Opioid Dependency Treatment Programs Need Further Expansion, Less Politics
Calgary, AB (October 6, 2017): Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement on the expansion of Alberta’s opioid dependency treatment programs:
“$4.6 million in additional resources to combat the opioid crisis is undoubtedly welcome news, and I am pleased to see that the Renfrew Recovery Centre in my constituency of Calgary – Mountain View will receive more support, which will enable it to be an integral part of the solution.
“However, access to harm reduction measures needs to be further expanded, particularly in smaller urban centres and rural areas where wait times are still too long.
“As I have said many times following each of these one-time announcements, this is an emergency situation requiring an evidence-based, co-ordinated and comprehensive public strategy, not a reactive, piecemeal approach.
“The government is failing to make significant headway in reducing the overall number of overdoses, which continues to rise each quarter, and is clearly not treating this matter with the urgency and importance it deserves.
“Opioid addiction and abuse is quite literally a matter of life and death, yet the government habitually releases reports and makes announcements on the opioid crisis at times when they will receive the least amount of public attention.
“For example, conducting these activities just prior to a holiday weekend sends the wrong message to send to Albertan and belies the severity, urgency, and importance of the opioid crisis.
“As one of the most important issues facing Alberta and Canada today, we need to be very conscious and cautious about the dangers of playing politics with people’s lives.
“Whether it comes to addressing concerns over the over the location of treatment clinics, federal approval for supervised consumption sites, or involving all stakeholders in developing and implementing solutions, we must remember that we are all on the same team, and the goal is to save lives, not score political points.”
Statement from Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan on the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline project:
"Like many Albertans, we are disappointed that TransCanada will not be pursuing the Energy East pipeline project.
However, we understand that this was ultimately a business decision by TransCanada based on current economic and political realities. No one benefits when politicians play the blame game. Throwing mud at our political rivals is not a constructive way to handle this situation. Albertans have had enough of the politics of division. We need to have a mature conversation about balancing our economic and environmental interests while respecting the views of others.
Liberals look forward to the future, and maximising opportunities to develop our energy industry while still balancing our obligations to the environment and Indigenous Peoples.”
Alberta Liberals support the legalization of cannabis and call the Government of Alberta’s draft legislative framework a good start in the right direction.
“I am pleased to see further progress towards implementing the Liberal policy of cannabis legalization,” says Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan. “The government’s proposal appears to strike the right balance; however, we will reserve judgement until the next round of consultation and the final legislative framework is complete.
“We have seen many Liberal policies poorly implemented by the NDP. As such, we will be keeping a close eye on this one to ensure that it is done in a way that is fair, safe, and beneficial to our society.”
Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann concurred with Khan’s remarks and added that he hoped to see a significant portion of the revenues from cannabis sales go towards addictions treatment and prevention programs, mental health, and the expansion of the drug treatment courts program.
“As I’ve said before, the province’s annual spending on mental health and addictions is well below the national average,” says Swann. “While the specifics of how tax revenues will be utilized have yet to be announced, they represent an opportunity to make significant investments into mental health and addictions prevention and treatment, as well as keeping Albertans suffering from these issues out of the criminal justice system.”