EDMONTON, AB: United Conservative Party Caucus Leader Nathan Cooper has issued the following statement after learning that Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee is considering the removal of one of two UCP caucus members from the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention:
“It is extremely disappointing to see the NDP continue to play politics with this panel. Both Jason Nixon and Ric McIver have invested countless hours in their work on the panel, have personal experience and deep interest in the issue, and care deeply about working with colleagues on all sides to find ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.
“This panel was created to address the serious and systemic issues of children dying in care. Removing a UCP panel member at this juncture does nothing to serve the children this panel is meant to protect, and the Minister needs to clarify what appears to be a partisan decision.
“The Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention is a consensus panel, meaning that no votes are taken when developing recommendations. Removing Nixon or McIver from the Panel would imply that their experience and contributions to date have been of no value to the Minister or to the panel. This calls into serious question the Minister’s commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for children in care.
“I am urging the Minister to ensure that both UCP MLAs are able to continue their hard work serving Albertans on this panel so that we may achieve the best possible results for children in care.”