FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 1, 2022
WHITEHORSE – In a stunning indictment of the Liberal government’s handling of the serious matter at Hidden Valley Elementary, a report from lawyer Amanda Rogers confirmed Tracy-Anne McPhee knew about the incident in 2019 and 2020. The report confirms she failed to inform parents or her Cabinet colleagues of the incident and resulting charges.
“This report makes clear what the vast majority of Yukoners already believe: that the now Deputy Premier should resign from Cabinet over the mishandling of this matter,” said Leader Currie Dixon. “As the former Minister of Education, she is ultimately accountable for the inadequate response to this. Furthermore, as Minister of Justice, she failed to inform parents and her colleagues when she learned what had happened.”
The report confirmed that McPhee was informed of the situation in multiple briefing notes provided to her in November 2019 and in March 2020. The report also confirms that despite being the Attorney General she failed to make the Premier or her Cabinet colleagues aware of a legal matter of profound significance and importance. Even when McPhee handed the Education portfolio to the current Minister in May 2021, she still neglected to inform her colleague.
The report also found that the government’s handling of the matter was inadequate and that “the Government’s failure to communicate with parents earlier was a lost opportunity to provide them with necessary resources to assist them in talking with their children and navigating the fear and anxiety that comes from learning your child may have been sexually abused, or worse, that they had.” (Page 15)
Furthermore, the report notes a lack of proper oversight from the Minister and that those in leadership positions including the Minister “ought to have more proactively inquired into the department’s response” but did not. (Page 19)
In addition, the report finds McPhee’s statement to parents on her role in the RCMP investigation “perplexing” and notes “ it would not have been improper for her to follow up with the YDE Deputy Minister to ensure YDE was doing everything it could to assist with the investigation and to discharge its responsibilities to parents and the public.” (Page 25)
"All along we have heard from parents that they want answers and accountability," said Dixon. "While this report provides some explanations there are still several unanswered questions, and even worse, zero accountability. McPhee must resign plain and simple."