Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak about a letter received from Jane Groenewegen addressed to all MLAs in which she makes some serious allegations about the conduct of Social Services staff at the Hay River district office.
Madam Speaker, the Groenewegens manage the Hay River group home for the Department of Social Services. The contract was terminated by the department after one year of a three year contract under a clause which provides for termination after 90 days of notice.
Madam Speaker, in this letter Ms. Groenewegen states that she experienced serious difficulties in obtaining the support from the district office of Social Services that the contract called for the department to provide. If my understanding is correct, the reason the contract was cancelled by the department was that the working relationship between the department and the Groenewegens had deteriorated or did not exist. If the department was not fulfilling their end of the contract, how can they reasonably expect the Groenewegens to do the same? I might suggest, Madam Speaker, that if the allegations the Groenewegens are making about the conduct of the district office Social Services staff are true, then it would appear to any reasonable person that the lack of communication was the fault of the department as opposed to the Groenewegens. Consequently, it should be the department's responsibility to clean up its act instead of terminating the Groenewegen contract.
Madam Speaker, in a package sent to the MLAs, included there were a number of letters of support from the majority of aboriginal organizations in the Hay River area. These letters state that there have never been any problems with the Groenewegens performing and running the group home and that the organization was pleased with the care their members received in this facility. I would suggest, Madam Speaker, that this situation deserves an independent review by an outside source before this government ends up facing another lawsuit.
I will be pursuing this matter in question period. Thank you.