Nigerian community wants answers after death of boy in foster care

Members of Montreal's Nigerian community want the government to conduct a widespread investigation into the case of a 5-year-old boy who died while in foster care.

The boy's family came to Canada last year seeking asylum. After several months the department of youth protection stepped in and placed the boys in protective care.

"This boy was in the care of child protective services, and he left the house unprotected and wandered all the way to a neighbour's pool," said community spokesperson Pius Ehinoma. 

The young boy drowned last month in a backyard pool in Pierrefonds.

His 10-year-old brother was injured while trying to save him and spent weeks in a coma.

"It was the same parents that they said cannot take care of the boys that were by his side all through the time in the hospital," Ehinoma said. 

The boy's family and community wants answers from the department of youth protection. They want to know the circumstances surrounding the boy's death, what sort of supervision or lack of supervision the boy had and how Batshaw Youth and Family Centres went about handling the case.

"For the time that this boy was in a coma in hospital there was no single official from youth protection that came visiting. Nobody came," said Ehinoma.

After the 10-year-old boy recovered, officials wanted to place the boy back in foster care, but the community stepped in.

"The community said no, before you can take this kid back to other people, we would suggest to you that we have capable members of our community," said Ehinoma.

They add the boy's case is not dissimilar to that of the seven-year-old girl in Granby, but there is a noticeable lack out public and government outcry for the Nigerian boy.

"Since it happened, it's like nothing happened," said Osa Osifo, Edo People Association of Montreal. "Nobody heard about it, nobody knew about it. It's like it was swept under the carpet."