B.C.’s children’s watchdog has asked that the justice ministry investigate the case of a young aboriginal woman for possible child abuse.
But Suzanne Anton’s office says the ministry doesn’t investigate allegations of crime.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the representative for children and youth, had made the request as part of her report released Thursday about Paige, a 19-year-old girl who died of a drug overdose in 2013 on the Downtown Eastside.
Paige had been born to a drug-addicted teen mother, and throughout her troubled life, had gone to the ER dozens of times for overdose, spent time in prison, and suffered physical abuse.
The report blames her death on government inaction and indifference to First Nations children.
As for an investigation of possible child abuse, Anton’s office says it’s up to individual police agencies to do that, not her staff.
The watchdog says if the level of Paige’s neglect had happened to a child in their parents’ care, it could be considered criminal, so why not the same if she’s in the care of government?