Less politics, more action needed on child care deaths

Recently, media reports exposed a disturbing and heartbreaking story. Documents show, since 1999, the Alberta government failed to report

Recently, media reports exposed a disturbing and heartbreaking story. Documents show, since 1999, the Alberta government failed to report 89 deaths of children in provincial care and then barred parents from speaking publicly about them.

Since this issue was first made public, Wildrose has been steadfast: Alberta needs a full, public inquiry to find out why children are tragically perishing in provincial care and to determine how future deaths can be prevented.

This issue is uncomfortable. It’s dark. It’s sensitive. Thus, opposition MLAs from all parties have joined forces in the spirit of non-partisanship to request the PC government launch a full, public inquiry into the deaths of children in care.

“Let me be clear,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said in an emotional plea to the legislature Monday. “This is not a partisan issue.”

Indeed, this is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of who we are as people – of honesty, of accountability, of basic human values.

If children are dying in provincial care, we must know why.

A full public inquiry, and nothing less, is how we get to the bottom of this issue. Albertans have questions – and this will provide answers.

Unfortunately, however, calls for an inquiry have been met with insensitivity and inaction from the PC government. At first, Human Services Minister Dave Hancock tried to say the number of unreported deaths in the system was “not significant.” Officials in the Premier’s Office called public outrage over the deaths “dribble.” Their latest tactic has been to attack the media outlets that broke the story.

All the while, they’ve refused to call a public inquiry. They’ve instead announced they will hold a roundtable discussion on the matter, a positive step to be sure. But only a public inquiry with a broad mandate and judicial oversight can get to the bottom of it.

This is the problem: A government in power for too long loses touch with real-world problems. Most would agree a one-day roundtable discussion down won’t solve this problem. But after 43 years in power, the PC government believes it is the answer, causing ongoing frustration and disappointment for those seeking real solutions.

Wildrose fears the PC government is putting its own interests in front of the interests of children in care. The fact is the government fought the release of this story in for four years. The truth finally came out, and now, Albertans have more questions than answers.

To be clear, this issue is neither about politics nor is it about partisanship – It’s about doing the right thing.

It’s time for the PC government do the right thing, put aside their personal hesitations and call for a full public inquiry into child care deaths immediately.

What do you think? Please contact me at RimbeyRockyMountainHouseSundre@assembly.ab.ca or (403) 630-5025 and let me know!


Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Most Read