Before Wendake boys' deaths, youth protection had been alerted about them: rights commission

Quebec's youth rights commission confirmed Tuesday that it has opened an investigation, on its own initiative, into the situation surrounding the death of two children in Wendake on Sunday.

The investigation by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse will not be public, however, "as with any Commission investigation," the organization said in a statement.

The commission will not be doing interviews on the matter and will not provide any comment, it said.

This investigation stems from the fact that there had already been reports to the youth protection agency for Quebec City, which oversees nearby Wendake, concerning the children involved.

The commission's task is to verify how the local department of youth protection fulfilled its mandate, and whether children's rights were violated.

In its press release, the rights commission explained that after its investigation, if it has reason to believe that the rights of children were indeed violated, it will make appropriate recommendations to Quebec City's youth protection directorate and any other relevant authority.

Last year, a seven-year-old girl was killed in Granby after youth protection had been made aware of her case. The girl's father and stepmother are awaiting trial.

"Unfortunately, I was not surprised," said Valerie Assouline, the lawyer representing the girl's grandmother. "There's a lot of cases where parents, grandparents call DYP and voice their concerns about children and are not taken seriously."

The Granby death led to a commission on youth protection where more than 200 witnesses described systemic issues that led to cases slipping through the cracks. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 13, 2020.

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters