The Advocate for Children and Youth in Manitoba has just released a report showing an alarming number of suicides in children and youth in Manitoba in the last year. In Question Period today, I asked the Minister of Families what she is doing to prevent suicides in children and youth. The Premier responded, but sadly did not answer my question. You can see my question and the Premier's response below:
Youth Suicide Prevention - Inclusion of Case Planning
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, it is of concern that the children's advocate reports 32 suicides in those up to age 20 last year. Indeed, the number of suicides in those up to age 18 has increased by 60 per cent in the last two years compared to the previous four years, as the data I tabled shows.
I note the child death review shows a deficiency in 53 of 57 case plans. Problems in case planning have been highlighted many times in recent years.
My question to the minister: What's her plan to prevent suicides? Will she ensure that the deficiencies in case planning are addressed and ensure suicide prevention is included in future case planning?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Appreciate the member raising his concern. It's a concern for every member in this House.
What should be also of utmost concern is the federal government's attempt, under Bill C-92, An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis Children, Youth and Families, to proclaim–to move ahead with legislation on January 1st of 2020, legislation that is the most comprehensive change to child welfare in Canadian history, which has been put forward without any consultation whatsoever with any of the provincial agencies, with any of the provincial governments or ministers, legislation which no one seems to have any idea how it will work, including the federal members who are putting it forward from the Liberal Party.
There is no plan for the implementation of this legislation, and so we face major challenges and we face them head-on in Manitoba, but the challenges of Bill C-92–premiers will be addressing this, and I understand in the unanimous way on the weekend. I would encourage my Liberal colleagues to do the same.