VICTORIA— New Democrats are demanding answers from the Christy Clark government following reports that children involved with the Ministry of Children and Family Development were staying at a known drug den in Prince George.
“The Christy Clark government has starved our child protection system to the point where children across the province are being left in danger and left to fend for themselves,” said New Democrat children and families spokesperson Doug Donaldson.
“The minister of children and family development needs to be accountable for failing to protect these children. She needs explain how it’s possible that children known to her ministry were frequenting a drug den littered with over 10,000 needles.”
Donaldson noted the circumstances are similar to those faced by Paige, a young girl whose life and death was chronicled in a report from the Representative for Children and Youth.
“The B.C. Liberal government knew that Paige was living in dangerous circumstances and being exposed to drug and alcohol abuse, yet they left her to fend for herself,” said Donaldson. “Now we see children in Prince George exposed to the same kinds of dangers that cut Paige’s life short.
“I’m concerned Premier Christy Clark hasn’t learned from Paige’s life and death – and is leaving other children to suffer like she suffered.”
Donaldson noted that the ministry hasn’t been forthcoming about what services these children were or were not receiving from the ministry. Local police say that the ministry was informed about children frequenting the drug den, and Representative for Children and Youth raised concerns that children were not getting services from the ministry because of a lack of appropriate homes.
“Whether these children were in care or not, it’s clear they weren’t getting the help and attention they needed and deserved,” said Donaldson.
“The minister needs to explain why her ministry wasn’t there for these children.”