Friday, February 24, 2006

We Didn't Do Anything Wrong....


Well, British Columbia's (anything but) independent child, family and youth (supposed) advocate Jane Morley has reached her verdict.

Dirk Meisner from CP has this report:

Victoria — British Columbia's Child and Youth Officer says a case review of a toddler's death was not a conspiracy and cover-up, but a story of organizational failure.

In a 77-page report on the case review, Jane Morley addresses why the Ministry of Children and Family Development changed the terms of reference of its review into the death of Sherry Charlie and why it took almost three years to complete......


....Ms. Morley said it took so long because of “periods of minimal productive work,” the frequent turnover of managers, uncertainty over who was in charge of the case review and the fixed election date.

She said she found no indication of efforts to delay the case review because of last May's election, but its release was suspended during the election period from April 19 to June 16.

“The disturbing observation remains that the provincial election need not have been a factor, were it not for all the avoidable delay that happened long before April 19, 2005,” the report said.

Ms. Morley said the report went through as many as 25 draft versions before it became public.

Which has us wondering.....why only 77 pages?

After all, we figure that a whitewash this thick could use at least a nice round jumbo jet number like, say, 777 pages.

As an added bonus, Ms. Morley's current boss has chosen to start shooting messengers:

Children's Minister Stan Hagen said he agreed with Ms. Morley's finding that the report took too long.

Mr. Hagen was critical of Nicholas Simons, who was hired by the ministry on a contract basis to do the director's case review.

Mr. Simons, elected last May as a first-time New Democrat MLA, was working as the director of another aboriginal child welfare agency when he was asked to do the review in 2002.

“Could we have chosen a better reviewer?” said Mr. Hagen. “Probably.”

Now, we understand that it's important for Mr. Hagen to take every possible opportunity to smack down uppity rookies over on the opposition benches. Which would be fine, as far as it goes, if that was all there is to it. But is this not the same Mr. Simons that was not allowed to speak at last week's Coroner's Inquest because his name was struck from the witness list at the last minute, as reported by Sean Holman at Public Eye?

And if, indeed, this is the same Mr. Simons we call 'codswallop!' because you, Mr. Hagen, are innoculating against the day he speaks out.

And you, and now we, both know it.


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