Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux issued the following statement on the advisory council that was appointed to support the development of a multi-year plan to improve child welfare in British Columbia:
“We've heard from First Nations chiefs, service providers and other key stakeholders that the ministry must consult beyond the advisory council on its multi-year strategic plan. This plan will not only consider recommendations made in the Plecas report, Decision Time, but will also be rooted in the advice and counsel of Ted Hughes as outlined in his 2006 report, The BC Children and Youth Review, and on recommendations from the representative for children and youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.
“The advisory council was only ever intended to be one lens through which the ministry would review the multi-year plan. However, given the scope and complexity of the issues we aim to address through our plan, and given our strong desire to achieve the buy-in and support of all our stakeholders, we recognize that the best engagement approach requires a broader focus. Therefore, effective immediately, the advisory council has been disbanded.
“Our emphasis now is on engaging partners on specific priority initiatives related to the plan. Those consultations have begun and we will be talking further with Aboriginal and First Nations leaders throughout the late summer and fall.
“While the council will no longer operate formally as a group, individual members have agreed to review the multi-year plan once it is completed and provide input in line with our broader approach to consultation. We appreciate their contribution and thank them for their continued interest in working with us.”