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Friday, March 2, 2012

BC Liberals’ Response to Schoenborn Report Inadequate, says NDP

BC Liberals’ Response to Schoenborn Report Inadequate, says NDP

March 1st, 2012
VICTORIAAfter failing to act on previous recommendations made by B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, the Liberals’ response to Thursday’s report on the murder of Allan Schoenborn’s three children is inadequate and disappointing, say the New Democrats.

“It’s difficult to take what the Liberals say seriously on this issue, when their repeated failure to act on previous recommendations is so clear,” said New Democrat children and family development critic Claire Trevena. “One of the main recommendations of this report is to go back and implement recommendations in the representative’s previous report.”

The report released Thursday, Honouring Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon: Make Their Voices Heard Now outlines the circumstances that led to the murder of Allan Schoenborn’s three children in 2007, saying the children’s deaths were preventable. Children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond stressed in the report that recommendations about domestic violence made in her previous report Honouring Christian Lee, released in 2009, still have not been implemented.

In Question Period Thursday, New Democrat leader Adrian Dix, along with Trevena and Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali, raised serious doubts about the Liberal government’s ability to follow through on their commitment to implement any changes, considering there was no money in the budget released last week to address the recommendations.

“The minister’s office knew what was coming in this report well before the Liberal budget was tabled last week, yet she failed to convince the finance minister or the premier to fund the domestic violence unit she announced in response to this report,” said Trevena.

“A domestic violence unit that co-ordinates across ministries should already be in place. Instead, the Liberals will launch another review, spending five months looking at their own services to figure out where the gaps are. It is unacceptable for the Liberals not to know the answers to these questions more than two years after the report on Christian Lee prescribed exactly what needed to be done.”

“The loss of Max, Kaitlynne and Cordon to such a horrible act has affected our community deeply,” said Lali, who lives in Merritt where the murders took place. “To know that their deaths were entirely preventable, if only there were proper systems in place, is heartbreaking.

“The Liberals better be listening this time, and be prepared to take real action to fix the systems that failed this family."

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