CRRF Disappointed in B.C. Government's Regret Statement To Sons of Freedom Doukhobor Children
"The Government's response to this issue is clearly inadequate and flies in the face of the B.C. Ombudsman, an officer of the Legislature, who in March 2002 reaffirmed the findings of the 1999 report, Righting the Wrong," said Dr. Karen Mock, the Foundation's executive director. "In that report, the Ombudsman called for an apology. An apology is not only what the New Denver Survivors demanded, it is what they need to begin the healing process. The Government's "regret" is not enough.
A year ago, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation sent a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell and to the Attorney General urging them to act on the Ombudsman's recommendations. In particular, the CRRF urged that an unconditional, clear and public apology be made in the B.C. Legislature. Late last year to early this year, members of the New Denver Survivors Committee were encouraged by what appeared to be willingness to comply.
"This is a backing away from doing the right thing. The Attorney General suggests that he fears that an apology would trigger lawsuits. I find that a deeply disturbing commentary on what matters most in our society when stacked up against the well-being of our citizens," concluded Mock. "The CRRF will continue to support the Survivors' call for an apology until they get one."