Wasteland?

A "waste of scarce resources" - that's how Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak has described the children and youth representative's legal bid to force the government to give her access to confidential cabinet documents. The Campbell administration had wanted the representative to sign a protocol agreement prior to that happening, placing restrictions on the public release of the information in those documents. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond refused, asserting she has a legal right to the records. Government disagreed, introducing an amendment to make sure its opinion prevailed. And now the matter is before the courts.

Reacting to that news, the minister also downplayed the representative's need to access cabinet documents - which Ms. Turpel-Lafond has said essential to completing an audit of the government's child in the home of a relative program.

"In spite of the perception that she utilizes cabinet documents on a regular and ongoing basis, that's just not the case. Since 2006, she has only ever made one request to MCFD for cabinet-related materials."

The minister said that material was "provided to her. It was based on a historical initiative that was no longer relevant. But that cabinet material hasn't been utilized in any published reports."

That conflicts with what Attorney General Mike de Jong said last week, telling the media none of the representative's requests for such documents had been filled.

Meanwhile, the representative isn't responding to interview requests about her court action. Instead, her office distributed the following email.

***

May 4th, 2010

The Representative for Children and Youth today applied to the Court for an order directing the Government to comply with a request for Cabinet submissions related to the Children in the Home of a Relative Program.

The Representative will not be speaking publicly on the matter as it is before the Court for decision, but provides the following statement:

"I have applied to the Court for an order to compel Government compliance with their obligations under the Representative for Children and Youth Act. I remain open to discussions to resolve the issue, but have exhausted all other options to get the material necessary to complete an audit and review of a vital program that impacts close to 5,000 children and youth in B.C."
(Statement from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Representative for Children and Youth).

11 Comments

This from the same BC Liberals who were originally elected on a promise to fund autism treatment and then fought all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, spending tens of millions of tax dollars, to win the right to deny autism treatment to some of BC's most challenged kids!

And this from the Minister who then cancelled said Autism treatment programs to save a measly $1.5 million this year, while saddling BC taxpayers with hundreds of millions in future costs!

What a hypocritical fool!

So who's lying, Polakite? Polak or Dejong? Did Turpel-Lafond get the documents or not?

Amature hour at MCFD continues...

Five points this morning before I vacation w/ some relatives of mine:

1) There is a protocol for releasing these docs. Judge Turpel-Lafond didn't sign it so now she's going to posture for the Thursday night Voice of BC and run to the courts. I wish she'd cancel the appointment, quite frankly.

2) There will be some that argue cabinet confidentiality should go the way of the telegraph. Legit point, but guess what? 2001, BC Premier Gordon Campbell decides to try Open Cabinet meetings... and they fail. Miserably. No real debate, total joke to the Rockpile Press Corps and just another way to massage the message(s) of the week.

3) In Mary Polak We Trust, In Sean Holman We Verify. That's my position and I'm sticking to it.

4) Judge Turpel-Lafond didn't get and hasn't gotten the docs she wanted because she wants to leak them, which is totally inappropriate (see 2).

5) To fellow BCLib fans... let's get out there. Time to start getting some balance in these comment threads. Thanks.

"Judge Turpel-Lafond didn't get and hasn't gotten the docs"

So Polak is the Liar?

"To fellow BCLib fans... let's get out there."

Josef, I don't think you're going to get much help. With BC Liberals mired in scandal and sinking like a stone in the polls there's not many people willing to admit they voted for these guys – let alone defend them.

But have a good vacation and get some rest because as sole member of the BC Liberals World Fan Club you'll have your work cut out for you.

I suppose Precious Princess Polak knows something about wasting resources, back from her Surrey schoolboard lawsuit...
It's funny (and a bit disheartening) how opposition parties are all about accountability and external watchdogs until such time as they get in power - the current folks seem h@ll-bent on de-fanging all their external watchdogs.

I think at this point it is important to remember why, precisely, Mr. Campbell's government was forced to appoint a 2nd independent child/youth watchdog after it had already fired the first one.

OK?


.

As usual, instead of spending precious funds on protecting children at risk, Polehack and DingDong decide to continue to waste resources on covering their tracks.

I have never respected Mary Polak, but she has reached disgusting and disturbingly new depths.

Why is it that the mouthy Vancouver School Board trustees are audited at the snap of a finger, yet the sole person responsible for defending the defenseless has to, yet again, take this government to court for answers.

There is a silver lining- at least with Josef gone some decent dialogue can be had.

Oh, dialogue Buck? You need two sides to it. Two sides or more, quite frankly.

I'm back. Partially because I was ill with a twitchy nose. Partially since a hero of mine needed an advocate.

Oh and CB? I meant the current doc crisis, not the past one Min Polak resolved herself.

Buck, there is no dialogue w/o two sides - or other sides to an argument. Your visciousness is quite evident and between getting ill late this morning and then firing up the computer to find out the incivility has increased, I'm back.

Let's be clear here - Judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond could have had the answers she wanted, provided she respected cabinet confidentiality. There are many financial and legal and yes, political reasons why there's cabinet confidentiality. Every assistant to cabinet has to agree to uphold that, why should this Judge get a special exception to the rules?

As to docs - Judge Turpel-Lafond got the first batch since MCFD Min Mary Polak made a deal, I understand. This current second batch will require the protocol.

Let's stick to the issues everyone and leave personalities out of this, okay? Thanks.

Let's leave "personalities" out of this!

Polakatie, buddy, how soon you forget. You're the same guy who promotes Mary (million dollar debtor) Polak for being 'hot' and you talk about personalities?

Nice.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has a reputation (and about 5,000 children to protect) - nothing similar can be said of Polak.

This is a government that has not yet met a promise it didn't break!! Go back to the terms of reference for the Rep's office - if we didn't have her as a watchdog BC children would even worse off than they are.
Wasting scarce resourcees eh! That's rich coming from the BC Libs who can waste/reduce/slash scarce resources better than anyone else!

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