Edward Berry

Edward Berry, a former manager with B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development, has been charged with possession of child pornography. (B.C. College of Social Workers)

Edward Owen Berry, a former manager with B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development, has been charged with possession of and accessing child pornography.

Berry, 51, is alleged to have committed the offence in April 2014 in or near Prince George, B.C.

At the time of his arrest in December 2014, Berry was a regional executive director of services with the ministry.

Berry's area of practice is child welfare, according to a post on the B.C. College of Social Workers website. The post says he was also responsible for other areas, such as child and youth mental health, youth justice, as well as children and youth with special needs services for northern B.C. 

College registrar John Mayr says Berry's position at the ministry meant he had a low chance of having direct contact with children.

Whether he was fired or resigned from the ministry isn't clear, but a spokesperson with the ministry confirmed Berry is no longer employed there. 

Last year's annual report for the B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations welcomed Berry to his executive director position at the ministry and stated he was a foster parent at some point.

Police investigation ongoing

Prince George RCMP said although they did not identify a suspect until December, their investigation started in June and is ongoing.

B.C.'s Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux says her ministry is cooperating with the RCMP.

"I want to assure the public that the ministry sets a high standard when hiring staff and requires criminal record checks for anyone that will have direct service contact with children or families," she said. 

Berry was arrested on Dec. 16 in Burnaby, B.C. According to the Prince George RCMP, he maintains residences in both Prince George and Vancouver. 

Berry was released by a judicial justice of the peace on several conditions, including no contact with anyone under the age of 16 and not to possess any device that allows internet access. 

He is set to appear in a Prince George provincial courtroom on Jan. 28 on charges of possession and accessing child pornography.

With files from Rafferty Baker and The Canadian Press