VANCOUVER — The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is demanding police investigate the government agencies whose alleged inaction led to the overdose death of an aboriginal teenager in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Union President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says workers in health care, education, policing and community agencies may have broken the law by repeatedly failing to report that 19-year-old Paige needed protection.
Provincial legislation states that failure to inform the government of a child needing protection is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.
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Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer says that an investigation into Paige’s death is necessary and that it should be conducted at arm’s length by the RCMP.
A report released earlier this year by B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth slammed the province for what Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond called persistent indifference by front-line workers.
The report describes the circumstances of Paige’s life of violence, neglect, open drug use and police encounters that ended with her death outside a communal washroom in a city park in April 2013.
The Canadian Press