The NDP government is prepared to introduce legislation this spring to begin making fixes to the child welfare system, Children Services Minister Danielle Larivee said Thursday.
But as Alberta’s child intervention panel met in Calgary for the first time, opposition MLAs on the committee are expressing frustration around the process.
The panel was created after revelations about the death of Serenity, who was in government care in 2014 when she died of a traumatic head injury suffered while living in a kinship care program with private guardians.
The police investigation into that case is now concluded and the file is in the hands of Crown prosecutors.
But Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon said the panel is being blocked by government members not only from examining the Serenity situation but any specific case files.
“I have serious questions about whether or not this panel is going to be able to come up with anything substantial to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Nixon told reporters outside the meeting held at Mahmawi-atoskiwin, an agency dedicated to helping vulnerable indigenous families.
“This group is going to be charged in a few weeks … with presenting recommendations on how to tackle the death review process, and we’re still not allowed to talk about specific cases that have been reviewed in the past … I find that ludicrous.”
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