We residents of Surrey South have been informed by the powers that be in Victoria that the Honourable Minister for Children and Family Development, Stephanie Cadieux, is to be our next representative in the B.C. Legislature.
This will be Ms. Cadieux’s third constituency, having previously represented Surrey-Panorama and Surrey-Cloverdale. Dare I ask whether we really want this person to represent us? Ms. Cadieux’s record is nothing but one horrific catastrophe after another. The wait list for help from this key ministry is nine months – double that if you are aboriginal.
These are children in crisis. In the past, the Plecas Report pointed out the Ministry is hopelessly short-staffed. It is still short-staffed. Does Ms. Cadieux care? These are our children whose lives are being neglected.
In the 2015-16 fiscal year alone there have been no less than 530 critical injuries, 112 incidents of attempted suicide reported and 90 deaths.
Isabella Wiens, Patricia Evoy, Alex Gervais, a girl the ministry refers to only as Paige, and many others have died under the minister’s watch. Children are taken out of their families and expected to live alone and unsupported in hotel rooms. Are the suicides and accidents a surprise?
For weeks now we have read stories about a three-year-old Metis girl ripped away from her loving foster parents and sent to Ontario.
And a few days ago we learned that more than 112 children in the government’s care were victims of “sexualized violence,” often by the foster parent. The minister was not heard from, but someone in her department said something about giving it some thought. Not good enough.
This woman’s neglect of the most vulnerable members of our society is a reflection on all of us. I, for one, will not be supporting her and I urge others to follow suit.