CALGARY, AB (January 26, 2018): Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan has released the following statement on the passing of Edmonton jazz pianist and former senator Tommy Banks:
“All of us who knew him were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Liberal senator Tommy Banks.
“Tommy Banks was an iconic Edmontonian, Albertan and Canadian who represented the best qualities of our society: kindness, compassion, fairness, generosity, and humour.
“A true renaissance man, Tommy was equally skilled and at ease in the worlds of entertainment, politics, philanthropy, and, of course, music.
CALGARY, AB (January 16, 2018): Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann says urgent action from all levels of government is urgently needed to stop the suicide epidemic in Maskwacis.
“I am deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life,” says Swann. “My heart goes out to this community, which has endured immense suffering and witnessed so many preventable and senseless deaths.”
A recent CBC News report said the community has experienced 14 suicide deaths in less than 2 months. This echoes a previous story from May, 2015 that warned about a dramatic rise in Maskwacis suicide rate, which had reached one or two every week.
A local health worker and community members alike are asking for the area’s leadership to declare a state of emergency, a measure Swann believes may be needed to raise awareness and mobilize additional resources.