Ex-New Brunswick MLA named new B.C. children’s advocate

Bernard Richard set to take over from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as independent watchdog of B.C. children and families ministry

Bernard Richard of New Brunswick is taking over as B.C.'s second Representative for Children and Youth

Bernard Richard of New Brunswick is taking over as B.C.'s second Representative for Children and Youth

Former New Brunswick cabinet minister and Ombudsman Bernard Richard has been selected as B.C.’s next Representative for Children and Youth.

Richard succeeds Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who retires at the end of November after serving two five-year terms as the first appointee to the job in B.C. Turpel-Lafond battled the B.C. government for more social work resources and highlighted weaknesses in the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Turpel-Lafond issued a statement Tuesday saying she is “delighted” with the selection of Richard, with whom she worked when he was New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate.

“I am confident there will be a smooth and effective transition without any significant loss of time or effort on investigations, monitoring or advocacy functions at the RCY,” Turpel-Lafond said.

Richard was unanimously selected by an all-party legislature committee. A lawyer and former social worker, he served in the cabinet of former premier Frank McKenna, including the aboriginal affairs and education ministries. Richard was appointed New Brunswick Ombudsman in 2004 and was appointed the province’s first child and youth advocate in 2006.

B.C. Liberal MLA Don McRae and NDP MLA Michelle Mungall, chair and deputy chair of the selection committee, both praised Richard’s record of public service.

“The committee was impressed by Mr. Richard’s passion for serving children and youth, his successful management of public sector organizations, and his considerable experience with indigenous communities,” McRae said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read