630 CHED: Alberta Liberals calling for commitment to increase AISH payments


The Notley government believes those working for minimum wage should be paid at least $15 an hour, but it’s shining the light on the state of AISH payments.

David Swann, the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, says MLA salaries have gone up commensurate with the cost of living and inflation, and he thinks monthly AISH payments should as well. Read More…

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David Swann calls for a pause on energy changes in Alberta until intentions of new administration in America are better understood

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann made this statement to the Alberta Legislature on November 10, 2016:

“Thank you Mr. Speaker,

“I stand today to speak on a very difficult issue for all who believe the science of climate change. Those who know me, know I’ve lobbied for, and some might say crusaded for, environmental change here in Alberta. I’ve felt that strong leadership was long overdue and all of us must share in the cost of reducing emissions.

“Above all, I knew this was never going to be easy. It is even less easy following the election of an unpredictable US president who denies man-made climate change.

“Strong leadership will be needed now, more than ever.

“While I support the targets and timelines for cleaner energy development with its triple benefit for climate, new jobs and alternate economy, the Alberta government must hit pause on other parts of its energy-focused agenda. Given Alberta’s deep dependence on oil and gas, our current economic weakness and the new economic threat from the United States, I see merit in pausing and allowing the new reality and expert views to further inform our decision on the bills we have before us.

“Not stop, just pause.

“I’ve heard the premier say that her Carbon Plan was developed independently and that the actions of our biggest customer – and competitor – will have no effect. Even so, I don’t believe that anyone planned for the United States to go full speed in reverse. Proposals announced by Trump in his truth-challenged campaign have already begun to unfetter the US fossil fuel industry and may drastically alter the investment climate here in Alberta.

“The ramifications of his election are sending shock waves through the Canadian economy. From free trade to softwood lumber to energy, US policies that seemed relatively stable are now in doubt.

“We have no idea what economic effect these changes will have on Alberta. We, in opposition, have not yet been adequately informed as to what effects our own carbon policies might have.

“Much is being taken on faith.

“Here in this house, we serve Albertans. We are mandated to craft for them the best possible laws, policies and regulations after a comprehensive analysis. Our already struggling economy and uncertain investment climate are now faced with an unpredictability that will be better understood in the New Year.

“Sometimes, the strongest leadership is shown by patience and the wisdom to realize that circumstance can alter even the best laid plans.”

David Swann’s statement in honour of Canada’s veterans on Remembrance Day

Edmonton, AB (November 11th, 2016):

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann released the following statement in honour of Remembrance Day:

“Since Confederation, Canadian men and women have travelled far from their homes to fight for the freedoms we too often take for granted. Through wars both large and small, these brave individuals risked their lives to protect our country and make our world a better place in which to live.

“On November 11th every year we remember and honour their courage and sacrifice. We remember, too, the families that have supported, and sometimes mourned, their fathers, mothers, sons or daughters.

“Most of us will never know the fear of combat or the pain of being separated from friends and family for months at a time. Nor will we know the daily anxiety felt by families with loved ones in danger. Our veterans and their families shoulder these burdens because they believe in Canada and in our ability to positively impact the world we all share.

“Today, I stand with all Canadians to honour our veterans, both past and present. We will never forget.”

CBC: Alberta introduces new bill to increase vaccination rates for children

A new bill aims to improve vaccination rates in school children by tightening the way immunization records are collected and updated.

Alberta parents will be asked to provide immunization records for their children under proposed legislative amendments introduced Monday. But the new measures stop short of mandatory vaccinations. Read More…

David Swann pleased NDP is adopting Liberal proposals on improving vaccination rates in Alberta

“The changes the government has put forth in this bill mirror proposals the Alberta Liberals have made many times over recent years,” said Dr. Swann. “I’m pleased this NDP government has chosen to listen and break from the negligent policies of their predecessors.”

Bill 28 amends the Public Health Act and makes significant changes in the way immunization records are collected and updated. It also specifies that unvaccinated children will be required to remain home during certain highly contagious vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles occurs at their school.

“This is an even-handed approach to increasing immunization levels in our province,” continued Swann. “My only concern is ensuring the government provides adequate resources to properly engage and inform parents.”

A full copy of the Government Announcement can be found here: http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=4377786926060-D054-359C-36295FC562EE5F9B

David Swann’s statement on the Auditor General’s investigation into the AISH program

Edmonton, AB (November 7, 2016):

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann made this statement on the Auditor General’s investigation into the AISH program:

“The Auditor General’s report confirms what clients and constituency office staff have long observed – the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program is plagued by accessibility problems and inconsistencies with the application process.

“The AG has made it clear the AISH application doesn’t always account for the challenges that some people face in making a coherent and persuasive argument for why they should be eligible. People are expected to be knowledgeable and well versed in navigating the system, and that is probably rarely the case.

“It is absolutely true that the ones who are eventually successful are often very persistent and usually have at least one strong advocate working with them. Again, not everyone has that, and there are probably many who abandon their applications when they should rightfully qualify for benefits.

“This Ministry of Human Services must update the application process and give all applicants a fair and reasonable chance of securing benefits.”