Statement from Dr. David Swann on supervised consumption site approvals

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann released the following statement in reaction to the approval of supervised consumption sites in Edmonton and Lethbridge:

“These approvals are welcome news. I have long called for harm-reduction measures to be implemented in this province as a key component of a coordinated plan to manage the steadily worsening opioid crisis.
“However, the continued delays are deeply disappointing. I find myself asking: if federal approval was the only hold-up for a supervised consumption site, why the months-long gap between the site being approved and opening its doors?

“The lack of sites for Calgary, where opioid overdoses continue to claim the most lives, is troubling. As I’ve said before, access to harm reduction measures must be further expanded. While I’m glad to see a site opening in Lethbridge, other smaller urban centres and rural areas, where wait times are still too long and mental health care much less available, are badly in need of these facilities.”


Condo Act regulations should allow more stakeholder input, clarity

Alberta Liberals say the final version of the Condominium Property Act regulations should allow for more stakeholder input and clarify areas of concern.

“After many years, several different ministers, and two governing parties, I am pleased the province is finally moving ahead on updating Alberta’s condominium legislation,” says David Swann,” However, now that we have come this far, we cannot afford to make mistakes by rushing this across the finish line. We need to take the time to get it right.

Alberta Liberals have been hearing from constituents and stakeholders seeking clarity about the dispute resolution system between condo boards, property management companies and individual owners, as well as how changes to the Alberta Human Rights Act will affect adult-only condominiums.

“There are many unanswered questions,” says Swann. “The government needs to be upfront with Albertans and put everything it is planning on the table for discussion before moving ahead.”

Orders in Council released yesterday indicate that several sections of the Condominium Property Act have been proclaimed, without releasing the draft regulations for public input, as Dr. Swann requested this month in a letter to the Minister of Service Alberta.

Likewise, the Alberta Condo Act Team (ACAT) recently surveyed 162 provincial and municipal representatives and received only three responses, two of which came from ministerial offices and were classified as “non-responsive.” ACAT said in an email that only the Alberta Liberals provided a credible response:

“Dr. David Swann, MLA, Calgary-Mountain View, Alberta Liberal Opposition Leader, provided the one and only single credible response.  Dr. Swann took specific, observable and measurable action by writing to Minister McLean in support of our condo owner advocacy work and our Improvement Ideas.”

Dr. June A Donaldson, ACAT

“While the views of industry are undoubtedly important, there are more voices that need to be heard,” says Swann. “The government should listen to the suggestions made by interest groups such as the Alberta Condo Act Team with the same intensity and give them equal standing in the consultation process.”


Dr. David Swann statement on World Mental Health Day

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann released the following statement to mark World Mental Health Day:

“One of the key findings of the Mental Health Review showed serious underfunding for mental health treatment in Alberta – only six per cent of the overall health care budget. This has led to critical deficiencies and severe delays in access to care, particularly when it comes to culturally sensitive services for Indigenous peoples.

“However, increased funding is only part of the solution. Each of us has a role to play in helping those struggling with mental distress. We need to talk more, and more publicly, about these issues, and be ready to reach out to those around us who may be suffering.

“On this World Mental Health Day, let us be mindful of the impact we have on the mental well-being of others, and make a sincere effort to build honest and open relationships in order to be able to encourage others get help when they need it.”


Opioid Programs Need Further Expansion, Less Politics

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann released the following statement on the expansion of Alberta’s opioid dependency treatment programs:

“$4.6 million in additional resources to combat the opioid crisis is undoubtedly welcome news. I am pleased to see that Edmonton and Calgary centres will receive more support, enabling them to reduce wait times for in-patient and outpatient treatment as part of the larger solution.

“However, access to harm reduction measures needs to be further expanded, particularly in smaller urban centres and rural areas where wait times are still too long and mental health care much less available.
“As I have said many times following each of these one-off announcements, this is an emergency situation requiring an evidence-based, co-ordinated and comprehensive public strategy – not a reactive, piecemeal approach.

“The government is failing to make significant headway in reducing the overall number of overdoses, which continues to rise each quarter. Combined with delays in supervised consumption sites, Alberta is clearly not drawing on all needed resources and treating this matter with the urgency and importance it deserves.

“Opioid addiction and abuse is quite literally a matter of life and death, yet the government habitually releases reports and makes announcements on the opioid crisis with barely any notice, and at times when they will receive the least amount of public attention.

“For example, conducting these activities just prior to a holiday weekend sends the wrong message to Albertan and belies the severity, urgency, and importance of the opioid crisis.

“As one of the most important issues facing Alberta and Canada today, we need to be very conscious and cautious about even the appearance of playing politics with people’s lives.

“Whether it comes to addressing concerns over the location of treatment clinics, federal approval for supervised consumption sites, or involving all stakeholders in developing and implementing solutions, we must remember that we are all on the same team. The goal is to save lives, not score political points.”


Water fluoridation must be on Calgary municipal elections slate: Swann

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann calls on Calgary municipal election candidates to support fluoridating the city’s water supply.

“I’m deeply disappointed by the level of misinformation and fear-mongering surrounding fluoridation,” says Swann. “It flies in the face of 35 years of research that fluoride water treatment is a safe and effective way to protect our dental health.

“The consequences are clearly visible,” Swann adds. “In the years since the City of Calgary ceased fluoridating the water supply, there has been a measurable increase in the rate of dental caries in children. The most common procedure in the Alberta Children’s Hospital is dental work under general anaesthetic. This simple procedure is straining precious operating room resources and, worst of all, is completely avoidable.

“I urge Calgarians to choose leaders that will make the evidence-based decision to re-fluoridate our city’s water supply.”


David Swann statement on World Teacher Day

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann released the following statement for World Teacher Day:

“On this day we celebrate the contributions our teachers and educators make to our society. Learning is a lifelong process, and we are eternally grateful for those who help us down the road to knowledge.

“On behalf of myself, Leader David Khan, and Alberta Liberals, I extend my thanks to all the teachers in Alberta working to make sure our future generations have the tools they need to create a better, more thoughtful, and more prosperous world.”