Premier Christy Clark has dismissed calls for a public inquiry into the death of 18-year-old Alex Gervais.
He’s the teen who fell from a hotel window in Abbotsford last month while in government care.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development is reviewing what happened, but the Gervais family has written an open letter, asking for an independent inquiry.
The Premier insists a government review will still look into everything that happened.
“We’d like it to happen quickly, which is not an advantage of a public inquiry, that’s for sure,” she said. “If there are systemic problems we need to correct, we can do it fast.”
Sto:lo tribal Council Grand Chief Doug Kelly, who founded the agency that was caring for Gervais, sides with the boy’s family as well. He says the children’s watchdog, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, should be in charge.
“Mary Ellen is the officer of the Legislature responsible for those kinds of independent reviews.”
Kelly is concerned the premier won’t get all the facts with a review, and the findings from it would leave his agency hung out to dry.
Kelly calling for one-on-one meeting with the Premier
Kelly adds his frequent requests to set up a one-on-one with Clark to remedy the problems plaguing the Ministry of Children and Families have been largely ignored.
“I can’t do this work on my own, the Premier can’t do this work on her own; let’s sit down and work it out. I’m sure we can reach an accord and move forward, address the fears and concerns of the Gervais family. We can strengthen our agency and we can help improve the services provided by the MCFD but we can’t do that by debating through the media.”
He says he does have a commitment from one of her colleagues in the Cabinet but no date has been set.