Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard OnlineMake no mistake about it, this weeks budget in British Columbia is a complete sham.

Sure, there may be some goodies tucked away in the budget that will temporarily shut up the labour and construction industry, a bit of an increase in the basic home owner grant, some job creation tax credits in the construction fields, and a few basic top up's in health care and education that were taken away in the past four years. After all is said and done, with claims of a balanced budget, we still end up with an increase of over two billion dollars in the provincial debt.

The one sickening aspect of this budget is the glossing over of child care in this province. Premier Gordon Campbell and his government are totally responsible for the abandonment of the office of the Children's Commissioner. This was done a few short years ago, and in doing so, investigations of over 700 child deaths were lost in the shuffle. These investigations were supposedly turned over to the BC Coroners office for investigation, however, for some reason were shelved and never carried out. According to the premier's office the files were turned over to the coroners office to streamline the system, and to prevent duplication of procedures, when in fact, the system ground to a halt.

As a result, unqualified staff were making decisions with reference to children at risk. Children were placed in foster care without adequately investigating those with whom they were placed.

The recent conclusion of the inquest in Port Alberni of the criminal death of nineteen month old Sherry Charlie is a prime example of the results of inept decisions made as a result of the abandonment of the Child Commissioners office in British Columbia. This infant was placed in care at the home of her uncle who had a long criminal record for assaults and violence, and he himself stated at the inquest that children should never be placed in his care. In this little girl's case, the assualts and violence had gone on undetected for months leading to her death, as there were never follow up checks at the home.

Through the dedication of a doctor, Sherry's death was ruled a homocide. Her autopsy revealed that abuse to her body had gone on for some months before her death. She suffered from eleven broken ribs, some old fractures, some new ones, as well as numerous head and other body injuries.

The premier indicated about a week ago that he accepts the responsibility for these happenings. He should, as it was he and his government who saw fit to abandon the children at risk in this province by cancelling the Childrens Commissioners Office.

It is a real slap in the face to the family of this baby girl this past week when our finance minister, Carole Taylor, shows up in a new pair of six hundred dollar shoes to deliver the 2006 provincial budget. It is a further slap in the face to try and lead this family down the garden path by telling them that she is alloting over four hundred million dollars to child care in British Columbia, when in fact she is not, she is only restoring what the government stole away when they closed the office of the Child Commissioner in the first place.


Thelma G said...

A very sad story. Too bad those things happen, especially in a country such as Canada. I do agree the government of British Columbia is to blame for this, and the premier should feel responsible.

Thelma Goodwin
Victoria, B. C.

Myrna S said...

I know that politics is a dirty game, but it is particularly disturbing when it involves the violent death of children.

If it were my family at loss in this case, I am not sure how I would handle it. This is absolutely terrible.

Myrna St.James
Saint John, N. B.

C Cameron said...

This is a absolutely horrifying story, can't believe it happened in British Columbia. I can now see how it ties in directly with the budget of the province.

Thank you for doing your part by bringing it to the attention of the public. Must say that even though I heard bits and pieces about it, I was too caught up in the Olympic Games to pay attention.

Thanks for writing about this terrible situation. Your style of writing commands attention.

C. Cameron
Powell River, B. C.

Someones Mom said...

Sadly, another example of what happens when we allow governments to neglect those unable to speak for themselves, in this case a poor unfortunate baby girl. The premier should resign over this. I no longer have any respect for him and his government when I read stuff like this.

A Mom filled with tears
Victoria, B. C.

A Law Student said...

The content of your editorial is absolutely abhorrent, but I agree with your views on this subject one hundred percent.

Must say, I have been away and was not aware of this happening with the little girl in Port Alberni.

Took the time to research it a bit, and I see where the son of a bitch was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter and this is wrong wrong wrong! This was nothing short of first degree murder, and sentencing him to 10 years like they did is an insult.

Manslaughter is defined as the killing of one human being of another without malicious intent.

How much more malicious does it get when a 45 year old adult beats a nineteen month old baby to death.

A Law Student
Guelph, Ontario

Disgusted Former Liberal said...

Gordon Campbell it is time to say "Good Bye British Columbia" when you consider the impact of this little girl having to die through no fault of her own.

The people deserve more from our leaders, you said you accept the responsibility, so accept it and step down from office.

Bob McLellan
Garibaldi Highlands, B. C.

Carol said...

it is a shame about sherry charlie i hope we do not forget her quickly I wonder how much more we would hear about these things if innocent kids like sherry came from rich familys instead of poor familys? just my thoughts and thank you for writing about sherry.

Port Alberni

A Retired Teacher said...

There are no words in the English language that could adequately depict my feelings of revulsion with respect to the incident that you describe regarding the death, in the most vicious way, of this baby and the failure of the provincial government to ensure safeguards fopr child safety.

Surely, the premier of British Columbia must have some compassion, as afterall, he is a family man himself. How could he allow this to happen to some other innocent child? How would he feel if the situation was reversed? I am sure it would take on a whole new meaning.

Sorry Mr. Premier Campbell, it is time to take your bow and leave the stage.

I am a retired teacher, and have seen many examples of child abuse. This case however is without parallels.

Thank you Mr. Stoddard for pointing out to the people the sloppy and dangerous situation that our government has placed children in.

Marjorie M
Kelowna, B.C.

A Newfies Opinion. . . said...

I am ashamed to think that politicians will make such decisions as this to further agendas. Improving budgets by putting kids at risk is a low blow.
I enjoy this web site, you appear very well read and up to date.

B. Travers
St. Johns, Newfoundland

Mrs. M said...

I wish this story was just a bad dream and would go away, but I know that won't happen,I feel soo sad for this family.

mrs d mcClusky
Arvida, P.Q.

M Ryan said...

i am so fed up with politicians feathering their own nests whether it is personal or political. We need more people digging at the truth like yourself.

M. Ryan
Langley, B. C.