Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What Do We Really Care About In B.C.......


......Bobsled Runs Or Our Kids?

You remember John Les don't you?

Mr. Les is the Solicitor General of British Columbia, who together with his boss, last year denied and denied and denied and denied and denied and denied that we had any problem investigating child deaths in this province*?

Well it seems that Mr. Les was happy to crank himself up and start spinning once again after a new Coroner's Report was released recently.

B.C.'s Solicitor General John Les said the coroner's service report signals the strong commitment to conduct thorough reviews of child deaths in British Columbia.

"This report is a part of a process that was completely endorsed by Ted Hughes and others, and I think it represents some good work, albeit somewhat late," he said. "Hopefully, it will contribute to the safety of children in British Columbia."

If one has been paying attention (see links above, or not, if you want to keep your blood from boiling) it is impossible not to be extremely angry about this, because Mr. Les and the man he works for, Gordon Campbell, created this problem in the first place due to their ideologically based cost-cutting, and now they are claiming to have fixed a problem they created without ever taking responsibility for the havoc they wreaked in the first place, for no good reason at all.

The report actually came out a couple of weeks ago. And it is so lame that I was too disgusted to even write about it.

Luckily, Paul Willcocks has.

VICTORIA - It took the Coroners Service three years to complete its first annual review of child deaths.That in itself indicates serious problems. The report, which offers only obvious and general recommendations, confirms how wrong things have gone.

The Coroners Service was supposed to take the lead in learning from child deaths after the Liberals eliminated the Children's Commission. Nothing would be lost, Premier Gordon Campbell promised.The coroner took over child death reviews in 2003. You might have expected a report in 2004, or maybe the next year. After all, they're important in helping save lives.

But only now has the first annual report appeared.

It offers seven recommendations, all glaringly obvious and all lacking useful detail. Kids should use car seats, or least be buckled in; they should learn to swim; guns should be kept locked up; and there should be meetings to talk about child suicide and the high death rate of aboriginal children. (The report did have one concrete recommendation, calling on health authorities to do more to teach parents about safe sleeping practices for infants.)


The report's weaknesses show how critical it is that the new Representative for Children and Youth get the mandate and budget to do the critical work needed. (Work has barely begun on setting the office up. There's no budget; the MLAs' committee that's to hire a representative has only met once.)

And that 'Representative For Children And Youth'?

Oh ya. That was something that Ted Hughes also recommended, in the strongest of terms, which is something else that Mr. Campbell's government previously scrapped for ideological reasons and/or to save a million or two.

Funny how Mr. Les didn't mention that.

But who really cares anyway?

After all, we've got Luge runs we need to build.

And stuff like that costs millions and millions and millions.

Which way to the shiny suits?

*Thank the goddess for Kathleen Stephany.


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