CALGARY, AB (January 8, 2014): Today, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth released the following statement in response to the PC government’s refusal to confirm reports that a child in care died this past week in a group home in Edmonton: “As a former minister in charge of Children’s Services, I know how dedicated our front line staff are, the importance of privacy and the need to take time to properly investigate deaths.
However, the Information Commissioner has ruled that the limited release of information on the deaths of children in care is in the public interest. “Every life lost is a tragedy for a family and the community. However, with the system being mired in secrecy, for the government to refuse to confirm whether or not the death of a child in care actually happened is deeply troubling. This flies in the face of Premier Redford’s commitment to run a transparent and accountable government and it questions the credibility of this government’s promise to improve the system. “Refusing to confirm a death serves the interest of no one and creates the impression that something severely improper has happened. I call on the Premier and the new Minister to follow the balanced ruling made by the Information Commissioner’s Office last summer and expeditiously release the appropriate information on the death of any child in care.”