Having seen an editorial in the Trinidad Express concerning Minister Ayana Webster Roy’s inexplicable decision to allow the Margaret Kistow Home to continue to operate despite both the Children’s Authority and the Judith Jones Report findings that the facility was unsuitable for housing children, I engaged Attorneys-at-Law to immediately write to the Minister for her reasons for this decision. I also made a Freedom of Information Application to the Minister to disclose to me, for the benefit of the public, all of the documents upon which she relied to make her decision. Disconcertingly, the Minister has written to my lawyers to indicate (1) that she is no longer in possession of the documents upon which she relied to take her decision and (2) that she will not disclose other documents requested.
While I cannot understand why a Minister of Government would not retain a file of the documents upon which she made a decision of such importance, it is even more troubling that the Minister has refused to explain the reasons for her decision so that the public would be satisfied that her decision to allow this facility to remain open is justified especially given that the well-being of children is engaged.
This is another example of this Government’s contempt for children. Having delayed action on the Judith Jones report, and not taken any steps to protect the Children of our Nation, it seems that the Government (by its failure to explain its decision) may be engaging in a cover up of child abuse.
It is also important to note that according to the Children’s Authority Act, it is the President that must appoint the Board of Management of the Children’s Authority. This is yet another example why the Politicization of the President’s Office by appointing Mrs. Kangaloo is unacceptable and should be resisted at all costs.
I have instructed my Attorneys-at-Law to respond to the Minister once again calling for an explanation, failing which, I will institute Legal Action.
Senator David Nakhid