Former children’s watchdog TurpelLafond sues B.C. government in pension dispute

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Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who served as B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth for a decade, is suing the provincial government in a dispute over pension benefits.

Turpel-Lafond filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court Friday, accusing the province of breaking a verbal agreement to provide her with one-and-a-half years of pension credit for every year of service as the representative for children and youth.

She claims she took a leave of absence as a provincial court judge in Saskatchewan based on that verbal agreement, waiving her right to contribute to the judges’ pension fund.

READ MORE: One-on-one with BC’s children’s watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond: legacy and unfinished business

She claims the province hasn’t honoured that agreement.

In part, the claim states: “The plaintiff pleads that the defendant’s failure to either provide or acknowledge the enhanced pension entitlement owed to the plaintiff is motivated by malice and bad faith. The defendant has demonstrated a history of animosity and hostility toward the plaintiff in her role as RCY [Representative for Children and Youth].”

The Ministry of Justice said Saturday that “counsel will review the allegations and prepare a response in due course. As the matter is before the courts, we have no further comment.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Turpel-Lafond has resumed her career as a provincial judge in Saskatchewan.

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