August 19, 2017


24° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast


Advertise With Us

Phoenix inquiry to get grim

Tot's final weeks to be outlined in testimony

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/4/2013 (1587 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some of the most disturbing testimony in the oft-delayed Phoenix Sinclair inquiry that resumes today is expected this week.

Intertribal Child and Family Services social workers at Fisher River First Nation and friends and family who interacted with Phoenix in the final weeks of her life will testify, said commission counsel Sherri Walsh.

It's the first time reserve social workers will publicly explain the services that were or were not provided to the five-year-old who was murdered in 2005 by her mother and stepfather. Her death wasn't discovered until 2006 when her battered body was found in a shallow grave at the Fisher River dump.

Authorities didn't know anything about Phoenix's whereabouts until one of her stepbrothers broke down and told his mother the little girl was tortured and murdered by his father Karl "Wes" McKay and Phoenix's mother, Samantha Kematch.

The social worker who interviewed the boy and his mom will also testify this week at the inquiry into how Phoenix fell through the cracks of Manitoba's child-welfare safety net.

The RCMP constable who assisted in the arrest of Kematch and McKay is also on the witness list this week, said Walsh. In 2008, the pair were convicted of first-degree murder. Three years later, the province announced plans for the inquiry that was to present its findings by March 2012. It was delayed by legal challenges before and after it eventually got started in September.

Now the inquiry has nearly completed Phase One -- a chronology of what services were or weren't provided to the little girl who would've turned 13 this month.

Phoenix was involved with CFS from the time she was born in 2000, when she was taken into care, until CFS last closed the file on her in March 2005.

Her mother and stepfather moved from Winnipeg to McKay's reserve, Fisher River.

When the inquiry tracing the chronology of Phoenix's life and death recessed in February, it had heard about the family's move to the reserve and application for welfare. A handful of residents testified already about rare Phoenix sightings and getting a glimpse of her caregivers' cruelty.

During their criminal trial five years ago, the shocking brutality she endured in the final weeks of her life came to light. Over the next 10 days, the inquiry will hear how that happened with no one coming to her rescue.

The mysterious disappearance of CFS supervisors' notes relating to Phoenix's case will also come up. Cross-examination of the head of Winnipeg CFS who testified in February is expected to continue Wednesday. Alana Brownlee told the inquiry earlier she didn't know what happened to the records of supervisors involved with Phoenix's case.

Read more by Carol Sanders.


Advertise With Us


Updated on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM CDT: adds fact box

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.

Photo Store

Scroll down to load more