Roundtable proposed on Alberta child death numbers
Only public inquiry will get to bottom of issue, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith says
Human Services Minister Dave Hancock wants opposition politicians to join him in a roundtable discussion about the number of children who died while under government care.
“I think what we need is a working table, bring the experts together, bring some people together who can inform the discussion,” Hancock said on Tuesday.
“Have all the critics at the table, all of us at the table together to come up with some robust solutions.”
On Monday, members of all three opposition parties expressed outrage over an Edmonton Journal/Calgary Herald investigation which found 145 children have died in government care since 1999, far more than the 56 reported by the province.
Hancock rejected calls from the opposition for a public inquiry because he believes it to be costly and unnecessary.
However, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith vows to keep pushing the government on that issue.
“There’s only one way to get to the bottom of this cover-up and that’s to have a full public inquiry,” she said.
Smith believes the government is offering up a roundtable so they can appear that they are doing something.
Hancock said the government never used to publicly report deaths of children who died of natural causes, medical reasons or accidentally -- though the medical examiner was notified.
He says the government started reporting all deaths last year.