Patsy MacLean checks her paperwork during her first Eastern School District meeting Wednesday.
©Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
New committee looking at P.E.I.'s Child Protection Act begins public consultations in Bloomfield Wednesday
A new committee looking at reviewing P.E.I.'s Child Protection Act will begin public consultations in Bloomfield Wednesday.
The committee will seek input and report on the administration of the act and ensure that its principles and purpose are being achieved. It is expected to present a report to the minister of Family and Human Services within six months.
The public will have a number of opportunities to provide input. The advisory committee will accept written submissions by mail or email and will host a number of public meetings across the province.
“Our government wants to continue to learn how we can help protect children from parental harm,” said Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy.
“Islanders have a great history of caring and citizen engagement, and we are committed to working closely with individuals and groups across the province to provide the best services possible to meet the needs of Island children and families.”
Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward, who is the Opposition health critic, said he was pleased with the announcement that government is reviewing the Child Protection Act. But, he says the province needs a child advocate now.
“We have been calling for a child advocate ever since the tragic Campbell-Hennessey inquest. It was the recommendation of the jury, of the chief coroner of our province, the P.E.I. Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and it has been ignored by this government,” said Aylward.
“The premier says he wants to assess the costs. I don’t think you can put a price on the life of a child. This province and our premier need to protect our children now.”
Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada that does not provide a child advocate.
Today's public meeting on the Child Protection Act is at Hernewood Intermediate School in Bloomfield. The full schedule of public meetings is available at www.gov.pe.ca/sss/childprotectionact.
Patsy MacLean (chairwoman) – HR Atlantic
Tammy Arsenault – Aboriginal representative
Leslie Collins – legal aid lawyer
David Larter – legal counsel to the director of child protection
Rona Smith, Maureen MacEwen, Sally Ripley, Katrina Anderson and Joyce Robertson – employees of Department of Family and Human Services
Wendy McCourt – director of child protection;
Dr. Heather Morrison – chief public health officer
Philip Smith – University of Prince Edward Island
Victoria Pineau, Taylor Wilson and Danny Phalen – youth representatives