Inquest necessary to ensure accountability across government departments
The PEI Liberal Caucus is reassured to hear that government has overturned their initial decision and will be proceeding with an inquest into the death of Kenneth Hoddinott, which occurred on December 16, 2021 while in custody at the Provincial Correctional Facility.
“This tragedy really highlights the major challenges our province faces on many fronts, especially for those living with substance abuse issues, and for our homeless population in PEI,” says MLA Gordon McNeilly, Liberal critic for Social Development and Housing. “This inquest is necessary to ensure accountability across the government departments that are responsible for providing services to vulnerable populations,” McNeilly adds.
Referring to the 2019 report Findings of a Community Needs Assessment on Emergency Shelters in PEI, McNeilly states, “Government needs to adopt the findings of the report on emergency shelters and develop services and policy for Islanders that ‘meet people where they are’ in their journey.” McNeilly insists that the Department of Social Development and Housing must start looking at ways to revamp services, and create new ones, that follow a harm reduction approach for those with addiction issues.
“This is an issue that resonates across multiple government departments, and government needs to come together and really analyze, not only the services they provide to Islanders, but how they provide them and how to better meet the needs of those who are being underserved and left behind,” McNeilly says.