Graham Thomson: Alberta human services minister tries to weather self-created storm

IHuman Services Minister Irfan Sabir talks about actions to improve, Alberta's child intervention system on Dec. 8, 2016, in Edmonton. Greg Southam / Postmediaf Human Service Minister Irfan Sabir is not willing to resign over his department’s bungled handling of an internal report into the death of a four-year-old girl, maybe he should resign for his performance the past two days, after the story broke.

The performance included actively avoiding the media, holding an irritatingly vacuous news conference, blaming the previous Progressive Conservative government and forming a bogus all-party investigative panel to distract attention from his performance as minister.

At the heart of the story is Serenity, the little First Nations girl who died while in government-supervised “kinship care” in 2014. The cause of death was a traumatic head injury, but she also suffered from a disturbing list of abuse including hypothermia, catastrophic malnutrition and genital bruising.

Ontario’s most vulnerable children kept in the shadows

Child welfare system lacks accountability and transparency, with services for vulnerable children described as “fragmented, confused.”

Former youth in care share their stories about their experiences with the CAS, group homes, and foster homes.(JIM RANKIN / TORONTO STAR)
By SANDRO CONTENTANews
LAURIE MONSEBRAATENSocial justice reporter
JIM RANKINFeature reporter
There is a child in the Ontario government’s care who has changed homes 88 times. He or she is between 10 and 15 years old.