Green Party candidate for Surrey-Cloverdale Aleksandra Muniak at the “Not Forgotten: How many more children must die?” demonstration.

UPDATE: ‘How many more children must die?’

Demonstrators protest actions taken by Ministry of Children and Family Development, remember youth who died while in gov’t care




A group of around a dozen demonstrators gathered in front of Surrey Museum on Friday afternoon to remember youth that have died while in the care of the B.C. government and to protest actions taken by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

The group gathered in both remembrance and peaceful protest to commemorate the lives of children that have died in the B.C. government’s care, including Nick Lang, Alex Gervais and Carly Fraser.

The event’s invitation stated that, “In each of these cases there has been a lack of accountability on the part of the government to not only properly respond but to implement actions to prevent future deaths and critical injuries to children in their care.”

The event, “Not Forgotten: How many more children must die?” was organized by Green Party candidate for Surrey-Cloverdale Alexsandra Muniak and Peter Lang, father of Nick Lang, a 15-year-old who died in 2015, six days after being placed in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Nick Lang’s parents, Linda Michele and Peter Lang, spoke to the small crowd.

“They think none of us care, that we’ll forget about it,” said Peter Lang. “We’ll keep reminding them.”

“For every Nick, Paige and Carly, there are 100 more that you never hear about,” he said. “This past year, there were 120.”

Viorica Lungu wipes away tears as the group listens to speakers outside of Surrey Museum.

According to the B.C. children’s advocate, of the children who were in care or receiving services from the provincial government last year, 120 died and 741 received critical injuries.

The demonstrators called for additional training to be made available to support youth from different cultural backgrounds and for those with struggling with addiction or mental illness.

“The Ministry has, for far too many years, failed too many,” said Michele.

“They have robbed us of our son,” she said. “The Ministry took him away from us. What they’ve done, I think is criminal.”

Other speakers included Viorica Lungu, whose children were taken in by the ministry eight years ago. She spoke about losing custody of her kids, calling it a “legal kidnapping.”

Donald Smith, who went through the foster care system in Alberta, also spoke, relating his fight to keep ministries across Canada accountable.

“These kids deserve better,” said Muniak, in a closing remark. “We all have an accountability and responsibility to these kids and their families.”

Demonstrators walking down 176 Street towards Minister Cadieux’s office.

After the close of the speeches, the group walked to Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux’s office and laid flowers at the door in remembrance of children who have died while under the provincial government’s care.

The glass of those doors was recently replaced. On Wednesday (March 22), a man smashed both glass doors with a chunk of concrete before fleeing the scene.

Cadieux came out of her office and spoke with demonstrators.

Although she said she could not speak to specific cases, she did comment on the group’s shared concerns.

“[The Ministry] takes care of some of the most vulnerable people,” she said.

“There will always be improvements to be made,” she said, adding that although the Ministry has made important changes in the last few years, “it doesn’t change the tragedy,” of children losing their lives.

Minister Stephanie Cadieux speaking with Linda Michele.

 

Just Posted

Little library stolen in Clayton Heights

Thieves permanently check out family’s book collection

Cloverdale Community Kitchen hosts ‘learning’ breakfast for students

Coast Capital Savings offered short presentations on financial topics

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

PHOTOS: Surrey seniors band together at weekly jam sessions

‘My policy is to keep busy doing stuff like this, and you gotta have a smile doing it,’ one woman says

Council to look into Cloverdale arena project

Plans could include twinning existing rink

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Vancouver police get green light to use drones for investigations

Drones will be used to investigate motor vehicle collisions, crime scene analysis and more

Most Read