Liberal MLA David Swann’s Easter Message

Easter is a time of hope and renewal as we look towards spring.

I encourage all Albertans to mark the occasion in the spirit of love and peace with family and friends. Jesus preached compassion and forgiveness during a time of divisions and conflict and today Christians across Alberta and the world  remember both his message and his sacrifice.

This Easter let’s reflect on ways in which we can serve others of all faiths and ethnicities to create better and more secure communities for all.


Liberal MLA David Swann on 18th Annual Farm Workers Awareness Week

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann made the following statement on the 18th Annual Farm Workers Awareness Week:

“For the 18th Annual Farm Worker’s Awareness Week I want to take a moment to recognize the incredible importance of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Not only is it a key part of Alberta’s economic engine, but also our province’s identity as well.

“At the core of that industry are the industrious farm workers who put food on tables in Alberta and across the world. Their vital contribution to society is undeniable.

“I am proud of the strides Alberta has taken to modernize and improve the health and safety and guarantee compensation for injury for paid farm workers and I am committed to continuing to push for further progress on the long-awaited regulations.

“I encourage all Albertans to take time this week to learn more about the contribution of farm workers in our province.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann is demanding investigation on revolving door at Calgary medical examiner’s office

After a fourth of five medical examiners in Calgary is leaving this year according to sources, Calgary-Mountain View Liberal MLA David Swann is demanding the Justice Minster find answers.

Speaking on the issue Swann stated, “The fourth of five medical examiners has found it impossible to work here. This says something about serious problems at the office and they need to be investigated.

“I am gravely concerned that this revolving door at the medical examiner’s office will further delay already lengthy death investigations related to Alberta’s opioid crisis.

“The Justice Minister must take responsibility by investigating and resolving this issue and providing answers to the public.”


2018-19 Budget: Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA David Swann say the NDP is gambling away Albertans’ future

The NDP Government continues to spend away the future of Albertans, their children and grandchildren with a staggering $96 billion of debt by 2023.

Speaking on the 2018-19 Budget, David Khan said, “Instead of getting off the Resource Revenue Roller Coaster, the NDP just bought a ticket for the front seat. Albertans are being asked to hold their breath and hang on for a wild ride.

“Albertans are facing another massive $9 billion deficit this year and almost $9 billion again in 2019.

“The NDP is spending without corresponding revenue and spending on the wrong things. The money isn’t going to reduce class sizes. It’s not going to support AISH recipients and vulnerable Albertans. Instead, the NDP is doubling down on our volatile oil and gas sector with corporate welfare such as the announced billion-dollar partial upgrader boondoggle and the Energy Diversification Act. Many Albertans are being left behind as the debt skyrockets ahead.”

David Swann added, “To make matters worse, we are paying almost $2 billion every year in interest costs to service the provincial debt.  How many schools would that pay for? How many nurses would that hire? How many services could that have provided to the citizens of this province?

“I am encouraged by the increases in funding to address the EMS, mental health and opioid crises. However, the massive health budget needs to be managed more effectively.”

The NDP Government says it hopes to eliminate the deficit in 5-6 years, gambling on hypothetical future revenue from an energy project that is still in limbo – the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. There is no guarantee if or when this project will get built.

Khan concluded, “You can’t take phantom revenue to the bank and spend it. We must reform our tax system to pay for the services Albertans need today.

“Albertans deserve a sensible financial plan, not an uncontrolled plunge into staggering debt.”

David Khan and David Swann are available for media interviews.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann exposes wasteful mismanagement in EMS

Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has revealed new information about wasteful mismanagement in EMS.

“A FOIP obtained by the Alberta Liberals shows that Alberta’s paramedics worked 135,000 hours of overtime in 2016. That equates to almost $10 million in extra wage costs.”

“The AHS and NDP Government need to hire more paramedics to reduce this unnecessary expense.” Swann told reporters today.

Swann says other systemic issues include EMS services not keeping pace with the needs of Albertans.

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has only been a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics. Additionally, there were more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years. EMS is stretched to the limits trying to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The latest AHS data also indicates EMS staff wait a median time of nearly 1 hour when transferring a patient in ER to the attending nurses – equivalent to just over $20 million dollars a year in lost time.”

“Paramedics spend more than 650,000 hours in ER awaiting patient transfer to nursing staff.”

DR Swann is available for interviews by phone or on Skype.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on gun violence

Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement on gun violence and proposed federal legislation on gun control:

Gun violence is a public health and safety issue, not just a criminal justice issue. It causes direct loss of life and injury as well as far-reaching emotional and mental health issues.

I stand with the Coalition for Gun Control in their call for a more comprehensive strategy. I applaud the Federal Government Bill for taking steps such as an improved screening process and stricter record keeping requirements for gun retailers. However, the federal government needs to consider other actions including:

  • More rigorous screenings, including more routine licensing checks and interval reassessments.
  • Banning of assault weapons capable of automatic function and sniper rifles.
  • Regularly updating the prohibited and restricted lists consistent with the advice of police experts.
  • Launching a national awareness program to highlight the risks associated with firearms in suicide, homicide and unintentional injuries
  • Reinstating evidence based approaches which consider firearms in the context not just of street crime but domestic violence, suicide, and injury.
  • Increase public awareness by providing open and transparent access to data on guns and gun ownership, firearms death and injury.
  • Establishing a system to track all gun sales and eliminate the loop holes that allow secondary sales with no accountability.
  • Harmonize reporting of fire arm injuries across Canada.

We must take comprehensive action including education, access to data and the health impacts on Canadian citizens if we are to fully address the harms of gun violence in our society.

Dr. Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or skype.


Liberal MLA David Swann and Liberal Leader David Khan says EMS Union (HSAA) data shows systemic crisis

Liberal MLA David Swann says, “The NDP Government should immediately boost frontline resources for EMS across Alberta.”

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has been only a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics.”

“EMS is struggling to meet day-to-day demands of Albertans and the situation is escalating.”

“The opioid crisis is only making the crisis worse and lives are at stake.”

“When ambulances cannot reach patients in a timely fashion the safety of those patients is put at risk.”

Liberal Leader David Khan says, “There are more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years and EMS is stretched to the limits to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The NDP Government must not only provide additional resources but improve the efficiency of the system with paramedics spending 650,000 hours per year in ER awaiting patient transfers to nursing staff.”

David Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or Skype.

David Khan is available for interview by phone or Skype.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Keegan Wynychuk
Alberta Liberal Opposition
Tel: 780.644.7719
Cell: 780.919.3158
liberal.communications@assembly.ab.ca


Liberal MLA David Swann demands NDP Government deal with EMS Red Alerts

Today in question period Dr. David Swann is revealing startling numbers on EMS wait times linked to the Red Alerts Crisis.

“The latest AHS data indicates EMS staff wait a median time of 1 hour when transferring a patient in ER to the attending nurses – equivalent to just over $20 million dollars a year in lost time.”

“Paramedics spend more than 650,000 hours in ER awaiting patient transfer to nursing staff.”

Dr. Swann is calling upon the NDP government to reduce the transfer times in ER to reduce the number of Red Alerts, to ensure patient safety and decrease stress levels for beleaguered paramedics across the province.

“AHS has not made progress on this issue for over 5 years. AHS is failing Albertans.”


Alberta Government has not learned its lesson from BSE (mad cow disease)

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann issues the following release on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

“CWD is a fatal and incurable (prion) animal disease comparable to BSE (mad cow disease) in its potential to kill humans as well as severely damage our agricultural economy for decades.

UBS prion scientist Dr Neil Cashman said last month “We appear to be waiting till CWD is found in humans” before we take serious action on control and elimination of this incurable and fatal disease

”This BSE-related, decades-old prion disease travels from bodily fluids across the deer family. It is currently spreading across western Canada in the wild after originating on game farms. Studies have shown that it is transferable to monkeys who eat infected deer and elk meat. Much like CWD’s sister disease BSE, a variant disease could become transferable to humans and threaten lives. This should spur both federal and provincial governments to follow rigorous science-based control measures.

“Mad cow disease cost Alberta $10 billion in lost markets and over 200 lives. By not taking concerted action with the federal government Alberta’s NDP Government is putting our wildlife, hunters (including indigenous communities who rely on wild game), the agricultural industry (with potential boycotts) and potentially Albertans at risk.

 

It’s time for the NDP Government to follow through to keep Albertans safe. Have they not learned from the BSE crisis?”


MLA David Swann praises progress and calls for more action during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

Edmonton, AB – March 14th, 2018: Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann made the following statement on Canadian Agricultural Safety Week:

“Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is a time of tremendous importance for Alberta and a special time for me, as well. For years, I pushed successive conservative governments to protect the basic rights of farm workers and bring Alberta’s standards in line with the rest of Canada.

“Despite serious errors in communication by the NDP Government, I was proud to support the protection and benefits the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act provides. This bill was a boon to both farm worker’s rights and access to markets for our agricultural products.

“While it is shameful Alberta took so long to provide farmworkers with the protections that are their fundamental right, we can be proud of the progress we have made. However, we cannot grow complacent and forget that there is still work to be done.

“While farmers and ranchers have received significant resources to help them adapt to Alberta’s improved legislation, many of the workers on the farms and ranches seem to have been left out of the equation.

“For this Canadian Agricultural Week I’m calling on this government to continue the progress they have made and make further efforts to support and assist farm and ranch workers in this transition to their new workplace standards.”

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan echoes Swann’s comments calling for the NDP Government to take action.

“As a lawyer and strong supporter of human rights I am passionate about the needs to protect Alberta farm workers.”

“The NDP Government has left these people in limbo for more than 2 years after approving the legislation in 2015 and now should move quickly to finally address their concerns”

“Farm workers deserve fair and equal treatment and should have the same benefits as other Alberta workers.”