Representative's oversight role at risk?

Last week, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled the premier's office broke the government's own law by refusing to give the province's independent child protection watchdog unrestricted access to cabinet documents. But that won't stop government from continuing its efforts to marginalize Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and her office. The government has introduced legislation that, if passed, will take away Ms. Turpel-Lafond's unrestricted legal right to those documents. But an even greater concern for supporters of the children and youth representative could be just around the corner.

In the 2006 review that recommended the creation of Ms. Turpel-Lafond's office, former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes stated the representative should have the authority to "monitor, review, audit and investigate" the performance of the child welfare system. But he also stated that oversight role "may not always be necessary."

The reason: the ministry own's "performance measurement, quality assurance programs and public reporting" may be "sufficient to assure British Columbians that vulnerable children and youth are being protected as they should be."

So he also recommended that oversight role be given a second look in five years time. By law, the government will have an opportunity to do just that when the legislation comes up for review - in 2012 at the latest. And I'm betting the Liberals will take that opportunity - even though the ministry of children and family development is arguably in need of more oversight now than it was when Mr. Hughes completed his review.

4 Comments

High public confidence in Ms Turpel Lafond's ability to perform her role diligently and fairly - and the total lack of public confidence in the BC Liberals' ability to protect vulnerable children - will ensure that any attempt to weaken her role will be interpreted as failure on government's part.

TPTB would have to be pretty thick not to see that Ms Turpel Lafond offers the only hope they have of any redemption on this issue.

Given all that we've seen from this Ministry - and from an administration that before Ms Turpel Lafond's appointment seriously contemplated leaving children exposed to moderate sexual abuse to help finance their corporate tax cuts (until Michael Smyth outed them), no news will be widely read as meaning the worst possible news we could imagine.

It could, however, mean a lot more plain brown envelopes coming your way, Sean.

NAKED TRUTH
in Mr Hawthorne's brilliant comment RE:http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2010/05/14/CourtOrdered/

Government Mooches

Why does she want the records regarding children in a home of a relative? So that they can end that program (and have they have deliberately put children in homes where they know they will be abused)?
Get it through your heads people - The MCFD couldn't care less about children! That's why they rip them from their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, every day of the week. They aren't interested in reunification. They aren't interested in preserving families. They are interested in showing how powerful and mean the big, fat government is.
These are people who have serious issues, the so-called child protectors who see abuse everywhere, who are the worlds biggest hypocrites (like the foster parent in Saskatchewan who was named Foster Parent of the Year and later charged with sexually assaulting numerous foster children in his "care.")
If there truly is child abuse - treat it like a crime. Have the guilty party charged by the police. Get the evidence. But MCFD would be out of business in 24 hours if they had to adhere to due process. So instead they operate on the balance of probability. So easy to win, especially when the judge takes all they say as gospel, even when its outright perjury.
For those of you who think we need more social workers. You are wrong! We need to butt out and if we do anything, support parents who are poor, don't steal their children. The stupidity of people on this issue is truly astounding. You really think Turpel-Lafond or this judge have done anything for children? She and the other gov't mooches couldn't care less. They only want to LOOK good. If they get these records, and the records make the parents or relatives look bad - they've won! The extended family program will be toast. And that's EXACTLY what the MCFD wants.

I'm not Mr. Fisher, just so regulars and Sean knows. Link takes you to crazzzzy blog.

I'm sure Mr. Fisher raises valid points that MCFD needs reform. Perhaps he and the Min need a word.

To: the first and original Josef without surname:

kindly see in my crazzzzy blog that a man who, I strongly believe, is former Deputy Prosecutor of the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal and had lectured extensively on International Human Rights Law in various countries including the USA, Canada, Sweden, Bosnia, Cambodia and Indonesia, commented:

“If your goal is to get the bureaucrats to acknowledge their systematic errors, openly and completely, that is near impossible. In 2003, they wrote a letter which is as much an admission as I've ever seen that the department was wrong and the citizen right.”

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