices of the Alberta Dental Association and College and says the public must join him if he is ever to learn what happened to his four-year-old daughter.

… “There is a clear need for the college of dentists to separate themselves now from the association. This is another indication that having them together creates at least the appearance of a conflict of interest,” said Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann.

“The college is supposed to be acting very definitely in the interests of the public and the ethical practice of dentists. And the association is primarily there to serve the interests of the members.” Read Full Article…