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Child and youth rep and government reach agreement on cabinet docs

The British Columbia government has dropped its attempt to restrict the representative for children and youth's access to cabinet documents, according to a statement from Ted Hughes released today.

Hughes, who wrote a report that led to the establishment of the representative's office, last week offered to mediate the dispute between representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and the government.

“I am pleased to report that the mediation process has resulted in a successful resolution of the issue respecting the confidentiality of Cabinet documents that the Representative for Children and Youth may review,” wrote Hughes.

“Today, a senior member of government and the representative will sign a protocol that meets and respects the needs of both parties,” he said. “As a result, no amendments to the Representative for Children and Youth Act will be required.”

Turpel-Lafond sued the government for access to cabinet documents she said were needed to complete a review of changes made to the Child in the Home of a Relative program. She argued in court, and won, saying the act governing her position entitled her to see the documents.

The government responded to the dispute by introducing amendments that would have retroactively restricted her access to cabinet documents.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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