A perplexing message

Two dramatically different versions of the relationship between the ministry of children and family development and its watchdog emerged today. In one version, the ministry has stopped directly responding to the children and youth representative's recommendations. Instead, the ministry will only respond to those recommendations through a committee of MLAs responsible for children and youth issues. At least, that's what the representative, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, told that committee this morning. But, speaking with reporters following Ms. Turpel-Lafond's presentation, Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak said that wasn't the case. In fact, she repeatedly said she was "perplexed" by Ms. Turpel-Lafond's statements - leaving reporters trying to figure out who and what to believe.

But what we know is that, in the past, the ministry has been uncooperative with the representative, according to correspondence obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request. We also know this is just the latest example of the troubled relationship that exists between the ministry and the representative. And it now seems a change in the political leadership of the department has done little to calm that trouble.

5 Comments

Well happy that you got the Rockette on the air. I take her word as the same as gold and I was watching the facial reactions to see if there was a lie and/or a script, nope. Clearly Mary's in command of the facts and this is the Mary I feel I know too much about. If there's facts to the contary, Mary Ellen knows your e-mail address Sean.

That said, Mary, you really need to plug in the burner. Perhaps time to buy all 'em staffers some jet fuel and passion. Tell them that either they work/play at your level or outta there, especially when there's talent in the free agent/layoff bin.

The Minister of course can clear this up with no trouble at all.

Simply produce all the documents she mentioned in her response to the media and a copy of her calendar that shows all the meetings she's had with the Representative for Children and Youth.

I imagine that her capable staff is more than able to produce that by the end of the day, can they not??

W. Kyle makes an obvious point. I'm perplexed as to why the Minister would allow her Ministry to be unfairly bad-mouthed, as she claims, if all she had to do was produce the responses in question.

And I'm even more perplexed as to why she would expect the media to simply take her word over that of the independent watchdog, especially when she should know that said media already have in hand past evidence supporting similar complaints from the watchdog against her ministry in the past.

dawn, good points. However, this is THE Mary Polak with the integrity to stare down her senior constituents, tell them no easy ride and she'll help - and she did (SOURCE).

Give Mary Polak a chance, will ya? The press obviously does.

Dawn - Sadly the obvious (like the vitality of the EIBI program to the families it serves or the dire situation of child poverty in BC) seem to be lost on this Government, and in particular this Minister.

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