It's Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's final day in her 10-year term as B.C.'s representative for children and youth. On this occasion, Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux issued the following written statement:
“I’d like to thank Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond for her service to British Columbia. We have always been united in our desire to make things better for vulnerable children and families, even though we may not have always agreed on how best to improve B.C.’s child welfare system.
“We certainly spoke with one voice on the need to find more adoptive homes for children and youth in care, and working together we achieved a lot. She helped us champion the 1000Families campaign to raise awareness about the need for more adoptive homes, and our permanency initiative led to a record number of young people, over 600, being connected with loving homes and families over the last two years.
“The Ministry of Children and Family Development is in a much stronger place now than it was when the RCY’s office was created and Turpel-Lafond was appointed in 2006. In that time, her office has added its recommendations to the information and advice we’ve received from staff, stakeholders, outside experts and others with whom we consult. As of September 2016, we had addressed more than 70% of the RCY’s recommendations, with the rest either under way or in development.
“As her term wraps up, I hope Turpel-Lafond takes comfort in knowing the ministry has added 300 frontline staff and increased its budget by $72.2 million in the last year alone, putting us at just over $1.45 billion with 90% of that funding going toward direct investment in programs and services.
“I appreciate Turpel-Lafond’s tireless drive on behalf of B.C. children and youth and I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours. I look forward to working with the new representative when the selection committee selects a replacement.”