B.C. NDP slams provincial government for Patricia Evoy's death
The province says programs are in place but youth must access them first
The B.C. NDP says the death of a 19-year-old girl could have been prevented if the province had implemented all the recommendations from a recent report.
Patricia "Indigo" Evoy was found dead in a Burnaby, B.C., apartment March 10. She is the third aboriginal youth to die while receiving help from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development in as many years.
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NDP MLA Doug Donaldson says Evoy met a similar end to a young woman known only as "Paige," whose death led to an investigation and six recommendations.
Paige, a 19-year-old aboriginal woman who was legally blind, died after a childhood spent on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, exposed to constant violence and neglect.
Donaldson says the B.C. government has been too slow to put in place all the recommendations from the Paige Report issued by the province's Representative for Children and Youth.
'Programs do exist': minister
Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux says she can't speak to the specifics of Evoy's case, but supports are in place even when people age out when they turn 19.
"A lot of programs do exist, but it's about making sure the youth involved access the programs," she said.
One of the recommendations that was put in place was a rapid response team, which became operational last October. But Donaldson questioned whether the team was deployed to help Evoy.
"Where was the rapid response team in this situation? Were they involved? Those are the type of questions the minister can answer without breaching privacy," Donaldson said.
Cadieux says the government plans to implement all of the Paige report recommendations.
With files from Richard Zussman