Former children's rep threatens legal action against B.C. government over pension


VICTORIA — British Columbia’s former children and youth representative is threatening legal action against the provincial government, alleging it broke an agreement about her pension benefits.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court, saying she made a verbal agreement with a legislative clerk in 2006 that promised her 1.5 years of pension entitlement for each year of service, but that promise has not been fulfilled.

The court documents allege Turpel-Lafond will seek unspecified damages for mental distress, and a declaration that she is entitled to a bigger pension entitlement.

The notice alleges the pension issue is “motivated by malice and bad faith,” and that the B.C. government has a history of “animosity and hostility” toward Turpel-Lafond.

The allegations in the notice have not been proven in court.

A statement from the province’s justice ministry says it will review the allegations contained in the notice and prepare a response “in due course.”

Turpel-Lafond was appointed B.C.’s first children’s watchdog in 2006 and served for a decade before she stepped down last November and was replaced by New Brunswick’s former ombudsman, Bernard Richard.

© Copyright Times Colonist

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