Friday, May 15, 2015

North Coast MLA joins chorus of NDP questions related to death of infant

Earlier this week, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice was one of a number of NDP MLA's that had taken to the Legislature floor to ask questions, or  make comment on the case of Isabella Wiens, a 21 month old infant who died while in care of the Ministry of Children and Families in March of 2013.

The tragic circumstances of the child's death has been the focus of discussion in the Legislature over the last month, with this week providing for a number of questions related to the two coroner's reports that have been conducted to this point, as well as to the status of a Ministry Review into the situation

The line of questions from the NDP were at times quite heated, directed towards the Children and Family Minister Stephanie Cadieux, who noted for the Legislature that by law, she can't talk about the details of the case in the House.

It would be a theme that the Minister would repeat after each question, as she reminded the opposition members about the limitations she was facing on the subject.

Ms. Rice raised a number of concerns related to the case file, looking for the government minister to order a full, public review of the death and how her death was investigated.

Every time the minister and her government decide to release any information regarding Isabella's death, it raises more questions than it answers. The latest coroner's report is no exception. This is about a child dying in government care ... The public needs to know that the government learned from what happened, and Isabella's mother, Sara-Jane Wiens, needs answers. 

Why did the ministry wait two years to order a case review of Isabella's death? The minister needs to stop dodging questions. The government has a duty to protect the children in its care ... and when the government fails in its duty, family members and the public deserve to know what happened. 

The children's representative has called for a full investigation into what went wrong in this case. Will the minister finally take some responsibility by ordering a full, public and transparent review of Isabella's death and how her death was investigated? 

At the end of the NDP observations, the Minister returned to her opening remarks on the issue, advising the house that she was not going to break the law to satisfy the oppositions political whims.

The full exchange of comments from all participants around the topic can be found from the Legislature Archive page  the discussion in the Legislature starts up at the 14:28 point on the timeline.

Further information on developments from the Legislature can be found on our archive page here.

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