Report highlights 15 years of B.C. Liberal child welfare failures

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(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

VICTORIA— A report out today shows that the Christy Clark government is failing Indigenous children, says B.C. New Democrat children and families spokesperson Melanie Mark.

The report, Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness, Reunification, from Root causes to Root Solutions contains 85 recommendations aimed at addressing the treatment and the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system.

“Christy Clark has chosen to underfund and ignore B.C.’s child welfare system for years, despite recommendations from the former B.C. Representative for Children and Youth. This report underscores that Indigenous children have paid the price for her choices,” said Mark.

“The Christy Clark government has systematically discriminated against Indigenous children, refusing their families services that would keep them together, failing to protect their right to be connected with their culture, and refusing to work with communities to keep children safe.”

B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan says that after five years of refusing to do the right thing on Indigenous child welfare, Christy Clark can’t be trusted past the next election.

“For five years Christy Clark has been in charge. For five years she has been flailing in the wind on child welfare issues,” said Horgan.

“Now, after repeatedly denying the problems that exist, she wants the public to believe that she’s going to fix the problems that her government caused and do right by Indigenous families?”

Mark noted that a key theme in the report was the need to accept and implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, neither of which has been accepted in full by the Christy Clark government.

“The fact that Christy Clark won’t accept the Truth and Reconciliation Commission or the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples shows that she can’t be trusted to take real action to improve the mess that her government has made,” said Mark.