Wednesday, December 14, 2016

----Silence is complicit ----Mdm. Marie-Claude Landry Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission ---Opposition House Leader Nathan Cooper said it was “more than a little disappointing” not to have heard from government. “Yesterday … the minister of human services said in the house that they reached out or were reaching out, none of which has transpired,” he said. “It’s a little bit frustrating to be accused of playing politics when the government is saying one thing and doing another.” -meanwhile the non-elite suffer / they die in their hovels of starvation and beatings

December 13

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all the politicians make hay
while the children die
they stand before the citizens    while
the orange crush folks ignore them
we watch the proceedings in disbelief
wondering how on earth
these ordinary folks ever became kings and queens

all the politicians make hay
while the children die
the children are simple props
for the staging of media events
we watch the procession of the actors
on the stage of politics
and add up the numbers   surely we have reached 800 children dead?

all the politicians make hay
while the children die
is common sense absent in this matter?
can't they simply use the evidence of these endless fatalities?
there is a failure to do the work properly
and then there are these cover up lies
we understand how it works now   the GOA is a simple spin machine


all the politicians make hay
while the children die
and when the day is over and they all go home
their children are safe and snug
they thank their luck at having escaped such calamities
meanwhile the non-elite suffer
they die in their hovels of starvation and beatings



The Book Of Love - Martin Kerr (Cover) Live at the Citadel Theatre

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/12/14/no-answer-from-province-on-child-intervention-panel

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http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/12/14/no-answer-from-province-on-child-intervention-panel

NEWS ALBERTA

No answer from province on child intervention panel


BY EMMA GRANEY

FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2016 01:08 PM MST | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2016 02:35 PM MST

Irfan SabirHuman Services Minister Irfan Sabir said he won't be resigning. (Greg Southam/Postmedia)

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The Official Opposition says it’s yet to hear anything from the government about an alternate framework for the child intervention review panel.


Embattled Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir announced the panel last week in response to demands for his resignation over his handling of the file of Serenity, a four-year-old First Nations girl who died in 2014 while in government care.


On Tuesday, opposition parties banded together in an unusual show of solidarity, saying the panel announced by Sabir lacked teeth and would delay taking action to improve the system.


They proposed an alternate framework, which included implementing the recommendations of past reviews, ensuring the panel’s work is in public and recorded in Hansard, and removing Sabir from the panel so he can be grilled about his department.


The government was expected to have an answer to the opposition parties Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but as of noon Wednesday, there was still no word.


Opposition House Leader Nathan Cooper said it was “more than a little disappointing” not to have heard from government.


“Yesterday … the minister of human services said in the house that they reached out or were reaching out, none of which has transpired,” he said.


“It’s a little bit frustrating to be accused of playing politics when the government is saying one thing and doing another.”


Still, Cooper remained hopeful the opposition parties and government can come to an agreement.


“Under the right circumstances I’m sure we can find a way to make this effective, but the government needs to be willing to start talking,” he said.


egraney@postmedia.com


twitter.com/EmmaLGraney

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No answer to the incompetence of the GOA. This spinning machine just run out of yarn.

The Official Opposition says it’s yet to hear anything from the government about an alternate framework for the child intervention review panel.Embattled Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir announced the panel last week in response to…
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http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/alberta-opposition-boycotts-panel-on-children-in-care-says-panel-lacks-teeth


Alberta opposition boycotts panel on children in care; says panel lacks teeth

DEAN BENNETT, THE CANADIAN PRESS

More from Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Published on: December 13, 2016 | Last Updated: December 13, 2016 7:13 PM MST

Office of The Child and Youth Advocate's Del Graff poses for a photo after attending the National Child Day conference hosted by the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 16615 - 109 Ave., in Edmonton on Saturday Nov. 19, 2016. Photo by David Bloom

Office of The Child and Youth Advocate's Del Graff poses for a photo after attending the National Child Day conference hosted by the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 16615 - 109 Ave., in Edmonton on Saturday Nov. 19, 2016. Photo by David Bloom

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EDMONTON — An Alberta legislature panel looking at ways to keep children safe in government care has morphed into a standoff between parties on both sides of the aisle.

Leaders of the four opposition parties said Tuesday they will boycott the panel unless Premier Rachel Notley’s government gives it the tools to get at the root of the problem.

They also said the minister in charge, Irfan Sabir, needs to excuse himself from the panel because some recent problems are tied to him.

“Essentially the minister is on trial here and he’s part of the judge and jury the way the government has designed (the panel),” said Progressive Conservative interim leader Ric McIver.

“It’s all unacceptable. Why meet if you’re not going to do anything?”

Earlier Tuesday, the opposition leaders sent a list of changes they believe are needed for the panel to have the necessary authority and credibility.

The changes include a commitment to an open process and protection for those who come forward from being punished in the workplace for speaking out.

They also want Sabir to testify.

The leaders, and NDP deputy government house leader Deron Bilous, said they haven’t closed the door on negotiations.

“We’re trying to work with the government here,” said Wildrose Leader Brian Jean.

Bilous, however, said the panel will begin its work soon, with or without the opposition.

Sabir and Notley announced the panel on Dec. 1 after it was revealed through Postmedia reports and the child and youth advocate that there had been little action for two years on the death of a four-year-old girl named Serenity.

The girl died while in the care of extended family members. She was sent to hospital with severe brain trauma and signs of violent physical and sexual abuse. She was also extremely malnourished and weighed just 18 pounds.

Child advocate Del Graff reported that warning signs of maltreatment were investigated and dismissed, and that after Serenity’s horrific injury her siblings told authorities she was routinely hit.

Sabir promised action when the issue became public late last month. But opposition members are now calling for him to resign after he admitted last week that after his promise it took another two weeks for Mounties to get access to the government’s electronic file on Serenity.

Sabir, with Notley’s backing, is refusing to quit the human services portfolio. He has said there is much work to do and he is committed to doing it.

The panel is to meet in the coming weeks to devise rules that can be put into law by the spring on strengthening death reviews for children in care. It is also to look at longer-term problems in child welfare and make recommendations later next year on how to fix them.

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark said previous inquiries have made recommendations for improvements that could be made immediately.

“This happened on the NDs’ watch. They have failed to implement recommendations made by panel after panel,” said Clark.

Liberal Leader David Swann said it’s difficult to boycott the panel, but added: “If we don’t do it well, we’re going to have a repeat of what we’ve seen in the past.”

The New Democrats, while in opposition, were highly critical of Progressive Conservative governments for lack of accountability and transparency in the deaths of children in care.

Notley, in the house during question period Tuesday, suggested opposition members are trying to sabotage the panel by delivering unreasonable last-minute demands such as focusing on cases solely during the NDP’s term in office.

“They suggested the minister should be called to testify and put on trial,” said Notley.









Braid: Even the Serenity case won't crack government cult of secrecy

Published on: December 8, 2016 | Last Updated: December 8, 2016 6:58 PM MST
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Finally, somebody got to the crux of little Serenity’s death, shouting,  “THIS CASE IS CLEARLY CRIMINAL!” above the legislature waffling and wiggling.
That was Wildrose MLA David Hanson, incandescent with rage, like every other opposition member in the house on Thursday.
The Serenity saga is sickening. The government’s performance has been chaotic, negligent beyond precedent, and either duplicitous or ignorant. The details are now so overlaid with obfuscation that it’s almost impossible to know.
MLA Hanson, from Lac La Biche-St. Paul, brought us back to the ugly reality that a major crime has been committed, so far with no hint of justice.
If a four-year-old child is brutalized and starved, the least of the charges you’d expect is manslaughter, or criminal negligence causing death.
There would even be something as basic as an autopsy report, don’t you think?
For Serenity there are no charges and no information from police, even though she died more than two years ago, on Sept. 27 2014.
The autopsy report was completed only recently. A report from the human services department on her death was given to the RCMP only last week!
The government now implies that the Mounties didn’t get around to downloading the report for another six days. But the force has apparently been talking to human services about it since September.
Why do the police have to ask the government for an internal report on the death of a child, to the point of submitting a formal request? Why doesn’t the government just give it to them?
The answers are buried in the labyrinth of Alberta’s child care system, surely one of the most secretive government operations in Canada. It resists all efforts at deep reform. Right at the time Serenity died, a major study was issued, but very little has been done.
Now the legislature is engulfed with charges and countercharges over who gave what, to whom, over the past months.
That’s entirely beside the point. Nothing happened until Postmedia columnist Paula Simons broke the story on Nov. 18. Everything since has been reaction to that. We’re entitled to conclude that if details of Serenity’s case hadn’t been published, silence and inaction would persist.
The cult of secrecy is supposed to protect siblings of victims, but there’s no evidence it shields anything but government departments that make massive blunders like the ones leading to Serenity’s death. Care workers failed to check in on this family for the crucial months before she died, despite ample signs of trouble.
NDP members were silent and morose on Thursday. One of them — former children’s services worker Nicole Goehring — pointedly said to Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir, “Most autopsy reports take a few days. This took two years. Why?”
Sabir, as usual, had a lot of detailed answers, all of which ignore the two-year lapse since Serenity’s death.
Could any of this happen because she was a First Nations child whose death and identity may be kept secret, by law? Quite possibly.
Would there be such secrecy if a child on your street died after being starved and brutalized? Not a chance.
Serenity had widespread injuries, to her head, anus and genitals. Her hymen was gone. Severely hypothermic, she had dwindled from normal size down to 18 lbs, the weight of a nine-month old baby.
Serenity could have been saved in the months before she died. Failing that, justice might at least have honoured her memory.
Sabir now refuses to resign and promises — guess what? — an all-party committee to investigate and find answers.
Then he says, “we are not here to assign the blame.” Goodness no. That might trouble the bureaucracy.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

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