Larivee claims opposition, media have ‘outdated facts’
A day after news broke that children were still living in a home where a girl died while in government care, Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said the opposition and media have been using outdated facts.
Larivee, however, wouldn’t provide new information to correct the record, citing privacy laws.
Media reports and questions from the Opposition in question period stated that six children were living in the home where Serenity, who was in government care, suffered from malnutrition and eventual death from a traumatic head injury in 2014.
Larivee said that information is “years old.”
But she wouldn’t say how many children now live in the home.
She said authorities were in “intermittent” contact with the family and they had been contacted as recently as Wednesday.
But she wouldn’t say exactly how often child-welfare checks were made.
“I understand that’s it’s frustrating that in cases of child protection I can’t always provide you with the degree of information you are looking for.
“I understand Albertans’ frustration and I am frustrated, too,” Larivee told a news conference at the Alberta legislature on Wednesday.
Larivee said this information has to be approved by the legal department and she is working to get some of it released.
“It feels like the minister is running and hiding from the facts because the facts are inconvenient to be out in the public for the minister. That’s what it feels like,” said Progressive Conservative caucus leader Ric McIver.
“We are determined to get some answers. We don’t intend to let up on this premier and this minister because we believe it’s in Albertans’ best interests to have more facts put on the table,” said McIver.
Serenity’s death led recently to a ministerial panel on the child intervention system to help fix what Premier Rachel Notley described as “systemic” problems. A criminal investigation into her death is still underway, but no charges have been laid.
Serenity’s story dominated question period last fall and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean attacked the government over the new revelations Tuesday and Wednesday.
“There is a muzzle on the facts, and that muzzle is this government not telling Albertans what’s happened,” said Jean.
Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee says officials with her ministry are in ‘intermittent’ contact with the household where Serenity died in 2014.