Wednesday, February 22, 2017

------On Wednesday afternoon, Progressive Conservative interim leader and panel member Ric McIver had enough. Exasperated and shaking his head, he burst out with, “If they can’t give the answer, then why are we here?”--------- Julie Ali · University of Alberta It is ironic that the PCs are asking why folks won't provide information. The PCs built the wall of secrecy around the government of Alberta. The NDP are simply continuing with the good old PC culture of no transparency, no accountability and no change. It is clear to me that the purpose of this panel like the roundtable before it is to spin a new story of change that will not happen. It won't happen because no one is interested in change in the government of Alberta. What everyone is interested in is money, power and protecting turf. Nothing will change until the people of Alberta get fed up of all this spin and kick government rump. I guess this will happen in the next provincial election. Then if the next political party we elect can't change culture, practice and performance at the GOA we will have to change the political party again. No one has any incentive to change business as usual in the GOA currently because the children --like the seniors in care--have no voice in our society. Well they have no voice --until we-the people--give them a voice. Our voice. Like · Reply · Just now

#GOASPIN#justiceforserenity#PanelPolitics -listening to this panel complaining about secrecy feels surreal. Here I have been yapping for ages about the lack of information provision in Alberta under the PCs that is now even worse under the NDP and no one does anything about this junk. Worse than this we have the creators of the secrecy fortress--the PCs tell us that there is too much secrecy. What the heck? Is the government of Alberta unable to open the door of the house of democracy and let us in? You betcha.

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'If they can't give the answer, then why are we here?': Culture of secrecy prompts outburst at child intervention panel

EMMA GRANEY, EDMONTON JOURNAL  02.22.2017
'If they can't give the answer, then why are we here?': Culture of secrecy prompts outburst at child intervention panel
Progressive Conservative interim leader and panel member Ric McIver said Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 that he wishes social workers and others speaking to the child intervention review panel would share their opinions.
/ EDMONTON JOURNAL
Opposition members of the government’s child intervention review panel worry a veil of secrecy and bureaucratic protectionism around child welfare will impede changes to the system.
Time and again over the three panel meetings so far, social workers and managers have declined to give their opinions, lobbing the ball back into the court of panel members with, “That’s for you to decide.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Progressive Conservative interim leader and panel member Ric McIver had enough.
Exasperated and shaking his head, he burst out with, “If they can’t give the answer, then why are we here?”
He doesn’t blame workers for holding their tongues, he explained later, but the culture of secrecy and reticence in speaking ill of colleagues or departments is frustrating.
McIver acknowledged secrecy was pervasive when his party was in charge, but said nothing has changed.
“What’s stopping people who clearly know how the system can be improved from telling us?” he asked.
Former social worker Heather Sweet, one of the NDP panel members, said there’s a long history of front-line workers and people within the system being told not to speak about problems.
She said changing that culture is a matter of building trust, and convincing workers the panel wants to listen, learn and improve the system.
Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said Wednesday presenters were asked to give information about the current state of play, not surmise on possible changes.
Her ministry is also working on a tool for front-line workers to share their personal opinions without fear of repercussions.
Talk Wednesday also turned to the importance of aboriginal voices.
While that is likely to come during the panel’s second stage of work, Will Campbell, an elder with Native Counselling Services of Alberta, said it’s vital indigenous leaders and communities can suggest changes.
“We’ve had too many reviews where our  people haven’t been informed … and the information has not gotten any further than the walls of this building,” he said.
“It needs to get out there to every Albertan, to each person in the community.”
McIver said kids on reserves are getting fewer services than those off-reserve, and he wants the panel to look at ways to change that.
“Together, maybe we can put pressure on the federal government to give aboriginal kids the same treatment — not better, not worse — than other kids are getting,” he said.
egraney@postmedia.com
twitter.com/EmmaLGraney

Julie Ali · 
It is ironic that the PCs are asking why folks won't provide information. The PCs built the wall of secrecy around the government of Alberta. The NDP are simply continuing with the good old PC culture of no transparency, no accountability and no change.

It is clear to me that the purpose of this panel like the roundtable before it is to spin a new story of change that will not happen.

It won't happen because no one is interested in change in the government of Alberta. What everyone is interested in is money, power and protecting turf. Nothing will change until the people of Alberta get fed up of all this spin and kick government rump. I guess this will happen in the next provincial election. Then if the next political party we elect can't change culture, practice and performance at the GOA we will have to change the political party again. No one has any incentive to change business as usual in the GOA currently because the children --like the seniors in care--have no voice in our society. Well they have no voice --until we-the people--give them a voice. Our voice.
LikeReply23 hrs
Terry Ted · 
I said when they announced the panel until the life time unionist are removed nothing will change
They want the system broke to justify there jobs so why say how to fix it
LikeReply320 hrs
Ed Henderson · 
We live in an Alberta where politicians love to spend bucks on themselves rather than on support services.
In addition, if there are 2500 Child welfare workers in Alberta( I don't know how many there are) then there are probably 2500 different opinions about what the problems and solutions are.
One thing Albertans can bet their bippy on is that however many child welfare workers there are they are probably almost matched by child welfare care workers supervisors.
In Alberta it has been more important for politicians to look after themselves for the past 25 or so years than to make sure that children who need help are getting the right help at the right time, in the right place and from the right people.
It's going to take time, it's going to take trust and it's going to take knowledge. There isn't much of the needed stuff on the panel. It's not going to be solved by politicians.
UnlikeReply119 hrsEdited
J.E. Molnar
Julie Ali: Get off your soapbox. You can't compel people to testify against co-workers anymore than you can get governments to fix longstanding systemic problems overnight.

The NDP government is committed to finding solutions to the problems. If you think after three meetings the problems will be resolved, you are delusional. There are many layers to the onion --- they need to be peeled back one at a time. Take your cynical views and go pontificate at your next Wildrose constituency meeting where people like you get off on your cynicism and rancour.
LikeReply20 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Why should I not say my opinion? This is a democracy and I don't have to stay silent. More than 800 dead kids and you want citizens to believe that the government of Alberta will do anything about this problem when the NDP folks have sat on their butts for two years? The autopsy report for Serenity that took years happened on the NDP time not the PC time.
Long standing problems can be solved but of course you have to have the political will and courage to do this work. The NDP made promises to us and they are broken promises .The NDP are no different than the PCs. So don't be telling me to keep silent about broken promises.
And yes, if the PCS and NDP folks can't solve these social problems of system wide failures to do the jobs required then let us hire the Wildrose. They will have a chance to solve the problems that need solving.
Commitment to solving problems is nothing.
Solving the problems is everything.
And the NDP have not solved the problems either in child welfare or in the continuing care system.
As such I am free to continue to ask for change.

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