FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2021
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is deeply disturbed to learn that charges have been laid after another alleged victim of sexual abuse at Hidden Valley School has come forward. It is even more disturbing that these new charges were only brought forward because of the media reporting on a civil case against the Yukon Government by parents of the first victim.
It has become clear that the Liberal government knew about the initial allegations against the former educational assistant when they were first brought forward in November 2019. Furthermore, the Liberal government was aware that the abuser pled guilty to one count of sexual interference in 2020. However, despite this dating back almost two years, parents only learned of this after CBC broke the initial story in July 2021.
Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers has written to the current Education Minister multiple times to inquire about when Liberal Ministers knew about this abuse, and why the government chose not to communicate with parents, teachers, or the school community about it years ago. So far, the Minister has refused to answer key questions.
The most recent charges confirm the disturbing reality that if the parents of the first victim had not launched a civil suit, then Yukoners would still be in the dark about this tragic abuse. The Yukon Party is calling on the Liberal Government, in the strongest possible terms, to explain to Yukoners why they chose not to communicate with parents, teachers, or Yukoners about the initial abuse and why it took a private civil case to bring these allegations to light.
“Many parents have reached out to me since the initial story broke in July,” said Lake Laberge MLA Brad Cathers. “It has been appalling to see the government not provide answers to many of the questions I have asked on their behalf. This Liberal government cannot continue to hide from this – parents deserve to know why they were not notified when someone in close contact with their children had pled guilty to sexual interference.”
“The unfortunate reality is that these most recent charges would not have come about if not for the media reporting on the civil case launched by the parents of the first victim,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Currie Dixon. “There are serious questions that need to be answered about the Liberal government and their lack of communication, and why they are not cooperating fully with the Child and Youth Advocate’s review into these matters.”