Nearly four weeks after a five-year-old boy in foster care drowned, members of Montreal’s Nigerian community want to know why the government isn’t conducting a widespread investigation into what happened.
They are contrasting the lack of outcry over this boy’s death when compared to the death of a seven-year-old girl in Granby, who died while in the care of her father and stepmother.
The boy drowned in a backyard pool in Pierrefonds on Monday April 22.
The boy’s family is originally from Nigeria and came into Canada last year to seek asylum.
However after several months, the department of youth protection intervened and placed the five-year-old and his ten-year-old into foster care.
On April 22 the boys and several other children walked into a neighbour’s backyard in Pierrefonds and the younger boy fell in.
The older boy attempted to save his brother but he also slipped under the water.
The five-year-old boy died that day, while the ten-year-old remained in a coma for several weeks.
Community spokesperson Pius Ehinoma said that the boy’s parents remained by his side for the entire time.
“For the time that this boy was in a coma in hospital there was no single official from youth protection that came visiting. Nobody came,” said Ehinoma.
“It was the same parents that they said cannot take care of the boys that were by his side all through the time in the hospital.”
When the boy recovered officials tried to place him back in foster care and that has made many people upset.
“The community said no, before you can take this kid back to other people, we would suggest to you that we have capable members of our community,” said Ehinoma.
A funeral for the five-year-old boy was held this week, and the Batshaw officers of the department of youth protection paid for those costs.