Teen takes on premier over sexual abuse centre
Ex-NHL star Theo Fleury has been vocal in his support of the Be Brave Ranch
A 15-year-old is challenging Premier Alison Redford over a treatment centre for sexually abused children and is gaining some big name support.
Alison Lee, a self-identified victim of sexual abuse, said she asked the premier to help fund the Be Brave Ranch, a 30-day support centre run by Little Warriors.
The organization has been fundraising to open the ranch, but want the province to chip in the cash to add beds to the facility.
However, Lee says Redford dismissed the request, saying the province already had funding in place for mental health programs.
Lee then took her disappointment online, posting a YouTube video to express her frustration. Now, the campaign is gaining supporters, including some high profile individuals, across the country.
"I wish that there was a Be Brave ranch out there after what happened to me so that I could go and get some help, feel safe where I can tell my story and start my healing process," said ex-NHL star Theo Fleury, himself a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
"It's not about us fighting with the government about funding. It's just an acknowledgement that this is happening every second, every hour, every day, to some poor, innocent kid," he added.
A spokesperson for the province said Minister Hancock and other representatives had met with Little Warriors in the past and would continue to work with the organization.
The province says it is now awaiting further information about the viability and projected effectiveness of the Be Brave program before it can provide additional money.
Alberta Culture did give $75,000 to Little Warriors in the 2011-2012 fiscal year to be used for the development of a Holistic Healing Program.
Little Warriors will hold a board meeting in November to discuss the final plans for the Be Brave Ranch and have asked provincial officials to be there.