Speaking on Public Eye Radio, children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond said she was disappointed neither the provincial New Democrats or the Liberals focused on child welfare issues during the recent election. But do social service providers also bear some of the responsibility for those issues not being raised on the campaign trail? "I think they're quite isolated from each other," said Ms. Turpel-Lafond, referring specifically to teachers, school counsellors, social workers and healthcare providers. "I meet with them and talk to them frequently and they're not happy about what they see around wait listing kids or not being able to serve the way they'd like to serve. They have innovative ideas and so on. Do they get heard? I'm not sure they get heard enough. But also, do they work together on these issues?"
"I've tried to bring them together on a few issues," she continued. "And I think there's still more work to be done there. Obviously, some of these groups are unionized. Some of their concerns are around their working conditions. But I'd like to get the focus on the kids. How are the kids doing? In addition to the issues of your working conditions, how are kids in poverty doing? Are they progressing in the education system? Are they getting their health needs met? Are they stable? Are they coming into contact with the justice system? Or are they actually coming on to be pro-social, strongly supported adults."