Cancellation of child protection committee meetings is the worst form of politics

Octovber 2, 2015 (VICTORIA, BC)  – The B.C. Liberals have cancelled parliamentary meetings aimed at protecting vulnerable children, say the New Democrats.

“This is the worst kind of politics,” says New Democrat spokesperson for children and families Doug Donaldson.

“At a time when we’re seeing children’s lives tragically lost in care of this government, we should be doing everything we can to help turn things around,” said Donaldson.

“One of the upcoming meetings was to discuss with the children’s representative the well-publicized case of Paige, a child who died after failing to get the support she needed from the children’s ministry. But the B.C. Liberals are more pre-occupied with protecting the minister than protecting these kids. That’s despicable, and our kids, especially the most vulnerable, deserve much better than that.”

Legislative committee members were informed of the change late Thursday in a note from the clerk’s office that said “On behalf of the Chair, Jane Thornthwaite, [B.C. Liberal] MLA, I am writing to advise you that two upcoming meetings of the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, previously scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, 8:00 – 9:30 am and Wednesday, November 4, 9:00 -12:00 noon are cancelled.”

“The B.C. Liberals voted down a motion to call Minister of Children and Families Stephanie Cadieux before this very committee earlier this week, and now they’re unilaterally cancelling the meetings altogether,” said Donaldson. “It is inexcusable for this government to keep running from accountability at a time when British Columbians are struggling to understand how children in her government’s care have died.”

Donaldson said the excuse given by B.C. Liberal MLA Thornthwaite for cancelling the meetings was that the other B.C. Liberal MLAs had scheduling conflicts with other parliamentary committees at that time.

“That excuse is pure rubbish. There isn’t a single other parliamentary meeting scheduled for those days at all,” said Donaldson. “It’s a thinly veiled attempt to hide from accountability at a time of repeated child tragedy in this province under the B.C. Liberals’ watch.”