A small cabinet shuffle in B.C. has promoted Victoria’s Grace Lore to the post of Minister of Children and Family Development but demoted Mitzi Dean from the role following calls for her resignation.
B.C. Premier David Eby announced that the previous children’s minister, Dean, will now be the Minister of State for Child Care.
Dean’s tenure at the Children’s Ministry has been difficult, with several high-profile incidents of abuse of children in government care. Both the Green Party and the First Nations Leadership Council had called for her resignation when the abuse was made public.
Last June, for example, First Nations leaders in B.C. asked for an overhaul of the foster system after a case involving torture, starvation and other abuse that culminated in the beating death of an 11-year-old boy.
Court documents showed the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s last visit to the Indigenous couple’s home took place seven months before the boy was beaten to death.
“We have made considerable progress on the very difficult files within the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and I know that Minister Lore’s experience and passion will benefit young people and families,” said Eby in a statement Monday.
“Child care is extremely important to families, it is a significant benefit to businesses, and it is quite simply critical to our entire province.”
Lore is the MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, while Dean holds the same role for Esquimalt-Metchosin.
The premier has also named Andrew Mercier as Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation to support the work of Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests, “to ensure that British Columbia is building a truly sustainable forestry industry.”
“Our entire cabinet has one clear goal – to make life better for people in B.C., and the changes announced today will help us do just that,” added Eby.
“I am immensely grateful to Grace, Mitzi and Andrew for taking on these new roles.”
In another shuffle, Eby appointed Vancouver-Fraserview MLA George Chow as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Credentials, which builds on recently passed legislation that “removes barriers for internationally trained professionals to work” in B.C.
-with files from The Canadian Press