Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)

Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said recent sex crimes charges against Interior Health’s top doctor won’t impede the health authority’s COVID-19 response.

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Interior Health’s chief medical health officer, was arrested and charged in Kelowna on Tuesday, June 8, on sexual assault and sexual interference charges.

“These are serious charges. They are very concerning to us and everyone at Interior Health in particular,” said Dix, adding his comments are limited as the matter works its way through the judicial system.

“What I can say is that it won’t distract us at all, anyone at Interior Health, from protecting people from COVID-19.”

Dix confirmed de Villiers has been placed on leave, though his employment status remains unconfirmed by Interior Health. His name has been removed from the health authority’s website.

Dr. Sue Pollock will take on the role on Monday, June 14. Pollock previously served as Interior Health’s interim chief medical health officer between January 2020 and August 2020.

“She’s an outstanding leader and I have full confidence in her,” Dix said.

The charges are out of Grande Prairie, Alta., where de Villiers served as the lead medical health officer of Alberta’s north zone for 16 years before taking the Interior Health job in August 2020.

RCMP in Grande Prairie said it received a report on May 28 of sexual offences against a young child that allegedly took place between 2018 and 2020. Mounties investigated the matter alongside the Caribou Child & Youth Centre, which works with children and youth who are the victims of crime or abuse.

He was released from police custody on Wednesday afternoon on conditions and is next scheduled to appear in court on June 30 in Grande Prairie.

READ MORE: Interior Health top doctor released on bail after sex crimes charges involving child

READ MORE: Interior Health’s top doctor charged with sex crimes against child in Alberta

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read