Media Advisory: Alberta Liberals to sponsor rally about the Seclusion Rooms Issue at the Alberta Legislature

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann are sponsoring a rally in support of concerned parents on the use of Seclusion Rooms prior to the opening of the Fall Session of the Alberta Legislature.

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan stated, “We are raising awareness in support of many parents across Alberta who are concerned about the use and misuse of “Seclusion Rooms” in provincial school systems. These rooms are frequently utilized with special needs students. There have been several shocking incidents that had traumatic effects on the students. Parents neither approved of nor were even made aware the child was placed in an isolation room. This must stop immediately.

“We are also demanding that new mandatory rules governing the use of these seclusion rooms be approved by the NDP Education Minister during this Fall session of the Legislature. These rules must provide sensitive and compassionate direction for school systems surrounding the use of these rooms. Communication with parents and the outcome for special needs students must be included as key parts of these guidelines.”

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr David Swann stated, “Seclusion rooms can be devastating for some students and are counterproductive to helping students and addressing misbehaviour. Instead, evidence shows Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Positive Behaviour Intervention Supports (PBISs) are the key to helping these students. Seclusions rooms should never be used as a form of punishment or a way to modify student behaviour.

“We want the NDP Government to implement a mandatory province-wide policy on seclusion rooms. We are also recommending the creation of a sub-office of the Disability Advocate focused specifically on advocating for and listening to children with disabilities and their parents.”

Jenn Thompson, a mother of a special needs student and a leading community activist with the Serious Spectrum/Sensory Support community, will be hosting and speaking at the rally.

WHAT:        Rally on Seclusion Rooms

WHERE:     Alberta Legislature Front Steps

WHEN:       11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Monday, October 29, 2018


NDP attempt at City Charters fails to establish equal partnership

Alberta Liberals say the NDP government’s recent City Charter announcement falls well short of their expectations for an equal partnership with a clearly defined framework for jurisdictional, financial, and electoral reform.

“Alberta Liberals were the first to propose doing away with the paternalistic relationship between the provincial and municipal governments,” says Liberal MLA David Swann. “Compared to the relationship major municipalities in other Canadian jurisdictions enjoy, this falls well short of our expectations.”

Alberta Liberals first proposed the creation of Big City Charters in 2008. That call was repeated in 2012, and reaffirmed as official Liberal policy in 2015. Over that period, successive Progressive Conservative governments failed to make substantial progress on the issue, choosing instead to make repeated piecemeal amendments to the Municipal Government Act.

Swann points out that the NDP also promised to tackle controversial interjurisdictional issues such as oil and gas drilling within municipal boundaries. Yet, there appears to be no mention of them in the proposed changes.

“Liberals view Alberta’s two major cities as equal partners, not dependents who must come cap in hand to the provincial government,” says Swann. “They shouldn’t have to beg for permission or resources to meet the needs of their citizens, but be empowered through their own unique acts which resolve these jurisdictional issues, and clearly establish revenue generating and/or sharing powers.

“At the end of the day, the most important element here is municipal funding, and there is no new funding formula or commitment to establish one in this agreement.”