Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann call for protection of personal data used by political parties

Alberta Liberals issue the following release on Canada’s Privacy and Information Commissioners call for legislation on use of personal information by political parties

Federal and Provincial Privacy Commissioners are urging all levels of governments to enact laws that provide meaningful privacy obligations for political parties.

The Alberta Liberals strongly support this position.

Khan stated, “Albertans and Canadians must be protected. The sheer amount of personal data collected and used by political parties can lead to potential abuse. The danger is real.

“We need to get ahead of this by passing strong laws. Albertans must also have a right to access their personal information controlled by political parties. We must have a fully independent body enforcing these protections.

“I’m calling on the NDP Government to follow these recommendations and bring forward legislation before the next election. Our democracy is precious. We need to safeguard it.”

Swann stated, “Alberta Liberals continue to be leaders on democratic reform. We pushed to establish Political Action Committee (“PAC”) regulation, introducing the most comprehensive PAC regulation legislation in Canada in last fall’s sitting. We recommended strong standards on electoral reform.

“We will keep fighting for these changes. We will keep fighting for all Albertans.’’

Khan and Swann are available for interview


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

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann issue the following statement on Labour Day:

Swann stated, “On this day we remember the many decades of activism and sacrifice that keep us safe and healthy at work. Albertans have risked their safety and their livelihoods to make their job site a better place.”

“We know these have been tough times for Alberta workers. Alberta Liberals have their backs. We support them and are advocating for them.

“We are pushing the government to fully include paid farmworkers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Labour Relations Code, and the Employment Standards Code. We are also advocating to amend the Alberta’s Labour Code to allow unpaid political candidate leave with a job guarantee.”

Khan stated, “Alberta has a long history of advocacy for better worker rights. This cannot stop. Albertans deserve to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity on the job. As we enjoy our weekend, we should reflect on how we can improve safety at work, be paid a reasonable wage and have protections in case of accident.


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 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.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann respond to Health Minister’s EMS Hotline Criticism

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan & MLA Dr. David Swann issue a response to Government criticism of their EMS Hotline.

Alberta Liberals set up the EMS Hotline with the best intentions for the benefit of all Albertans. The NDP Health Minister claims we are being irresponsible. We strongly disagree.

Khan stated, “In fact, we are being honest with Albertans by helping expose the issues plaguing EMS. We are giving frontline staff and patients a chance to confidentially express their experiences and concerns.

“We want more transparency and accountability at EMS. We want Albertans to receive safe, quality service and not have to listen to more partisan attacks and excuses from the NDP Government.”

Swann stated, “EMS union staff have told us they fear disciplinary action by their employer AHS for being whistleblowers. They are reluctant to express concerns through established AHS channels. They don’t want to suffer repercussions by talking about operational problems including slower EMS response times and extended waiting with patients in ER hallways. Alberta Liberals will protect the identity of frontline staff, patients and anyone else who uses the EMS Hotline. They can speak freely. We have their backs.

“We will use their data to help develop solutions—why would the NDP be upset about that?

“Clearly, problems still exist and after three three years in office this NDP Government has not resolved those problems.”

Red Alerts stats are no longer being released by AHS. There is less transparency by this NDP Government and therefore less accountability about EMS delayed response times, costly overtime wages and other concerns.

Alberta Liberals want to spur the release of more of that important information to all Albertans. Taxpayers deserve to know what problems continue in EMS so the system can be improved. We believe the Liberals’ EMS Hotline will help to achieve those goals.

Khan added, “We want to be part of the thoughtful solutions at EMS that will help all Albertans. We do not want to be part of the Government’s cover-up.

“Albertans deserve a high quality, efficient EMS system that puts patients first and safeguards frontline staff.”

David Swann and David Khan are available for interviews by phone or Skype.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA Dr David Swann launch EMS Hotline

Dr. David Swann and the Alberta Liberal Opposition have launched an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Hotline: 1-888-442-4664

The Hotline will give Albertans and EMS staff a chance to anonymously report concerns with the Provincial EMS system including delays in response times and hours waiting in ER hallways.

Swann and Khan exposed wasteful mismanagement within EMS earlier this year which delays EMS response times, impacts patient safety and increases staff overtime. EMS staff worked 135,000 hours overtime. That O.T. cost Alberta taxpayers around $12 million in extra wages in 2016.

AHS data showed that 2 member EMS crews spent 650,000 hours in one year waiting in emergency rooms to transfer patients to attending nurses. The median wait time in Alberta is nearly four times greater than the United Kingdom standard of 15 minutes.

Swann stated, “I believe the EMS Hotline will help us learn more about the crisis in our EMS system. Alberta Liberals will use this data to push for solutions and pressure the NDP Government to take urgent needed action.”

Khan stated, “The NDP announced $25 million more in spending for EMS in this year’s Budget. We still don’t know how this money is being spent or if it will address these issues.

“Alberta Liberals want immediate policy changes that will target excessive overtime hours and hallway wait times. Albertans deserve a better EMS system.”

In addition to the EMS Hotline, the Alberta Liberals are also issuing a survey to EMS workers to learn more about their workplace challenges and solutions.

Albertans can share their EMS concerns by calling the Hotline at 1-888-442-4664.Their identities and information will be protected. If they prefer to share their experiences in writing they can send an email in confidence to hotlineEMSalberta@gmail.com

Khan and Dr. Swann will host a News Conference at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 19, at the Calgary-Mountain View Constituency Office (#102, 723 – 14 Street NW, Calgary).

They will also be available for interviews by phone or Skype.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann Issue Canada Day Statement

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann have issued this joint statement:

We want to wish all Albertans a Happy Canada Day. All Canadians can take pride in building our wonderful nation. Canada is a generous, tolerant, diverse and prosperous country.

Khan stated, “As we celebrate Canada’s 151st Birthday we should take time to reflect on the ways we can improve.

“As Canadians we should create more opportunity, improve fairness and address the issues facing the Indigenous people of this Land”.

Swann added, “Working together Alberta and Canada can both be an even better place to live and raise families.

“Albertans have contributed so much to our country and they will continue to help build Canada in the future.”

David Khan and David Swann are available for interviews.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann blast NDP year-end financial results

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann issue release on the 2017-18 Alberta Government year-end financial results:

Khan stated, “Albertans continue to suffer through a jobless recovery while the NDP Government continues to ride the resource revenue roller coaster.

“Income tax revenue is $402 million short of the NDP’s own Budget projections. Albertans have to be working to pay income taxes. More Albertans are forced to be self-employed just to give themselves a pay cheque.”

Khan added, “Corporate tax income is $470 million lower than forecasted. Businesses are going bankrupt or moving away. NDP policies continue to drive investment away from this Province.

“The current $8 billion deficit has been reduced by a $1.9 billion increase in non-renewable resource revenue. Getting a lucky bounce in oil prices is not a financial plan.

“Albertans still have $8 billion reasons to be very unhappy with these financial results. The NDP are still riding the resource roller coaster. That ride will go off the rail if oil prices fall again.”

Swann stated, “Alberta Liberals would tackle this problem with pro-growth tax reform that would expand the economy and boost Government revenue to pay for social services. The NDP are mortgaging Albertans’ future and their children’s future with a current debt over $43 billion. The annual interest payments on that debt are $1.4 billion.

“Government spending is $400 million higher than last year and Albertans are not getting value for their money. Government spending isn’t going towards reducing class sizes. It’s not going towards boosting AISH payments. And the massive health budget isn’t reducing wait times.

“We don’t have to spend more. We have to spend more wisely. Albertans simply can’t afford this NDP Government.”