B.C.’s children and family development minister is defending the timing of her government’s response to the Paige report.
“The concern everybody was busy yesterday in your field certainly, but the work of the ministry doesn’t stop with a federal election.”
Stephanie Cadieux’s ministry sent out the response about an hour before the polls started closing during the federal election on Monday.
It outlined ways the province will help at-risk kids on the Downtown Eastside, such as a rapid-response team.
Watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who authored the May report, told CKNW’s Jon McComb at least the province has acknowledged the gaps.
“It is important that they brought out a response. They have accepted it, they have committed to respond to the recommendations, and they have committed to a level of accountability that was certainly much higher today than it was three or four months ago.”
Paige was a 19-year-old aboriginal teen who died of a drug overdose in that neighbourhood, not long after she aged out of government care.
Premier Christy Clark was asked during a news conference in Vancouver on Tuesday whether the response was deliberately released during a time of public distraction.
She says people who care about those issues are paying attention to them.
BC NDP Leader John Horgan says the response’s timing did little to improve the ministry’s perception in the public eye.
“The government’s response is not to be open and transparent about it, it’s not to do thorough reviews of the deaths that are happening. It’s to hide behind what would be the busiest news day of the week. Doing it at 3 o’clock on the day of the federal election is cynical and calculated.”