Manitoba government under fire

The Manitoba government is being criticized for delaying the release of the final report on how social services failed a five-year-old who was murdered by her mother and stepfather.

The province announced it will wait until two byelections are held before releasing the report into the death of Phoenix Sinclair.

“Suspicious” delay

Jeff Gindin, the lawyer of Phoenix’s father and foster mother was quoted by the CBC  as saying the government’s decision to delay the report is suspicious.

Phoenix was found dead in 2005 after she bounced in and out of foster care. A public inquiry, lasting almost two years was conducted to determine how the girls’ death went unnoticed for months.

Commissioner Ted Hughes, who examined how the girl slipped through the cracks, submitted his report to the NDP government on Dec. 15.

The CBC reports that the report will not be made public until after two byelections on Jan. 28. A government spokesperson explained that the release of a major report is considered a significant publication which would generate large interest in government activity.

Abuse reported to authorities

The public inquiry into the girl’s death determined that authorities were contacted a few month’s before Phoenix’s death to report significant abuse. A social worker visited Phoenix’s mother in their home but left without seeing Phoenix and closed the case.

According the The Canadian Press, the inquiry was one of the most expensive in Manitoba’s history, costing at least $10 million.

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