The following remarks on Farm Workers Day were made by Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan at the book launch for Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism:
It is an absolute pleasure to be in this room with you today. I'd like to acknowledge we're on Treaty 7 territory, home to the Blackfoot, Stoney, Cree, Sarcee and more recently the Métis, here in southern Alberta.
I don't think you'd find a politician in Alberta who wouldn't extol the importance of our farms. From agriculture's status as our second largest contributor to GDP to the values of the family farm, politicians always praise Alberta agriculture, and rightly so.
Yet, the people who drive our agriculture industry, the farm workers themselves, were ignored by successive governments. For all their praise for Alberta agriculture as both an economic engine and source of provincial values and identity, they were content for farm workers to have grossly substandard rights and safety standards.
Less than two years ago farm workers had rights and protections more fitting the 19th century than the 21st. Thanks to people in this room, Alberta has jumped forward decades from where it was.
It is with sadness that Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan offered the following remarks on the passing of Len Bracko:
“Len Bracko was the very model of a public servant. He spent 15 years on St. Albert City Council and four years as a Liberal MLA, representing the people of St. Albert and acting as the Liberal Municipal Affairs critic.
In addition to his political work, Bracko also enriched the world at home and abroad through involvement in organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Municipalities and Habitat for Humanity.
While Alberta is the worse for having lost him, it is all the better for having had him and the example he has set. My thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones today.”
Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann released the following statement in response to the release of the 2017 second quarter opioid report:
“I am deeply troubled and saddened by the fact that another 119 Albertans have tragically lost their lives in the last three months due to opioids.
“The number of people in the province dying from fentanyl overdoses each quarter remains unacceptably high. Over the past six months, fentanyl has taken 241 lives, and that number is projected to reach 480 by the end of year.
“This dramatic increase in deaths over the previous year illustrates the fact that, despite its best efforts, the NDP government still does not have a handle on this crisis.
“While the report calls this year’s number of overdose deaths ‘significant’, I find it horrifying, especially given that they are entirely preventable.
And, while the government claims ‘the trend appears to be ‘stabilizing’ since there were three fewer deaths from the previous quarter, I see the overall number of deaths as further evidence of a lack of progress.