British Columbia's new child and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is getting a vote of confidence from fellow independent legislative officer Kim Carter, Canada's former chief military judge. In an interview with Public Eye, the ombudsman explained she's met Ms. Turpel-Lafond a number of times "on the judicial circuit. In fact, the last time was in Winnipeg at a meeting with the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges. And she was doing presentation on children with fetal alcohol syndrome - because she's done a lot of work with them in Saskatoon as a judge. I think she's an excellent choice. She really has a long-term commitment to children. And I think, particularly, she's worked with vulnerable aboriginal children in her current position and has been quite creative in some of her attempts to solve problems."
The ombudsman also praised Ms. Turpel-Lafond's for her decision to take a leave of absence from the Saskatchewan judiciary - allowing her to return to the bench if necessary. "She doesn't have to be thinking of what's going to happen afterwards. And I think that's always useful. Because you have to have people in these kinds of positions who are not looking for reappointment or appointment somewhere else. That's what makes you independent and allows you to do the job properly. So she's got that ability."