Something old, something borrowed

Earlier today, former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes released his independent review of the British Columbia's child protection system. The review, which is presently being reported on by length and breadth of the provincial press pack, makes a number of recommendations including the establishment of a "a new (all-party) standing committee on Children and Youth." Of course, this isn't the first time the idea of such a committee has been floated.

Back in February 24, 2000, when then Liberal Opposition leader Gordon Campbell addressed members of the Federation of Child and Family Services of British Columbia, he said "There will be a Children's Committee in the Legislature. It will meet and we will ask you to come and tell us what your experience's are, how we can help, the things that we can do that are explicit, that are direct. That will allow us to move forward on the agenda...So I think that is a way of establishing long term, basically public literacy about children and family issues and legislative responsibility for responding to them in a constructive and non-partisan way." That committee was never established.


Stan looked a bit frazled this evening. No sign of Gordo. Good for Ted. Too bad so many childrens files ended up in some storage.More than were admitted to by the Solicitor general. Too bad the system of Kith and Kin was rushed into place causing a child's death. Interesting to note that 12 of those cases are being reviewed now. A independent officer reporting to the Legislature is good news and a committee to thrash out the details. So maybe the Opposition figured it out long before the New Era gang who simply denied most everything.

Well Gordo over to you.Try spinning Ted's report at your peril.

That's really interesting. Can you tell us more?

The report is available at

Campbell's biggest problem in all of this is that as Leader of the Opposition he clearly demonstrated that he knows better. His actions in child welfare fell far, far short of his words and his negligence has caused untold damage. Hughes let him off easy.

It's a great relief to finally see some blunt, straight talk on the atrocious management of MCFD these past four years -- to finally have someone as credible as Hughes spell out the disastrous consequences of putting budget cuts ahead of young lives, and of relying on PR, spin and stubborn denial to cover up the horrible consequences.

What must be remembered, though, is that Hughes was only charged with looking at what went wrong in one part of MCFD, as a result of Sherry Charley's tragic death. The same disastrous management of MCFD's child protection section was applied to the Ministry's early childhood development and community living mandates (the latter now offloaded onto CLBC).

Make no mistake, adults with developmental disabilities, other chilren, youth and families outside of child protection have also paid a terrible price for mismanagement and they will continue to do so if we don't understand that what was true of child protection was true of the rest of the Ministry.

Thanks Ms. Steele.

Very important to remember, that.


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