Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, tabled her final report on Oct. 24.
She proved to be bright and thorough in her critique of government failure to fulfill its responsibilities to B.C.’s children and youth, consistently speaking truth to power and discomforting those in power.
Turpel-Lafond served under Premiers Campbell and Clark and four Ministers of Children and Family Development, the last four years under Stephanie Cadieux.
Despite her successes, Turpel-Lafond believes more could have been accomplished had Cadieux actually done her job.
Turpel-Lafond helped reduce the number of children in care from 11,000 to 7,000 over 10 years, but believes a reduction to 4,000 was possible had Cadieux “brought more spirit of change.”
Turpel-Lafond stated “At times I felt there was a spirit of retaliation towards me” and that she was treated as “a member of the opposition and intentionally targeted me in that regard to destabilize my work,” unconscionable conduct by Minister Cadieux, condoned by Premier Clark.
Cadieux seeks to represent the voters of Surrey South this spring. She will no doubt promise to represent us to the best of her ability, just as she promised to protect B.C.’s vulnerable children and youth to the best of her ability, but didn’t.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.