Saturday, May 2, 2015

MLA Rice explores adoption issues during Committee session

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
addressed adoption issues this week
at the Legislature
The work of committees at the British Columbia Legislature doesn't quite get the same amount of attention as the Question Period sound bytes provide for, yet there is some important and at times quite interesting work taking place outside of the Legislature Chamber on a day to day basis.

For North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, work involving the Ministry of Children and Family Development accounts for a fair bit of her work in Victoria and this week the MLA was engaged in a lively question and answer session with Minister Stephanie Cadieux, who is responsible for the Ministry.

The Wednesday afternoon session of this week saw the Minister and her team outlining plans for the Ministry for the year ahead and answering questions of MLA's related to those plans.

For her part, Ms. Rice addressed a range of issues related to the adoption process in British Columbia, asking a number of questions on the theme of the Minister as part of the exchange.

Among the concerns for the North Coast MLA, the allocation of the 200 newly hired social workers and whether they will be working on adoption issues.

She also inquired on the need for continuity  of funding for adoptions and the targets that the province have for adoptions for 2015.
Minister Stephanie Cadieux
received a range of questions on the
theme of adoption in committee this week

Ms. Rice also sought some clarification on the issue of the 2 million dollars that the province has invested in the process, seeking a breakdown from the Minister as to where that money had been allocated.

Just so I understand, with the $2 million that was invested, if $800,000 has yet to be spent, where did that $800,000 come from? -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice with a question on funding allocations related to adoptions in BC.

Ms Rice also had a number of questions related to staffing and the various job requirements that Ministry employees are required to perform and how that may impact on oversight of adoption issues, particularly in northern regions where the need is one that should be addressed.

It's a concern for the adoptions process that it's not going to get the attention it needs, but it's also an issue that you are well aware of in the fact that there is a crisis with staff in the rural communities. ... It's particularly important to me in the north, particularly in North Coast, my constituency, where 50 percent of my constituents are aboriginal, and you said at the start of estimates today that 53 percent of the kids in care are aboriginal. It's a huge issue for us in the north, and I certainly gladly welcome extra resources and energy and focus and study and analysis being done in the rural parts, in the northern parts, considering the number of aboriginal kids in care. -- MLA Rice exploring staffing concerns, particularly for northern communities in the Province

The full overview of the Wednesday session provides a fairly comprehensive look when it comes to the work of the Ministry and the challenges that workers face in their day to day work to provide those services to the province.

You can review the full exchange between Ms. Rice and the Minister from the Minutes of Wednesday's session here, they start at the 1615 mark  and end around the 1720 mark

The video archive for the Wednesday session can be found here , Ms. Rice begins her inquiries at the 90 minute mark on the counter. 

For more items related to events at the British Columbia Legislature see our archive page here

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