Weaver comments on the Representative for Children and Youth Report

February 06, 2017

VICTORIA B.C. – Today’s report by the Representative for Children and Youth, “Broken Promises: Alex’s Story”, tells the story of Alex, a youth under the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development who took his own life at age 18.

“The report speaks clearly of the gravity of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s failure to provide basic supports, in keeping with their duty under the law,” says Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head. “The Ministry denied Alex the chance to be taken care of by his extended family, and failed to provide him with desperately needed mental health services or the chance to find a meaningful connection to his culture.”

“It makes me sick to read that the government often referenced his ‘challenging behaviour’ as they cycled him through 17 placements, as if they were not complicit and aggravating all the challenges he faced.”

“That an abused and neglected 18-year old spent the last 49 days of his life in a hotel room, mostly alone, while the government waited for him to age out of care at age 19, is a horrific testament to the ways in which the Ministry is failing in its duty to protect and care for our most vulnerable children in BC”.

“The government’s subsequent news release claiming they intend to follow the report’s recommendations strikes me as horribly self congratulatory, considering many of the recommendations centre around the ministry neglecting to follow their own legislation to begin with. This isn’t something they should be telling us they plan to do, it has been their legal and moral responsibility to do so from the beginning.”

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