B.C. Children and Youth Representative Bernard Richard. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. children’s representative resigns after a year and a half

Bernard Richard says he was always a ‘transition’ appointee

Bernard Richard, B.C.’s second Representative for Children and Youth, has given notice that he is quitting this summer and returning to his native New Brunswick.

Richard, 67, informed the legislature’s children and youth committee of his decision Wednesday, saying he made it clear to B.C. MLAs he is a “transition representative” after the departure of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. He is less than halfway through a five-year appointment, having been unanimously selected by MLAs in February 2017.

Richard told committee members he intends to leave this summer, giving them five months to find a replacement. He is returning to be with his 93-year-old father and to take up a job working with Indigenous leaders in New Brunswick.

Richard said B.C. needs to do a better job of dealing with the over-representation of Indigenous children in government care, and to provide better services to parents and young people in need. Teens are “aging out” of care systems and going onto the streets to fall into addiction, he said.

“I talk to parents almost on a weekly basis, and it breaks my heart every time,” Richard said. “They can’t access services when they need them. They’re assigned to wait lists for treatment. The treatment centre says because they’re in a particular health region, they don’t accept children from other regions.”

Committee members thanked Richard for his service to B.C.

“I think your approach has been appreciated, and your words of wisdom are appreciated,” said Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nick Simons.

A lawyer and former social worker, Richard served in the cabinet of former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, including the aboriginal affairs and education ministries. Richard was appointed New Brunswick Ombudsman in 2004 and was appointed that province’s first child and youth advocate in 2006.

Just Posted

Guest comment: Downtown shouldn’t cater to drivers

I’m not saying ban cars, I’m saying stop accommodating them, says guest columnist

Fair trade store in Nanaimo will be open until Christmas

Global Village Nanaimo, a non-profit, opens seasonal store at Terminal Avenue and Campbell Street

Thief uses ladder found behind home in break-and-enter in Nanaimo

Unsolved crime happened sometime between Nov. 2-3 on Morey Road

$1,000 worth of cosmetics stolen from Nanaimo drugstore

RCMP searching for suspects in unsolved cosmetics thefts

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Readers argue for electoral reform

Three letters to the editor make case for proportional representation

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Nanaimo reflects, remembers 100 years after First World War ended

Thousands attend Remembrance Day ceremony in downtown Nanaimo

Heads up, phones down for Pedestrian Safety Day

City of Nanaimo, RCMP, ICBC host event to promote safe walking, cycling and driving

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

Construction proceeding on Nanaimo vehicle processing centre

Facility to be operational by Jan. 1 to prepare European vehicles for Canadian market

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Most Read