BC NDP Minister refuses to resign after horrific foster care death

BCNDP MLA-elects meet for the first time in the now undersized caucus meeting room.

VANCOUVER, BC: Following resignation calls from the BC First Nations Leadership Council (BCFNLC), as well as both opposition parties, NDP Minister Mitzi Dean, has informed media that she is not to be held accountable for her failings and the horrific death of a child in foster care under her watch.

“First Nations leaders, parents, advocates, and opposition parties have all united to demand that Minister Dean resign after the tragic story of two foster parents starving and torturing two Indigenous children in their care. It’s appalling that the Minister’s response once again is to repeat scripted talking points and dodge responsibility,” said Kevin Falcon, BC United Leader. “Whatever happened to ministerial accountability? The fact that David Eby continues to express full confidence in Minister Dean just shows the NDP has one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. It’s completely unacceptable.”

The calls for Minister Dean’s resignation stem from the horrific case involving two First Nations foster children who were abused in the Fraser Valley, resulting in the death of one of them, an 11-year-old boy. “Last month, it was revealed that Dean failed to act on performance warning signs and massive safety gaps at the Ministry of Children and Family Development, many of which were flagged by BC United MLA Karin Kirkpatrick back in 2022,” said Falcon.

“This isn’t the first time the NDP have prioritized Minister Dean’s comfortable job in Victoria over the outcry of British Columbians in all corners of the province. Her disrespectful handling of the funding model for children with autism provoked anger and backlash across the province and demands for her resignation from furious parents,” added Falcon. “I am always careful to avoid calling for resignations unless truly warranted, but to see David Eby and the NDP try to sweep this catastrophic ministerial failure under the rug is appalling. She is failing vulnerable children.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, husband of NDP MLA-elect Joan Phillip, referred to the death saying, “This is not an isolated incident, and it was entirely preventable… I call on Minister Dean to acknowledge the grinding severity of this failure by resigning immediately.” The BCFNLC called for Minister Dean to resign on June 26, joined by the BC United Caucus the following day, and the BC Green Caucus on June 29.