Child and Youth Advocate legislation way overdue; must be priority
The NDP critic for Children, Seniors and Social Development says the province’s Child and Youth Advocate has waited too long for legislation promised first by the former Conservative government, agreed on by the entire House of Assembly, highlighted in last December’s ministerial mandate letters, and promised again in the Speech from the Throne.
St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers says it is shameful that government is still not providing the advocate with the information she needs, despite her years of formal requests for mandatory reporting legislation.
“When the Liberals were in Opposition, Dwight Ball brought a private member’s motion into the House of Assembly urging the immediate adoption of this legislation. All three parties voted in support of that,” Rogers said.
“The PCs started work, but didn’t get the legislation completed. The Liberals have said it is important, but in the full year they’ve been in office, I have seen no sign that they are actually doing anything to make this legislation happen. They certainly did not introduce it in the spring sitting.”
Rogers says the Child and Youth Advocate’s work helps prevent the repetition of critical incidents or deaths of children or youth, and she must be given accurate and timely information.
“The Advocate says this amendment would give us one of the most progressive legislations in Canada and allow her to further fulfill her mandate as Child and Youth Advocate,” said Rogers.
“Those are two goals we should definitely be striving for. It is inexcusable that government has not yet introduced the legislation.”