Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/5/2013 3:25 PM | Comments: 0
Reports critical of the way Phoenix Sinclair’s case was handled by Winnipeg Child and Family Services were not to be shared with the staff involved, said the woman in charge at the time. At the inquiry into the little girl’s death, Darlene MacDonald testified today that she was ordered not to.
"I was asked to keep the reports confidential and not share them with anyone," said MacDonald, who was the CEO of CFS then and is now the Children’s Advocate.
"I think there were people above me who made that decision."
The three reports were written after Phoenix’s 2005 death came to light in 2006. The five-year-old’s body was discovered buried at Fisher River First Nation and in 2008 her mother Samantha Kematch and stepfather Karl "Wes" McKay were convicted of her murder.
In 2011, the province ordered an inquiry to determine how Phoenix slipped through Manitoba’s child-welfare safety net. Phoenix had been involved with Winnipeg CFS from the time she was born until her family left Winnipeg for the reserve in 2005, the year she was murdered.
Soon after her death was discovered in 2006, investigations began. The chief medical examiner, an independent third party and an internal review were conducted.
The social workers and supervisors criticized in those reports were never informed of the findings concerning their role in the case. They didn’t find out until years later, when the commission of inquiry was ordered and they were contacted by commission counsel.
Several of the workers who have testified said they wished they’d seen the reports’ findings about their involvement in the case – they might have learned something from it.
MacDonald said she assumed that the reports were to be kept secret because an inquiry would be called.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Jets centre Lowry slapped with one-game suspension
Winnipeg's first battery-powered electric bus goes into service tomorrow
Zoo has faults, but it's not all bad
MD sees charges dropped
City committee gives three fire halls historic designations
Liquor store workers start voting today on possible strike before Christmas
Handful of First Nations yet to disclose finances
Siloam Mission opens podiatry room to help homeless with foot care
Polo Park debuts shopping app in time for Black Friday
Funds for Guay Park riverbank project going to balance city's books instead
Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94
CBC, NHL websites briefly affected by hack
Flap over leadership-vote plans
Sexual-assault myths persist
Ferguson fallout: Dozens arrested in Calif. unrest
Bowman among local celebrities to appear in RWB's Nutcracker
Manitoba economic outlook 'a good news story': Conference Board
'Fun party for two' ends in tragedy
General strike shuts down services across Greece
'Bannock Lady' Guiboche among human rights awards recipients
Farmers' incomes beefed up
Tory MP retracts video devices advice
Warmer weather -- and snow -- on the way
Ugly but still worth two points
Roll the (delicious) dice
Dog River faces crisis in 'Corner Gas' movie
Fire hits St. Norbert homes
Hut stuff: This year's winning entries stretch the imagination
Economic outlook anything but boring
Jazz for justice
Israel says it busted Hamas cell planning attacks
Cold Specks expands sound to create music she won't tire of
Syrian troops kill 30 rebels near Damascus
OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices
Putin's tiger ravages goat farm in northeast China
Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district
Mining boom at stake, Greenland votes amid turmoil