May 27, 2015


Phoenix's best interests didn't necessarily trump father's

The best interests of Phoenix Sinclair didn't necessarily trump invading clients' privacy and earning their trust, the inquiry into her death heard today.

Laura Forrest, a Child and Family Services intake worker assigned to the case in 2003 after the toddler was taken to hospital with a foreign and festering object stuck up her nose, tried unsuccessfully for months to see Phoenix. She tried visiting the home right away but her father Steve Sinclair said she wasn't there.

Laura Forrest, intake worker, continued her testimony at the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry this morning.


Laura Forrest, intake worker, continued her testimony at the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry this morning. Photo Store

"He told me she was being looked after," said Forrest.

She went back to the home several times over the next three months but no one was home. She didn't try any other contacts listed on file to see if they could help her locate Phoenix and her dad.

"I do not think that is a respectful way to work with people," Forrest told Jeff Gindin, the lawyer representing Steven Sinclair and Phoenix's foster mother Kim Edwards.

Forrest said she was hoping and trying to work with Sinclair. She wanted to win his trust by not "invading his privacy" and phoning people to ask his and Phoenix's whereabouts. She had to be careful with confidentiality issues, too, she said.

"They're all trumped by the best interests of Phoenix?," Gindin asked.

"Not necessarily," said Forrest.

As an intake worker she had many cases to deal with and had to prioritize them. Calling around to find Phoenix might have taken some time but might have been a good idea, she admitted.

"It's easy to say that now after we know what happened."

Phoenix was later apprehended and taken into care then murdered by her mother, Samantha Kematch in 2005.


Updated on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 3:19 PM CST: Live blog is over for the day.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 27 7:44 am

Incidence of cancer on rise in Manitoba

Mary Agnes Welch | @mawwelch

May 27 7:36 am

New cancer cases and deaths on the rise in Manitoba as experts predict a 40% national rise in cases over the next 15 years.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 27 7:36 am

Release of woman who died on doorstep safe: nurse

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 27 7:36 am

Motorcycle driver killed in collision with SUV

Mary Agnes Welch | @mawwelch

May 27 7:27 am

Crash between a motorcycle and an SUV on Waverley St. Tuesday night leaves young driver dead.

Scroll down to load more