AG REPORT HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH REVIEW
CALGARY, AB (July 6, 2015): Alberta Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann says today’s Auditor General (AG) report on mental health delivery highlights the importance of the mental health review he is conducting.
“Today’s AG report documents the total failure of the previous regime to make progress in the area of care for those with mental health and addictions,” says Swann. “The PCs ignored recommendations from the AG, left their own action plans to collect dust, and simply played lip-service to improving the delivery of care.
“This failure has incredible economic and human costs, with individuals left to navigate a system with too many gaps in services.”
Swann was appointed by Premier Notley to co-chair a review of mental health care delivery along with MLA Danielle Larivee.
“I expect this report by the AG will certainly inform our work,” says Swann. “We have the benefit of a large collection of literature that we have to review, prioritize and make recommendations based on.
“Our biggest lesson today is the need for action to follow these studies, and the need for us to make sure our recommendations are actionable and close these gaps in service.”
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann says the NDP’s proposal for increasing the minimum wage lacks balance and says the increases should be accompanied by small business tax reductions.
“Trusted leadership is about balance,” says Swann. “We have generally supported minimum wage increases. However, the NDP seem determined to raise the minimum wage on an artificial timeline without considering the impact it will have on small businesses in these hard economic times.”
Alberta Liberals have called for an economic impact study that specifically looks into the effect rapidly raising the minimum wage will have on small businesses.
“There is still time for that assessment,” says Swann. “The government, to its real credit, is taking the time to study our infrastructure plan, our climate change plan, democratic renewal and several other pressing concerns. Yet, on this file, they seem to have no interest in looking at available data or consulting with stakeholders.”
Swann is proposing that the government lower small business taxes in Alberta in order to soften the blow of this rapid increase in payroll costs. The New Democrats recently rejected a motion to lower the small business tax rate to two per cent – despite that motion having the support of all opposition parties.
“It would be a very positive way of shielding businesses from the impact of increasing their costs during this economic downturn.
“Small businesses are the key to diversifying our economy. I hope the NDP will do the right thing and support them.
SWANN SUPPORTS AMENDMENT TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann announced his support for an amendment to Bill 2 that will lower Alberta’s small business tax rate from three to two per cent.
“In the last election Alberta Liberals campaigned on a promise to help small businesses in these tough economic times,” says Swann. “The amendment proposed by the Official Opposition does that, and I will support it.
“Too much of the debate surrounding Bill 2 thus far has been rooted in ideology, with both sides claiming the others beliefs will bring ruin to the province. With this amendment we have an opportunity to do some good for small businesses that are struggling.
“Small businesses are the key to diversifying our economy and we need to ensure that they can manage through the current economy and continue to grow. Lowering the small business tax rate would help with that.
“At the beginning of this session the new government made a powerful statement by reaching across the aisle and seeking to cooperate with other parties. I call on them to do so again by accepting this amendment.”