Yesterday, the provincial New Democrats distributed a news release chastising the government for not implementing the recommendations that came out of a coroner's inquest into the Peter Lee murders. We drew attention to the fact it was their first release specifically referencing those recommendations - coming 18 days after Solicitor General Kash Heed refused to commit additional funding toward that cause. But we got some push back from the New Democrats for penning that story.
In an email, caucus communications officer Mike Lowe stated children and family development critic Maurine Karaginais was at the provincial courthouse in-person "to be among the first to hear about the recommendations and respond to the media about it."
That's why the New Democrats didn't "issue a written press release at that time."
As a result, Mr. Lowe concluded we "must have missed" Ms. Karagianis's appearance, as well a December 31 opposition news release mentioning the recommendations.
To which we respond, no.
The party still didn't put a news release on the day of the inquest - an important tool for proactively getting the party's message out to media who may have not been at the courthouse.
As for the opposition's New Year's Eve news release, the coroner's jury's recommendations aren't brought up until its fifth paragraph.
The following is a complete copy of Mr. Lowe's email.
I noticed you posted our release on your website regarding the B.C. Liberals failure to commit to any of the recommendations from the jury in the coroner's inquest.
I felt it was important to let you know about some things you must have missed with regards to the New Democrat response to this issue. On December 18 when the recommendations were being delivered at the provincial courthouse, our Children and Families critic Maurine Karagianis was actually there in person to be among the first to hear about the recommendations and respond to the media about it. Maurine answered questions for media who were there in person, and she was clipped in several news stories that day and the next day, including on CFAX 1070 and CBC radio, and on CTV television.
Because we had issued a response in person, we did not issue a written press release at that time. However, on December 31 we did issue a release calling on the B.C. Liberals to make a New Year's resolution to end violence against women. In that release, we repeated our call for the government to commit to making the recommended changes from the jury, as well as recommendations issued by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in September.
Today we recognized a third opportunity to respond and did so. Rest assured, we will respond again, as the issue of domestic violence is critically important, and the B.C. Liberals have so far done nothing to fix the system.