Liberal leadership hopefuls ignore children and youth survey

Tom Sandborn, Tyee

In what child and youth advocate Adrienne Montani calls a “disappointing” lack of response, all five candidates to lead the BC Liberals have failed to answer questions about their positions on reforms designed to meet the needs of B.C.’s young people.

Montani, the coordinator for First Call, …. said her coalition had circulated a survey on policies that affect young people to all the declared candidates for leadership of both the Liberals and the NDP on February 3.

The survey canvassed the candidates’ positions on supports for early childhood development, for students with special needs in schools, and investments in youth employment services. It also asked where they stand on reducing child and family poverty and B.C.’s child labour laws, among other topics.

Montani told The Tyee that four of the candidates to lead the opposition NDP (Nicholas Simons, Mike Farnworth, John Horgan and Adrian Dix) had weighed in with their positions on these topics by the First Call deadline, but that none of the five Liberal hopefuls had replied.

“The complete lack of response from the Liberal leadership candidates is very disappointing,” said Montani. “Each of these individuals aspires to be the next premier of British Columbia, and our coalition partners are genuinely interested in where they stand on crucial issues like child poverty and child labour protections.”….

“We hope that by asking these questions and publishing the responses received we have stimulated discussion among the leadership candidates, their supporters and the public about actions we can take to improve children’s lives,” said Montani.

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