Yesterday BC Premier Christy Clark responded to a caller’s question about the Public Guardian & Trustee on CBC Radio’s province-wide BC Almanac show:
CALLER JOANNE from Cowichan asked, “When is the government going to conduct a forensic, financial and policy review of the Public Guardian and Trustee?”
PREMIER CLARK responded: “Hmmm. That’s not a question I’ve given a lot of thought to in the past… I haven’t been in receipt of a lot of complaints about the way the Public Trustee has worked.”
[to listen to the complete call-in show podcast, see link below]
Premier Clark’s response is misleading in the extreme.
She and the government have received scores of complaints from the public about blatant misconduct by the Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee.
Even the B.C. Ombudsperson, in a recent report to the entire legislature, rebuked the Public Guardian, saying that the Office of the Ombudsperson “began to investigate (the PGT) after complaints about how the province’s Public Guardian and Trustee had taken over the legal and financial affairs of thousands of people,” resulting in a report, “No Longer Your Decision,” provided to the Premier’s office in February 2013.
Seniors at Risk routinely receives complaints from people across British Columbia about the PGT. The documents provided to us reveal systemic wrong-doing, and shockingly abusive and negligent treatment of BC citizens by the Public Guardian & Trustee. These abuses of legal and human rights have been happening for years, and the B.C. government has been made aware of them, but apparently not Premier Christy Clark. Perhaps it is time the Premier was briefed.
Premier Clark concluded her response to the caller by saying:
“If you have some real concerns about that, can I ask you to send it to me so I can have a look at it and I’ll get back to you directly about it.”
Accept Premier Clark’s invitation!
Give the Premier an opportunity to learn more about the misconduct of the Public Guardian and Trustee. Let her know if you have had, or are having, a bad experience with the PGT, or if you know of others who have. Everyone should be concerned. These are our taxpayer dollars being spent, not to help, but to intimidate and harm B.C. citizens.
SEND A LETTER TO:Premier Christy Clark PO Box 9041 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Or EMAIL your concerns to the manager of the Correspondence Branch of the Premier’s office at: Antoinette.DeWit@gov.bc.ca
And please SEND A COPY of your letter or email to Seniors at Risk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seniors at Risk will help ensure that the government doesn’t ignore your complaint – or the magnitude of the systemic abuse of citizens’ rights, freedoms and assets by the Public Guardian and Trustee.
Listen to the entire call-in show podcast here: http://www.cbc.ca/bcalmanac/#igImgId_42986
Scroll down the page on the right hand side to find the link to the show’s podcasts.
Then, scroll down the Featured Audio list to find Christy Clark takes questions on BC Almanac.
Caller Joanne’s question is near the end of the show, at about the 17:20 mark.
Here are just a few of stories that support the radio show caller’s plea to Premier Clark for “the government to conduct a forensic, financial and policy review of the Public Guardian and Trustee”:
Phyllis Lowdell, Vancouver BC: Public “Trustee’ caught stealing $1.26 million in assets from two seniors
Sheila Scholnick, Vancouver, BC: BC public guardian accused of abusing rights
Jean Wilder, Invermere BC: Jean Wilder still being held unlawfully, PGT applies to seize control of her assets
George Brent, Trail BC: B.C. man loses right to care for wife
Charlie & Stella, Vancouver Island, BC: Public Guardian’s bait ‘n switch routine
Ombudsperson Report on the Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee, February 2013, full report: “No Longer Your Decision”
Focus magazine, March 2013: Ombudsperson pans incapability assessments
Just the tip of the iceberg – a comprehensive inquiry is essential
As many people who have had to engage with the Public Guardian & Trustee’s office will know, the Ombudsperson’s report barely touches on the epidemic of systemic misconduct by the PGT. Many aspects of highly questionable PGT conduct were either not mentioned or glossed over in the Ombudsperson’s 186-page report.
It is one thing to write reports suggesting changes and to make public statements professing to comply with the law and the recommendations; it’s quite another to actually ‘walk the talk’. Seniors at Risk is currently working on cases involving the PGT, and it is clear that the attitude and tactics of this very powerful, very secretive unaccountable organization remains much as it was prior to the Ombudsperson’s report.
As the caller Joanne put it to Premier Clark, when will the government conduct a forensic, financial and policy review of the PGT? A comprehensive inquiry into the Office of the B.C. Public Guardian & Trustee is clearly long overdue.
Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.
Take a stand against elder abuse by the Public Guardian & Trustee.