EDMONTON, AB (August 26,2013): The PC government continues to be completely out of touch with victims of sexual abuse after once again trivializing Little Warriors and the Be Brave Ranch, a camp which would provide a 30 day program designed to counsel and assist victims, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today.
In a meeting with Premier Alison Redford, Alison Lee, a victim of sexual abuse, asked why the government is not funding the Be Brave Ranch. According to Lee, Redford brushed off the question saying that, “there’s money being given to Calgary and Edmonton for mental health.” Human Services Minister Dave Hancock later took to Facebook to take on claims by Lee and her family saying that, “Little Warriers (sic) has chosen to invoke emotional appeals” and encouraged them to, “get there (sic) facts together.” “It’s time for the Premier and the Minister to stop making excuses for leaving the Be Brave Ranch out in the cold,” Saskiw said. “The Be Brave Ranch will be the first of its kind in Canada to provide children and families who have experienced the horror of sexual abuse a place to heal and recover.” After promising support, Little Warriors was denied a $650,000 funding commitment by the Alberta government in December. The Wildrose believes the government should use the Victims of Crime fund to help support the Be Brave Ranch. Last year the fund had a $1.49 million surplus and $50 million in net assets. Saskiw said that after delayed court access for victims and the decision to scrap electronic monitoring for sex offenders, the PC government continues to send the wrong message to Alberta families. “Supporting the victims of heinous crimes should be the top priority for any government,” Saskiw said. “Instead we continue to see this PC government spend millions on rehabilitation for predators while leaving innocent victims short changed.”