The opposition continues to hammer the Ministry for Children and Family Development over emails that shows it intentionally moved it’s response to a report into a young woman’s death to the day of last year’s federal election.
Paige was the young woman who died of a drug overdose on the Downtown Eastside after aging out of government care, and has come to symbolise the system’s failure to protect young people in that situation.
Minister Stephanie Cadieaux has so far failed to explain those emails.
But Opposition House leader Mike Fanworth has stopped short of asking Cadieux to resign …
“I think that she’s got to go back to her ministry and to change policies and the premier needs to change those policy changes, and that’s what’s going to happen in this point in time.”
Despite being in the hot seat herself, Farnworth says Cadieux today slammed the opposition in the legislature for not asking questions.
“Which was, I said in my response, that was one of the most pathetic responses I’ve seen in my 20 years as an MLA … I can assure the Minister and the Premier that the opposition will be asking lots of questions.”
Cadieux was scheduled to appear on the Simi Sara show today to respond to the issue, but pulled out last minute – according to her staff because “she was no longer interested.”
A “cynical calculation” – so says B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, talking about the Ministry releasing its response to the death of Paige on Federal election day.
A “cynical calculation,” is how B.C.’s children’s watchdog is characterizing the news.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond made the comments after reading newly-released emails, showing the decision to release the response on Federal election day was a last minute one, and over concerns and confusion of some staff in the Ministry.
“No one would know about Paige’s life if we hadn’t done that report, that investigation, and the energy that went into making that go away, if that energy could have gone into actually addressing the needs of kids living in SRO’s, in tent cities, and in hotels, we could have seen a very different outcome.”
Turpel-Lafond says she is not surprised.
“There is a group of public servants who are paid as public servants, yet it would appear to me that they’re mandate is a political mandate, and I deal with people who are responsible for Children’s services and then in turn, everything that they do gets filtered through this class of people to suit perhaps a political agenda. Yet those people are also public servants.”
Paige was the young aboriginal woman who died of a drug overdose on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, shortly after aging out of government care.
In her troubled life, she had 30 child-protection reports dating back nearly to her birth.