Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy was formally sworn in as Minister of Children and Family Development by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy was formally sworn in as Minister of Children and Family Development by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

Conroy named Minister of Children and Family Development

Kootenay West’s MLA was among the 22 members of the NDP who were sworn in as cabinet ministers.

Kootenay West’s MLA was among the 22 members of the NDP who were sworn in as cabinet ministers on Tuesday.

Hon. Katrine Conroy was named Minister of Children and Family Development and was already hard at work attending her first cabinet meeting Wednesday morning.

“Been here since 7:30, working away and just getting the transition, getting orientation. It’s good,” she said during a short break.

Conroy says there’s a lot to be done in her new role as minister.

“I’m just looking forward to ensuring that we have services for kids in this province and their families, and we can support kids so we make sure there’s not as many kids in care, but that those kids in care are getting the supports that they need. That First Nations kids are getting the supports that they need,” she said.

The new minister looks forward not only to her new role, but also to her continued responsibility regarding the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and the Columbia River Treaty. She is now minister responsible for all three.

“These have been my critic areas for a number of years now and I am really, really happy to continue in those roles,” she said.

The confidence and supply agreement ratified between the NDP and Greens promises that the new government will “invest in child protection to hire additional social workers and staff to support social workers, and to implement incentives to attract social workers to rural and underserved regions.”

Conroy couldn’t speak to a timeline, but said, “It’s definitely something that’s on the agenda.”

The B.C. NDP platform also promised more support for kids aging out of care, better education resources for kids in care, better support to keep Aboriginal kids out of care and better care for Aboriginal kids who do enter the system.

Asked for any last comments, Conroy said, “It’s a good day for British Columbia,” before returning to the cabinet meeting.

For a complete list of B.C.’s new cabinet ministers, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/cabinet/cabinet-ministers.