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Alberta legislature committee votes to restore $275K funding to child advocate

The Alberta Legislature on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
The Alberta Legislature on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Global News

EDMONTON – An Alberta government legislative committee has voted to restore funding to the province’s child and youth advocate.

The decision comes on the heels of another strongly-worded report on a 17-year-old girl’s suicide from Alberta’s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.

Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate, said Wednesday the report’s recommendations “must be acted on.” Graff said this is the fifth report from his office involving a young person who died by suicide.

READ MORE: 5th report of teen suicide sparks call for change from Alberta Youth Advocate 

Last year, the former Progressive Conservative government cut funding the advocate said was needed to do more investigations into deaths of children in government care.

In February, the Tories turned down a request to restore the $275,000 to help pay the salaries of three new investigators and two analysts.

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READ MORE: Panel nixes more cash for Alberta child death reviews 

The child advocate went ahead and paid these staff anyway, but had to make cuts to the organization’s budget to do it.

Tim Chander, a spokesman for the child advocate, says they are heartened by the unanimous vote Thursday to approve the restoration of the funding.

Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir praised the decision, saying he looks forward to future recommendations from the advocate on how to improve government support for vulnerable people.

With files from Global News

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