VANCOUVER — Vancouver mayoral candidates’ parents said Monday that they are “very concerned” about their daughter’s mental health and have raised concerns to the provincial government about her access to drugs and alcohol.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s mother, Linda, and her father, Bill Robertson, told reporters that their daughter has been in a hospital for two weeks after undergoing a procedure in June.
“She’s been in hospital for quite some time,” Linda Robertson said.
The two have asked the provincial Liberals to establish a “health and wellness council” to oversee the family’s daughter’s care.
It’s their first public comments on the issue, but Linda Robertson did tell reporters that her daughter has made “very significant progress” since her hospitalization.
They’ve asked for the government to provide the necessary funding, including for “emergency” services such as mental health care.
“We’re very concerned that this could be an ongoing issue,” she said.
The couple said they’ve contacted the provincial Ministry of Health, but had yet to receive any answers.
Bill Robertson told reporters he believes his daughter is being treated like a criminal.
“[Her] family is a very well-off family and she’s been treated like one,” he said.
“She doesn’t want to be locked up and there are many reasons for that.”
Bill Robertson added that he has raised the issue with the provincial NDP government and said that the NDP has offered to work with the Robertsons to establish “a safe environment for our daughter.”
“We have a number of ways we can work together,” he told reporters.
“It’s just a matter of finding out what the resources are and getting to that point.”
Voters in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and the Prairies will head to the polls on May 9 to choose a new mayor.
A spokesman for the Liberals, Doug Donaldson, told The Hill that the party was “looking into” the issue.
On Monday, the Robertson family released a statement saying that they were “very disappointed” by the Liberals decision to refuse their request for funding to help care for their daughter.
“The family’s concern is that, despite the government’s attempts to assist, it will be unable to do so, which we hope will lead to a delay in the start of the campaign,” they wrote.
B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark said the provincial Liberal government was doing everything possible to help the Robertson couple, including the creation of a new, government-run “health, wellness and recreation” council.
“This new council is critical for ensuring that our daughter is treated and cared for appropriately and in a way that will support her in her recovery,” Clark said in a statement.
Last week, the province said it was considering extending the deadline for the Robertson campaign to get a $100,000 donation to help pay for their hospital stays, as well as extending the time they had to submit their financial disclosure forms.
Earlier this month, the family asked the government for an extension of time to submit the documents, and Clark said her government would be working with the families to address those concerns.
“My office will be working to ensure that the details we are receiving are as appropriate and timely as possible and that the campaign is able to make its decision to move forward,” Clark wrote in a letter to the Robertson families.