Calgary Herald: NDP vows quick action but opposition frustrated as child intervention panel meets in Calgary

Liberal Leader David Swann said he thinks the panel is working but the collaborative process involved “takes a heck of a long time.”

“There’s a lot of differences and a lot of different understandings,” he said.

“It’s as robust as I think we can make it and it’s going to take time and it’s going to be challenging to come to some concrete decisions.”

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Calgary Herald: Banning paid plasma donations is a big mistake by the NDP

It’s one thing for the NDP to try and portray their conservative opponents as ideological slaves to the free market, standing as obstinate opponents to a plan to keep private industry and profit from messing with our blood donation system. Dr. Swann, however, does not fit that caricature.

Instead, his objections highlight the fact that it is the NDP who are acting as ideologues in their push to ban paid plasma donations.

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David Swann statement on Ministerial Order to allow Gay-Straight Alliances

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann released the following statement in response to the Ministerial Order directing two schools to allow gay-straight alliances (GSAs):

“I thank the Minister of Education for his decision to enforce the law permitting gay-straight alliances to be established in all schools where students request them.

“However, I admonish him for not having taken a firmer stance from the beginning on this matter. By allowing a situation of open defiance to continue for as long as it had, he empowered a willful act of discrimination. This is something that he should not and must not permit.

“The incident further highlights the fact that many school board LGBTQ policies simply do not make the grade – the Minister even called them ‘clunky’. In some cases, students are even discouraged from using the terms LGBTQ or GSA. This goes against both the spirit and the letter of the law.

“One way to ensure transparency and accountability in this matter is to require all school boards, including private schools, to make their GSA policies publicly accessible. That way, parents, students, and the community can review them.

“The investigation that led to the Ministerial Order also raised concerns about a school’s ability to “out” LGBTQ students by notifying parents if students attend GSAs. If true, this is deeply troubling.

“Therefore, I call on the Minister to do everything in his power to protect these vulnerable students, and ensure their privacy and confidentiality is explicitly safeguarded.

“Finally, let us not forget that GSAs save lives. While students have the legal right to form GSAs, more needs to be done to remove all barriers to establishing these safe and inclusive student-led initiatives.”

Video of David Swann questioning Minister Eggen on Gay-Straight Alliances on March 14th can be found here.


CBC: U of A students want to ensure marijuana taxes don’t go up in smoke

“Wild and Liberal leader Dr. David Swann, who co-chaired Alberta’s mental health review, are throwing their support behind the campaign.

“Targeting a tax like a marijuana tax would not be a precedent for this government,” Swann said. “We already target the carbon tax for specific environmental initiatives.””

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David Swann statement on World Water Day

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

“Without water, earth cannot support life. This World Water Day we remind ourselves of this fact, and commit to fighting for clean water.

“Here in Alberta, I have long been an advocate for defending our water supply. In particular, our lifeblood comes out of the mountains through the Eastern Slopes, supplying southern Alberta with vital water for drinking and agriculture.

“I was pleased to see today’s government announcement of grants for watershed planning and advisory councils. However, we still lack a comprehensive, long-term plan to protect our water from careless industrial, recreational, and agricultural activities, including clearcutting and poorly managed gravel mining. Given the current challenges of climate change, this should be a priority for any responsible government. It is simply too important to ignore.”


Amendment ensures protections for survivors of sexual and domestic violence

Alberta Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann seeks to amend Bill 2 to ensure its protections apply to a broader category of survivors.

“I support the intent of this bill, but I am concerned that its protections may not be afforded to all survivors due to a technicality,” says Swann.

Bill 2, An Act to Remove Barriers for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence, currently covers survivors who were either a minor, in an intimate relationship with or were dependent on the perpetrator at the time that the sexual misconduct or non-sexual assault occurred.

However, a relationship of dependency might not be an accurate description of incidences where the survivor and perpetrator(s) are co-workers with the same level of seniority, such as in a recent high-profile case of a female police officer who resigned from the Calgary Police Service after enduring years of harassment from her colleagues.

Likewise, it is unclear if dependency applies to harassment or exploitation of an adult student by a university professor or post-secondary instructor.

The bill cannot be amended to include references to co-workers since that would involve altering legislation not currently under consideration. Consequently, Swann proposes reducing the bill’s ambiguity by inserting an additional category of protection:

“the person who committed the misconduct was in a position of trust or authority in relation to the person with the claim,”

“It’s unfortunate that specific mention of co-workers and instructors was left out of the original proposal. Perhaps this is something the NDP can change in the future.” says Swann.

“In the meantime, I call on my colleagues to support my amendment to ensure more survivors are included under these important protections.”

Click here to view Dr. Swann’s amendment