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Quebec rights body says failures in child protection system preceded girl's death

Last Updated Aug 11, 2020 at 6:31 pm EDT

MONTREAL — An investigation by Quebec’s human rights commission into the death of a seven-year-old girl in Granby, Que., has identified failures at all stages of the clinical and legal process designed to protect her.

The girl’s April 2019 death sparked outrage across the province and raised questions about the effectiveness of Quebec’s youth protection system, leading the government to order a number of investigations.

Last March, the girl’s father and stepmother waived their right to a preliminary inquiry on charges related to the death and opted to proceed directly to trial.

The rights commission published its recommendations today, calling on the youth protection system to ensure children are regularly met and have a chance to express themselves freely before decisions are made about their future.

It also recommends the government address a high turnover of staff in the system, create a training program on youth protection law for students entering the field and ensure daycare workers are trained on how to report suspected abuse.

The commission notes, however, that because of the confidential nature of elements of its investigation, the portions directly concerning the Granby girl’s situation will not be made public.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press