Increase Funding for Metta Clinic

Increased funding for Metta Clinic necessary to support transgender youth

Calgary, AB (February 15, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann is urging Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to support transgender and gender diverse youth by increasing funding to the Metta Clinic.

The Metta Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary is one of the few resources available for transgender youth in Alberta. The clinic only receives enough funding to operate for one day a month, adding up to a meagre two weeks per year.

The growing demand for the clinic’s services has resulted in wait times for access to care of almost three years, during which time, these youth are at risk of severe mental health challenges, suicidal and self-harming behaviours, and threats of harassment and abuse.

“These wait times are simply unacceptable,” says Swann. “The kind of support that the Metta Clinic provides is exactly what these youth need at such a critical time in their physical, mental and social development.”

“I look forward to a promise of increased funding for this important work in the upcoming provincial budget.”

Alberta Liberals are proud supporters of the LGBTQ community, recently championing the issue of making gay-straight alliances (GSAs) mandatory in schools where students request them.

Swann is now calling on the NDP government to take the next step in improving the lives of Alberta’s transgender and gender diverse youth by increasing funding for this important dedicated clinical support.


Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day

David Swann statement on Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day

Calgary, AB (February 12, 2017): David Swann released the following statement to mark Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day:

“Our sexual health is something that we don’t like to discuss, yet is an important part of our overall well-being. Healthy sexual attitudes through open discussion and greater understanding of sexual consent at earlier ages are critically needed.

Safe sex practices are very much needed to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and there is no shame in seeking out medical treatment.

“We need more open attitudes to healthy sexuality in our province, but the first step comes from reducing the stigma.”


Opioid Crisis - NDP Response Falls Short

Government response to opioid crisis falls short: Swann

Calgary, AB (February 7, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader, Dr. David Swann, says the NDP government’s response to the opioid crisis falls short of what is necessary, and renews his call for more information and coordinated action.

“Government information and action continue to be inadequate despite these new measures,” says Swann. “We are lacking timely information and are dealing with this in a piecemeal fashion when what is needed is a coordinated and comprehensive approach.”

Swann has been pressuring the government to release more data surrounding the overall impact of this crisis since last fall, when he called on the province to declare a public health state of emergency.

“Quarterly reporting on deaths resulting from overdoses is not sufficient,” says Swann. “We need a comprehensive look at the financial and human costs of the current approach on our emergency, medical, social and justice systems.”

While Swann applauds the government’s willingness to enhance treatment options in the critical stages of opioid abuse, he stresses more government leadership is required to improve communication and coordinate action.

“The NDP government has not put enough priority or urgency on this issue,” says Swann. “In addition to naloxone, it must ensure greater cooperation, more information sharing, and a better understanding of what is and what is not working.”