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What Killed Maliikkii?
July 11, 2012 permalink
A rally in Sudbury demanded answers concerning the death of three-month-old Maliikkii Beaudry after less than two days in CAS foster care. Northern Life reports below, with video (avi).
Family wants answers after infant dies in care
Demonstrators take aim at children’s aid societies
Marjorie Beaudry has a lot of questions after her four-month-old grandson died earlier this month while briefly under the care of foster parents.
“What we’re saying is ... why did he die? How did he die?” Beaudry asked, speaking at a rally in downtown Sudbury July 11.
The rally was held in front of the provincial government building at 159 Cedar St. It was organized by the Ontario Coalition for Accountability, a group fighting to broaden the umbrella of provincial government and provincial government-affiliated organizations, including children’s aid societies, that can be investigated by the Ontario Ombudsman.
Beaudry’s grandchild was born prematurely, weighing just one pound. The baby’s parents are from Wikwemikong, and have four other young children.
She said her daughter and son-in-law recently moved to Greater Sudbury after they were kicked off the reserve because some band members suspected the couple of being drug distributors.
Beaudry said neither of them have ever been convicted of a drug-related offence.
Because they were unable to find housing right away, the family of six had been temporarily staying in a motel room.
Due to their situation, the family was approached by the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin (CAS) to place the baby in foster care when he was ready to be released from hospital, Beaudry said.
CAS could neither confirm nor deny this claim as it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the child’s death.
“The CAS said ‘You can’t accommodate the baby — another child in that room is not acceptable,’” Beaudry said. “They coerced her to sign a three-month custody agreement. Very reluctantly, they signed it.”
The baby was released from hospital into the care of foster parents on July 2. However, on July 4, the baby was brought to Health Sciences North, where he was pronounced dead.
His death is now under investigation by Greater Sudbury Police and the coroner’s office.
Beaudry said her daughter is “devastated” by her youngest child’s death.
Source: Northern Life
Family members spell the boy's name Maliikkii or Miliikkii, news media use Malachi.
More in the Sudbury Star.
'We want ... our son back'
Marvin Ganteaume wants the impossible.
"We want the Children's Aid Society to give back our son. That's what we want. Our son back," he said at a rally on Wednesday outside the provincial government building on Cedar Street.
Ganteaume's son, Malachi was four-months-old when he died in early July, days after being placed in foster care.
The infant was born prematurely and weighed only one pound.
According to his father, Malachi was taken to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, where he stayed for about three months before transferring to Sudbury's Health Sciences North.
"He had lung problems, brain problems and an eye problem," Ganteaume said, adding that doctors said the infant was healthy enough to go back to Sudbury.
According to the father, it was around this time that the Children's Aid Society of the District of Sudbury and Manitoulin contacted Leslie Beaudry, the child's mother, who had four other children - two sets of twins - under the age of four.
The family had been living in Wikwemikong, but were forced to move to Sudbury, where they had trouble finding housing and were staying in a motel room. Beaudry hesitantly agreed to give her baby boy to a temporary foster family.
"We were informed that all of his medical needs would be met," Ganteaume said.
The infant was released from hospital in early July and went to a foster family. On July 3, Malachi was taken to Sick Kids for an appointment, which the mother also attended.
"Mommy was concerned for his health and well being. She realized he wasn't looking well," Ganteaume said, adding that, around 6 a.m. the next day, the foster family called the hospital with concerns that the baby wasn't eating. They were told that he was probably tired from the trip to Toronto, but ended up rushing the child to the hospital later in the day. Around noon, the infant's parents were asked to come to the hospital. Around 3 p.m., they were told that he had died.
"Mommy and I were distraught. We started asking questions right away," he said.
These questions fuelled Wednesday's rally.
"We're hoping to get justice. We want someone to be accountable for our child's death," Ganteaume said.
The infant's death is now being investigated by the coroner's office, which could take four to six months. The Greater Sudbury Police are helping the coroner in the investigation and the Children's Aid Society are conducting an separate investigation.
Colette Prevost, executive director of the Manitoulin and Sudbury District CAS, said the agency can't comment on the matter.
"The matter ... is under investigation, so we're not in a position to comment, but we're aware of the rally," Prevost said.
The rally, which attracted dozens of participants - many from First Nations communities - was partly organized by the Ontario Coalition for Accountability. The coalition is fighting to allow the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate children's aid societies.
"Right now, (Ontario) is the only province in Canada that doesn't allow our ombudsman to investigate Children's aid Societies," said Tabatha Haskett, of the coalition. "We're here today in memory of a child that just recently died while in the care of the CAS."
Like the family, Haskett has many questions.
"We want answers ... we feel the family's in limbo at this time, because we don't have the coroner's report. We don't have any reports from anybody. We want them to get the closure they desperately need. They need to know what happened to their child," she said.
Source: Sudbury Star
By publishing a letter to the editor from Anne Patterson, the Sudbury Star has added to the editorial calls for ombudsman oversight.
Ombudsman should have oversight of CAS
How tragic and enraging to hear that another child has died under the care of the CAS; my condolences to his family.
Ontario has a long and ugly legacy of child deaths affiliated with child welfare as well as horrific abuse cases from various circumstances. The NDP have made several bills to have the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate the CAS, the newest bill is Bill 110. Ontario is the only province without this mechanism, and it is ridiculous that this be left any longer.
Not only are there far too many deaths, but other problems in the system are also harming children including abuse in foster care, over-medication of children and a host of other serious issues.
It is the Ontario Liberals that refuse this oversight and Laurel Broten actually had the audacity, when she was minister of Children and Youth, to say the coroner was an oversight measure, too late when a child has died like this tragic case, and shameful at best to even suggest such a thing.
Let's have Ombudsman oversight now, and if the Ontario Liberals refuse this, how about the public refusing to vote for them ever again. That they have left this mess and are allowing these agencies to continue with no oversight is a travesty.
Please call your MPP and ask for Bill 110 to be passed.
Anne Patterson London, ON
Source: Sudbury Star
Addendum: A Facebook discussion two years later disclosed:
Source: Facebook, Stop the CAS ...