"Armed with knowledge and compassion, I know our society can do better."

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann has issued a personal statement regarding Sunday’s shooting of David McQueen in Calgary.

“Mental Health issues affect thousands of people in Alberta. It affects their family, their friends, their neighbours and their communities. Sunday’s tragedy in Calgary is a sad example, one with a personal connection to me.

David McQueen reached out frequently to my constituency office, as well as others here in Calgary. He was suffering from an obvious, and serious, mental illness and it was often difficult to understand where he was coming from or how we could help. He was always polite, though he was certainly agitated and paranoid of all government. David was also angry. Angry with the injury which all but paralyzed him, angry with a system he felt failed him, and angry with those who represented that system.

This past year, as the author of the soon to be released Alberta Report on Mental Health and Addiction, I have heard many stories like David’s. Very, very few of these individuals will ever wind up in a situation where they hurt others, but Alberta has now seen several incidents involving people suffering from mental health problems. There has to be real change, and soon.

My thoughts and condolences go out to David McQueen’s family and friends, and to those police officers involved in the tragedy. My thoughts are also with those, like my staff, who interacted with Mr. McQueen and are left, today, feeling they could have done more.

Armed with knowledge and compassion, I know our society can do better.”