B.C. child advocate reappointed

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been reappointed for a second term as B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond

VICTORIA – Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the Saskatchewan judge appointed five years ago as B.C.’s first independent Representative for Children and Youth, has been reappointed for a second term.

Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Colin Hansen announced the appointment to a standing ovation in the B.C. legislature Tuesday. Hansen chaired the all-party selection committee that voted unanimously to extend the term of one of the provincial government’s toughest independent critics.

Turpel-Lafond was hired in 2006 to oversee services delivered by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, on the recommendation of former judge and conflict-of-interest commissioner Ted Hughes. Hughes conducted an inquiry into the 2003 death of Port Alberni toddler Sherry Charlie, who was killed by a relative in the home where she was placed under a ministry program.

The ministry continues to struggle to implement a policy for delegated aboriginal child care programs around the province.

Turpel-Lafond has recently suggested her mandate be expanded to advocate for young people who turn 19 and become clients of Community Living B.C., the delegated agency for adults with developmental disabilities.

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