EDMONTON, AB: Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir must resign, and other officials, including Premier Rachel Notley, must be heavily questioned, following shocking revelations the government failed to hand over crucial documents to the RCMP around the death of Serenity and then misled the Legislature, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
On Nov. 18, the story of Serenity’s tragic life and 2014 death in kinship care was outlined by the Edmonton Journal. For the next three weeks, Wildrose MLAs grilled the government on the state of kinship care and the status of the Serenity investigation. The NDP refused to provide clear answers in the Legislature, repeatedly saying the matter was under “active” RCMP investigation.
“The matter is still under active criminal investigation.”
-Premier Rachel Notley 11/21/2016
But that was apparently untrue. The RCMP investigation is said to have been on hold while RCMP officials waited for the submission of a government report. Sabir’s office didn’t hand over the report until this week.
“We were trying to get answers, but the NDP was showing gross mismanagement on this critical file at a time when everyone in the Legislature was demanding justice for this little girl,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Sabir must immediately step down, and the Premier must explain to Albertans why she didn’t even pick up the phone with the RCMP or her Ministers to ensure this issue was being resolved.”
“It’s an issue still under active investigation, so we will work with the RCMP and all involved to make sure that we get this right.”
-Irfan Sabir 11/30/2016
Wildrose Shadow Human Services Minister Angela Pitt said Sabir has been in over his head since day one.
“We thought this was a file this government could get right, but this Minister has blown it at every stage, and now we have serious ethical questions about him on top of ongoing questions into his level of competency,” Pitt said. “I look forward to Mr. Sabir’s resignation, so we can start making progress to protect our children in care.”
“The RCMP still has an ongoing investigation, and they’ve asked us not to release this information at this time. So we are committed to working with them in ensuring that they have the tools that they need to continue their investigation.”
-Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley 11/24/2016
Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr said Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley needs to come clean about what she knew and when.
“It’s more than troubling to know the Minister of Justice stood up and misled the Legislature around the investigation into the death of a child,” Cyr said. “This appears to be a serious breach of trust by the person responsible for the administration of justice in our province. This Minister needs to come clean about what she knew and when.”