Federal funding welcome relief for opioid crisis and health system
Alberta Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann welcomed the announcement of federal government funding for the opioid crisis, mental health and home care.
“This is good news,” says Swann. “The opioid-crisis urgently needed these resources. However, money alone will not solve this. We must have better, focused leadership and a more comprehensive, cross-jurisdictional strategy.”
In addition to the $6 million in immediate support to Alberta’s opioid-crisis response, the federal government is offering targeted investments of $703.2 million for home care and $586 million for mental health initiatives over the next decade.
“Mental health is certainly an area in desperate need of substantial further investment,” says Swann. “And doubling the investment in home care is a long-standing Alberta Liberal policy.”
“We believe these measures will help improve care, reduce costs, and lower wait times by alleviating pressure on our acute care system.”
NAIT Board of Governors appointment echoes Tory patronage appointments
Ray Martin’s appointment as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) reeks of NDP political patronage.
“This does not pass the smell test,” says Swann. “The NDP are clearly continuing the Tory legacy of posting party insiders to important public positions.”
The Order in Council, approved on March 7th, appoints Ray Martin as a member and designates him as chair of the Board of Governors of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, for a term to expire on March 6, 2020.
Alberta Liberals have been staunch advocates of the creation of an independent appointments commission that would ensure these appointments are based solely on merit and not personal or political connections.
“The NDP has only made symbolic changes to the appointments process, which amounts to advertising the position on the government’s job board,” says Swann, “It still lacks the necessary independence and transparency that only an arms-length organization would afford.”
Swann is calling on the government to put an immediate stop to political patronage by establishing an independent commission to oversee the appointments process.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann made the following statement on the floor of the Alberta Legislature for International Women’s Day:
“Today we celebrate the achievements made in gender equality over the years. Just over a hundred years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Even fifty years ago, the franchise was still being withheld from First Nations women.
“Today women hold one in three seats in this House. While there is still much progress that needs to be made on many women’s issues, this is an encouraging trend, and I look forward to seeing it continue into the future.
“The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change. Across Alberta, Canada, and the world, individuals and organizations are honouring this day by encouraging women to be bold, and by doing so – hopefully with the full support of men – creating real change.
“I particularly want to acknowledge the work of Ask Her, a group in Calgary that is working to encourage greater representation of women in municipal politics. Ask Her recognizes that one of the reasons so few women hold public office is that they are too rarely asked to run. As such, they encourage Calgarians to seek out strong, well-qualified women in their communities and ask them to take leadership roles.
“This year, Ask Her will ask 20 women to run for Calgary City Council. At present only two of the City’s fourteen Councillors are women, a meagre 14%. Ask Her aims to achieve 50% female representation on Council after this fall’s municipal election on October 21st, and they have my full support in this.
“Our province – our country – our society is made better when strong, passionate, and engaged women become involved in their communities and bring their voices to the table. This International Women’s Day, we have much to celebrate in the progress women have made in civil society. I encourage women – especially young women – to continue to press forward, be bold, and take the lead in creating change.”