B.C.’s child watchdog quits after 14 months on job, heads back to New Brunswick

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B.C. Children’s Representative Bernard Richard speaks to media from the Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth is quitting after 14 months on the job.

Bernard Richard, a former social worker and New Brunswick politician, was confirmed in his role as the independent advocate for B.C.’s most vulnerable youth in February 2017.

Richard told the legislature’s select standing committee on children and youth today that he will remain on the job until August to ensure a replacement is found.

After the meeting, Richard told reporters he is 67 years old and wants to return to New Brunswick to be near his family and his French-speaking community.

He has accepted a position with area Indigenous groups in New Brunswick to help organize and administer a child welfare program.

Richard says one of his biggest accomplishments during his time in B.C. was resetting the often turbulent relationship between his office, the government and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

He announced his departure during an appearance before a legislative committee.