Hughes mediation successful

Ted Hughes has resolved the dispute over the children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's access to cabinet documents, Public Eye has learned. The government had earlier introduced legislation stripping Ms. Turpel-Lafond of her unrestricted right to those documents. But now Mr. Hughes has announced that legislation is "no longer required," with the representative and a senior government member scheduled to sign a "protocol that meets and respects the needs of both parties." The following is a complete copy of a statement from the former conflict of interest commissioner announcing that development.

"To Premier, Representative for Children and Youth, Leader of Opposition and Press Gallery:

I am pleased to report that the mediation process has resulted in a successful resolution of the issue respecting the confidentiality of cabinet documents that the representative for children and youth may review.

Today, a senior member of government and the representative will sign a protocol that meets and respects the needs of both parties.

As a result, no amendments to the Representative for Children and Youth Act will be required.

I would like to thank both the government and the representative for children and youth for the co-operative and accommodating spirit which they both brought to the table.

Over recent days, legal counsel for each of them, assistant deputy attorney general Richard Fyfe, QC, for the government and Frank Falzon, QC, for the representative, have worked tirelessly and with imaginative ingenuity in order to arrive at the accomplishment that I announce today."

11 Comments

Congrats to MCFD Min Mary Polak, who has clearly won this dispute.

She wanted a protocol, she got it.

She wanted to honor her oath which is:

I,______________________, affirm that I will keep confidential all matters dealt with in the Executive Council, and I will not disclose any of the same to any person other than a Member of the Executive Council except as authorized by it or as required in the lawful discharge of my duties as a Member of the Executive Council.

That's Min. Mary Polak, MLA's problem with disclosing cabinet documents, end of.

Ted Hughes makes the announcement of a negotiation between the Representative and the office of the Attorney General. The agreement is that the documents needed by the Representative will be provided to the Representative.

Seems that the Children and Family Ministry got pushed to the sidelines on this issue. You can bet this face-saving diversion took thousands out of budget that should have been used for client services.

Not a proud moment nor the first time that Polak and her deputy du Toit have experienced egg on their faces.

Yawn. More of the same tedious drivel from Josef. This stuff serves to diminish her credibility Jofef, not bolster it.

Josef, you really believe what you're saying? It wasn't about her not disclosing cabinet discussions and upholding some oath. I from a reputable media source that it was info put together for cabinetr by the Ministry of Children and Families that they didn't want to share.

Karen, I think having my side versus Norm makes for an interesting comparison. I notice Norm doesn't acknowledge the inconvenient fact of the oath of cabinet confidentiality.

"as required in the lawful discharge of my duties"

Enough said.

Name your media source? The Tyee? Georgia Straight? The Democrat?

Oh and Norm, you are so wrong. Who are you to decide lawful versus the counsel to the Premier + a Minister who's been a Minister for two years and a former school board member + small business COO?!?

Bottom line: Minister Polak got what she wanted all along - a protocol that protects cabinet confidentiality while disclosing information to a public servant/bureaucrat of the Legislature.

I don't think Precious Princess Polak got what she wanted all along - what she wants is to be BC's version of Sarah Palin (shudder).

Josef, the act stated the children's advocate had a right to those papers (there's your law) and "who" has the right to decide what is lawful?? The judge. It takes a true leader to admit they were wrong. Instead, we were told government would change the rules anyway, retroactive no less. Only reason we have that protocol is because Hughes stepped in, otherwise the legislation change would have been rammed through. Hughes sat with the children's advocate in court, so she obviously had a big hand in bringing him into this. Stop trying to make a super hero here. It's not the moment. Put the spotlight back where it belongs. On KIDS.

Thanks for writing Anon. The judge you refer to only decided on a set of docs, not all docs going forward. It took mediation by legal professionals, a commitment to kids by both MCFD Min Polak & advocate Turpel-Lafond and before you start grousing about Min Polak holding back documents, see 1st comment. The deal that's been reached allows for safeguards and yes, for the kids a shudder because yes there can be a bit of a veto - something Turpel-Lafond did not want to hand over.

Oh and no-goodnick, I prefer Mary Polak's musically trained voice and fast wit plus on-tap aggression to the syrupy Palin twang and charm. That's about all your comment deserves in reply.

Off hot.

Isn't it a shame that an outsider was needed to encourage them to follow the law. Liberal backbenchers need to examine their own principles and develop some backbone. You guys would make this government do the right thing if you were worthy of respect.

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