Death of Granby girl: Townships youth protection director relieved of duties

The man responsible for youth protection services at the Eastern Townships regional health board is no longer in that position.

Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant says Alain Trudel been suspended with pay — and that it was Trudel who asked to step aside.

Carment told a news conference on Thursday he was unsatisfied with his handling of the case of the 7-year-old girl in Granby who died Tuesday, and with his handling of the youth protection dossier in general.

"Because of the way this case was managed, and because of the progressing waiting lists in the Estrie region, we're not sure that he was the right person to be in that position right now," Carment said.

On Wednesday, Carmant announced the girl had a lengthy file open with youth protection services, and that as recently as last month, someone called the department asking it to intervene.

Coroner's inquest called

At the same news conference, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced there will be a public inquiry into the little girl's death, and that inquiry will be open to the public.

"We have to take all means to ensure that all means to make sure that all information is properly gathered and made public regarding this tragic death," she said. "So my power in that situation is to ask the chief coroner to hold this public inquiry, and the main objective of this public inquiry is to establish the probable causes and circumstances surrounding the death, and if possible, the coroner could make recommendations."

A public inquiry won't get underway, however, before the criminal investigation ends. That could take at least a year.

On Monday, the 7-year-old girl was rushed to hospital in Granby, after she was reportedly tied to a bed and beaten in her father's home. Due to the severity of her injuries, she was transferred to a hospital in Sherbrooke, where she died Tuesday.

The girl's father, 30, was charged with forcible confinement, and the girl's stepmother, 35, was charged with confinement and aggravated assault.

Both are expected to face more charges when they return to court on Thursday.