Ex-New Brunswick MLA named new B.C. children’s advocate

Bernard Richard set to take over from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as independent watchdog of B.C. children and families ministry

Bernard Richard of New Brunswick is taking over as B.C.'s second Representative for Children and Youth

Former New Brunswick cabinet minister and Ombudsman Bernard Richard has been selected as B.C.’s next Representative for Children and Youth.

Richard succeeds Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who retires at the end of November after serving two five-year terms as the first appointee to the job in B.C. Turpel-Lafond battled the B.C. government for more social work resources and highlighted weaknesses in the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Turpel-Lafond issued a statement Tuesday saying she is “delighted” with the selection of Richard, with whom she worked when he was New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate.

“I am confident there will be a smooth and effective transition without any significant loss of time or effort on investigations, monitoring or advocacy functions at the RCY,” Turpel-Lafond said.

Richard was unanimously selected by an all-party legislature committee. A lawyer and former social worker, he served in the cabinet of former premier Frank McKenna, including the aboriginal affairs and education ministries. Richard was appointed New Brunswick Ombudsman in 2004 and was appointed the province’s first child and youth advocate in 2006.

B.C. Liberal MLA Don McRae and NDP MLA Michelle Mungall, chair and deputy chair of the selection committee, both praised Richard’s record of public service.

“The committee was impressed by Mr. Richard’s passion for serving children and youth, his successful management of public sector organizations, and his considerable experience with indigenous communities,” McRae said.

 

Just Posted

Tofino’s Clayoquot Oyster Festival scaled back for 2017

Organizers optimistic about years to come

Pacific Rim Whale Festival in dire need of volunteers around Tofino and Ucluelet

Society’s treasurer Marilyn McEwen fears 2018 could be event’s final year.

Ambassadors educate travellers in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Team tackled off-leash dogs, left-out attractants and shoreline safety.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Port Alberni resident robbed with weapon, thieves steal thousands

Most of the stolen currency is in Canadian $100 bills. The police investigation is ongoing.

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Most Read