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Over 300 signatures on petition calling for Hidden Valley disclosures

The petition was filed in the legislature on Monday.
Deputy Premier and former Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee stands in the legislature to answer questions on Oct. 14. The (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers introduced a petition into the legislature on Oct. 18. The document contains over 300 signatures and calls on former Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee to disclose when she knew about the sexual assault at Hidden Valley.

It also asks her to disclose what direction she gave the Department of Education, particularly around the communication with parents.

“It’s clear that the Deputy Premier was aware of the sexual abuse that occurred in the elementary school, but then, instead of telling anyone about it — instead of notifying parents so that they could talk to their children — the Deputy Premier did nothing,” accused opposition leader Currie Dixon on the floor of the house Oct. 18.

“Instead of answering questions, the Liberals have hidden behind this so-called independent investigation and have even tried to foist the blame on the RCMP,” he said.

Opposition MLAs have been hammering the government for more information on the file since the fall sitting began. Initial questions were aimed at the current Education Minister, Jeanie McLean, but the petition focuses on the former minister.

McPhee was education minister in 2019, when a student at Hidden Valley was sexually abused by an educational assistant. Since then, two civil lawsuits have been launched and a second criminal case is ongoing.

Dixon has criticized the government’s decision to hire an Outside lawyer to conduct the private investigation. On Monday, McLean said she is confident in the review and said it will include everything from the initial assault in 2019, to the failure to notify parents, to the current situation. She said it will also include a review of policies to avoid future incidents.

The report is expected to be completed by Jan. 31.

“That’s a commitment I have made,” she said.

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