October 17, 2017

NDP ignore advice of Child and Youth Advocate, vote down motion to study regulations related to protecting children

The NDP members of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices today voted down a motion by United Conservative MLA Glenn van Dijken to have the Committee comply with a request from the Child and Youth Advocate to consider, review, and approve draft Regulations related to the Child and Youth Advocate Act and Child Protection and Accountability Act before they are finalized.

The motion read:

“Mr. Van Dijken to move that the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices request that the Ministry of Children’s Services provide copies to the committee of draft regulations that have been prepared pursuant to the amendments to the Child and Youth Advocate Act that were included in the Child Protection and Accountability Act [Bill 18, 2017].”

The defeat of the motion has led to questions about the NDP government’s willingness to strengthen regulations related to the protection of Alberta’s children in an independent manner.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the NDP members of the Legislative Offices committee chose to shirk responsibility of reviewing Regulations, when it was a request specifically requested by the Child and Youth Advocate,” van Dijken said. “Their claim that the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention would be the best avenue for this review is wrong.”

The Panel is in the midst of a lengthy review of the current child intervention system, and is based on a consensus model, not a traditional Parliamentary committee. Legislative Offices Committee Member and Panel Member Jason Nixon said that as a member of both the Committee and Panel, he can’t understand why the NDP members voted down the motion.

“When we should have been putting the needs of Alberta’s children first, the NDP committee members instead chose to vote down this important motion,” Nixon said. “We have an opportunity to carefully review these important regulations, and the last thing Alberta’s kids need is more hesitation.”