BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Premier Orders Independent Review In Sex Abuse Case

07/22/2015 05:33 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:59 EDT
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has announced an independent investigation into a shocking sex abuse case.

"We have a duty to make sure we really frame up the discussion around it properly to make sure that we get answers that help us do better and that help us shed some more light on what exactly happened here," Clark said in the final sitting of the Victoria legislature.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker released a scathing 341-page report Tuesday, July 14, in which he called the failure as "egregious" and said some social workers showed a "reckless disregard for their obligation to protect children."

The mother tried "valiantly" to get the ministry to act on evidence that the father physically and sexually abused at least three of the couple's four children, according to her lawyer who said she was ignored by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development staff.

"When mom was frantically trying to convince the ministry that the sexual abuse allegations were real, they basically labelled her as crazy. And the more she protested, the more she was labelled as being crazy," Lawyer Jack Hittrich told CBC earlier this month.

The Ministry is reviewing the case, but now the B.C. premier is ordering an independent review.

Justice Walker has already ruled that the province's child protection service abused its authority in the case involving the physical and sexual abuse of children, which ultimately allowed a father to molest his child while the toddler was in the ministry's care.

"This is the very first case in Canadian history where a mother has succeeded in holding a child protection agency liable for misfeasance in public office," said Hittrich, who believes the case could result in millions of dollars in damages and legal costs to the paid to the children and the mother.