Swann asks Auditor General to investigate Pure North grants
Edmonton, AB (May 9, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is asking the Auditor General to investigate millions of dollars in grants from Alberta Health to Pure North S’Energy Foundation for a vitamin supplement program.
In his letter to the Auditor General, Swann says recent media reports by CBC's Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell, as well as his own research, indicate there is a clear cause for concern. Swann is requesting the investigation into both the grant process and the effectiveness of the program itself.
"Certainly, the strong connection the former Administrator of Alberta Health Services had with this program while it was seeking approval raises serious questions," says Swann. "It is definitely worth a look to see if there was a conflict of interest.
“The public also needs to be assured that millions of dollars of taxpayer money were given for the right reasons and for a program that has a demonstrated track record of improving health.”
An additional area of concern for Swann is the potential public health impacts of providing large amounts of supplements to vulnerable populations without peer review. He worries this could be seen as human trials of an unproven treatment.
“Whatever the motivations for the funding, we must not lose sight of the very real public health and ethical questions raised by the implementation of this program. We need answers.
“In the meantime, I believe the government would be prudent if it suspended further funding of the program.”
A copy of the letter can be found on our website here.
Join us for the Edmonton Leadership Debate in Room L1 490 at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405 87 Ave NW, Edmonton, T6G 1C9.
Doors open at 1:30pm. The debate will start promptly at 2:00pm.
Admission is free.
Swann statement on proclamation of off-highway vehicle safety legislation
Edmonton, AB (April 13, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann released the following statement in response to the Order in Council proclaiming Bill 36, An Act to Enhance Off-highway Vehicle Safety:
“Requiring off-highway vehicle operators to use helmets on public land is an important first step, especially since Alberta was the only province not to have such legislation. However, much more needs to be done to ensure the safe operation of these machines.
“Despite being powerful motor vehicles, Alberta has virtually no rules for OHVs use. There are no age restrictions, mandatory training, testing or licencing requirements for operating an OHV. Neither is there any explicit prohibition against consuming alcohol while operating these vehicles on private land in Alberta.
“The statistics are sobering. Each year in Alberta, there are nearly 6,000 off-highway vehicle-related emergency room visits, and an average of almost 20 Albertans are killed each year while operating them.
“Sadly, many of those are children. In 2015, more than 1,000 children under the age of 16 were injured while riding OHVs. Between the months of April and August last year, 44 children were seen in Alberta’s two pediatric emergency departments due to OHV-related injuries. 13 were injured seriously enough to require admission to hospital, and two of them died as a result of their injuries.
“During the debate, I proposed two amendments to the bill to include standards for safety training, including the proper use of helmets, to be completed prior to a person driving, operating, riding in or on or being towed by an off-highway vehicle. The NDP government chose to vote against them.
“Having a very personal connection to this issue – my nephew was killed while operating an OHV without a helmet – it is my earnest desire that no family experience such a terrible loss, which can easily be prevented by ensuring proper training and requiring the use of helmets while operating off-highway vehicles.”