The architect of British Columbia’s blueprint to rebuild the province’s child-welfare system says Premier Gordon Campbell must take a leadership role on behalf of children.

Former judge Ted Hughes said yesterday in a letter to Campbell that proposed legislation involving access to cabinet documents by the children’s watchdog strikes “a negative blow to the heart” of regulations monitoring child protection in B.C.

Hughes called on Campbell to dump the legislation or consider tabling the amendments and consent to a mediation process. He also offered his services to the government.

Hughes became involved in the matter when children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond sued the government after she was denied access to documents she needs to prepare an audit of 4,000 vulnerable children.

Four years ago, when Hughes wrote a report into how B.C. looks after children, he called for the creation of Turpel-Lafond’s job and the adoption of the Representative for Children and Youth Act, which incorporated the 62 recommendations he made.