Children in care come first

B.C. needs to get priorities straight when allocating our money



Over the past year we have heard of four children dying while in care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. One child had been living on his own in a hotel for over 40 days.

If parents treated their own children this way, they’d probably be charged with child neglect and endangerment.

Now we hear that approximately 112 children-in-care were living in hotels. Then we watch the evening news and are informed there is a 16 year old female child living in the homeless tent city in Victoria.

She was interviewed and explained she had spent a goodly portion of her life ‘in care’ and found living in the tent city preferable to living in a group home. How a 16 year-old girl goes from being in a foster home, to a group home, to a tent city is beyond me. I think it’s also beyond the B.C. Liberal government, the minister responsible and the premier.

The response from the minister responsible is: the ministry can’t force any child to live anywhere. That may be quite correct. What some of us taxpaying citizens would like to know is: what factors are leading this child to make her choice.

Really, the minister, the premier, the cabinet are responsible, but no one can explain how this child wound up living in a homeless camp.

The minister says her department is doing the best it can with the resources it has. That is truly rich. The same newscast informed me that last year Premier Christy Clark, the minister responsible, and the cabinet gave $600 million to the film industry.

These film corporations are mostly American based. On Monday, we saw the premier at a photo op giving  $100 million of our tax dollars away to ‘tech companies.’

If the cabinet minister responsible and the premier can’t run the business of this province so there is money to look after the children in our care, but can give $700 million to industries – which in many cases aren’t even Canadian – it suggests the time has come for the B.C. Liberals to find replacements for both of them.

Welfare for these corporations has to end, and the business of looking after the children of this province has to become a priority.

Elizabeth FosterCedar