Today during Question Period, Monique Taylor, the Ontario NDP’s critic for Children and Youth Services, demanded Premier Wynne keep her word to change the child welfare system, and take immediate action on the Katelynn Sampson inquest’s core recommendation, “Katelynn’s principle.”
“On Friday, the inquest into Katelynn Sampson’s death led to 173 recommendations. The most important was to overhaul the child welfare, judicial and education systems to hear and value children’s voices and wishes,” said Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain.
“As the judge in the initial case stated, ‘alarm bells were ringing but no one was responding.’ Will the Premier do the right thing and immediately implement Katelynn’s principle, the core recommendation of the inquest?” asked Taylor.
Eight years ago, seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson was murdered by two caregivers who previously had children removed from them by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). Taylor recounted that on a note written before she was found, Katelynn had written 62 times, “I am A awful girl that’s why know one wants me.”
“It is undeniable that Katelynn was failed in every possible way during her short life,” Taylor said. “She was failed by a broken system that didn’t properly protect our most vulnerable children. A system that didn’t respond when half a dozen calls concerning Katelynn in the months before her death were made.”
Taylor reminded Premier Wynne of her promise to take action to change the child welfare system.
“The Premier has said that once she has the information and evidence necessary, she would make change. The information is in front of her. The time for change is now,” said Taylor.
“Will the Premier immediately ensure that children are at the centre of child welfare in the province and that their voices are heard and valued?”