Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann renew call for drug decriminalization on International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a time to remember those we have lost and spur actions to help those who can still be saved. It is particularly significant here in Alberta where we face an ongoing severe opioid crisis.

Swann stated, “Drug addiction and its link to mental health is a complex issue. It is also a deadly problem that is not being adequately resolved here in Alberta and around the world.

“We believe this is a disease, not a crime. We must treat people with this deadly illness and not punish them as offenders. Removing the stigma around this entire issue should be a priority.

“We are again calling for the decriminalization of drug possession in small amounts. This will reduce stigma and better deploy resources now being used to punish the sick. The Alberta Liberal Caucus is appealing to all three levels of Government to support this approach as part of an integrated national strategy.”

Khan stated, “Decriminalization has worked in other jurisdictions. In Portugal, deaths from drug overdoses are three per one million, well below the the EU average of 17.3 per one million. Portugal also saw a dramatic decrease in the rate of HIV infection.

“Drug decriminalization is only part of the solution for addiction and drug related deaths. The Alberta Liberals are demanding the NDP Government boost health spending beyond the current 6% of the health budget for addictions and mental health.

“Too many people are still dying. These fatalities must be stopped. We must take bold action.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on Calgary Pride

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has issued the following statement in recognition of Calgary Pride:

“I am excited to once again join with Calgarians in celebrating LGBTQ2S+ communities.

“Alberta Liberals have led all political parties in support for LGBTQ2S+ Albertans.

“In 1994 we were the first party to call for sexual orientation to be added as a prohibited ground of discrimination to the Alberta Human Rights Act.

“In 2014 we introduced Private Member’s Bill 202 to make gay-straight alliances (GSAs) mandatory in schools where students ask for them. I was immensely proud of the changes that legislation led to.

“David Khan has continued the proud Liberal tradition on LGBTQ2S+ issues by raising issues such as improving access to hormone replacement therapy, putting an end to conversion therapy and fighting back against homophobic dog whistle politics.

“Calgarians can be proud of the progress we have made and optimistic about the progress we will continue to make. We are all helping to establish Alberta as a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ2S+ individuals.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases Statement on 14th Annual Farm Workers’ Day

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann released the following statement to mark Alberta’s 14th annual Farm Worker’s Day:

“I am pleased to spend another Farm Worker’s Day celebrating the vital work every day of the year that puts food on our tables. This day also recognizes the fundamental rights and protections now offered to farm workers under the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act. There is still much work to do in realizing health and safety in agricultural operations and ensuring paid farmworkers are fairly treated. For too many years, I spent this day mourning those killed or injured on the job, and calling for the government to guarantee their basic rights to a healthy and safe workplace, and a guarantee of compensation for injury.

“I am therefore deeply disappointed that some politicians in Alberta are treating these rights as a political football, and threatening to repeal them. Alberta cannot afford to return to the last century of shame that they promise.”


Alberta Liberal MLA Dr David Swann calls for decriminalization of drugs and more resources to battle Opioid Crisis.

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann issues statement on the Opioid Crisis:

The Opioid Crisis continues. The Calgary Fire Department responded to 144 opioid overdose calls in the month of July. That is a new record.

Swann stated, “Clearly we are not getting ahead of the curve on the Opioid Crisis. The NDP Government is spending less than 6% of the health budget on mental health and prevention. This is not adequately dealing with the issue.

Swann added, “Drug addiction is a mental illness and must be treated as such. It should not be a criminal offence. That does nothing to help deal with this illness. It’s time we join Ontario and BC as well as other jurisdictions calling for the Federal Government to decriminalize drugs and save lives. We must bring people into a system that can help them heal and recover their lives.”

“The NDP Government must also commit more resources, expand hours of care and improve physician capacity to deal with what is a life or death issue. The Mental Health Review concluded that effectively addressing this tragedy requires consistent communication between Health, Community and Social Services, Schools and Police. We need more public education. We need more safe injection sites.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office is still not providing timely death reporting on all drug overdose deaths with methamphetamine a growing threat. This is critical information needed to form effective strategies for this crisis.

Fentanyl was the leading cause of death in Alberta in 2016. More than 228 people died from fentanyl overdoses from January-May this year. Free substitute therapy and expanded hours of service are needed.

The opioid crisis is ongoing. It’s time to call this for what it is. It’s time the NDP Government declared a “Public Health State of Emergency.”


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA David Swann release statement on International Day of World Indigenous Peoples

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

This year’s theme is Indigenous People’s migration and movement.

Many Indigenous Peoples are forced to leave their homes, families and traditional ways due to extreme inequalities in funding between reserves and urban centres. They often struggle to find a better life as a result of inadequate supports and systemic prejudices.

Khan stated, “There has been significant progress over the last decade including the Alberta government’s sixties scoop apology. But, much more needs to be done to address the gross inequalities faced by Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples.

Swann stated, “On this Day we should reflect on being better partners building a brighter future for Indigenous Peoples. This must include respect among equals and for the Nation-to-Nation relationship.This must be both a celebration and a call for justice.”

Alberta was built with the enduring contributions of Indigenous Peoples. We must all pledge to build together a more equal and more inclusive Province for all Albertans.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann release statement on Heritage Day

Alberta Liberals David Khan and David Swann issue the following joint statement:

We join with Albertans in celebrating Heritage Day. The first Monday in August recognizes the rich and diverse multinational cultures that have helped to build this great province and our wonderful country.

Khan stated, “Together we acknowledge the diversity, inclusion, tolerance and freedom that are the hallmarks of our proud democracy and our vibrant society.

Swann added. “Our rich mosaic includes people of all religions, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and ethnicities, including the Indigenous Peoples who first called this land home. They all contribute to the quality of life we enjoy and help build a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”

Alberta Liberals are proud to support and encourage these values on behalf of all the citizens in this province and throughout this country.

Happy Heritage Day – Enjoy the Long Weekend.