Inquest begins into swimming pool death
The family of a little girl who drowned while she was at a birthday party at the Kanata wave pool hopes a coroner's inquest will make recommendations that will prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families.
"We're not looking at pointing fingers on who did this and who didn't do that. But is there a way to make more improvement?" said Edward Ilunga.
"We want to just make sure they will be safer than they were in 2008."
A coroner's inquest into the death of Ilunga's eight-year-old daughter, Edine Ilunga, got underway in Ottawa on Monday. The inquest is examining safety at public swimming pools.
Lifeguards found Edine face-down in the water at the Kanata wave pool in October 2008. She was not wearing a life-jacket and there was vomit by her face.
She was pulled from the swimming pool and rushed to hospital where she died the next day.
Edine was at a birthday party with 10 other children. A few parents were in the water with them.
Edward Ilunga says his daughter loved the water, but she wasn't a strong swimmer. She was about to start her first set of swimming lessons a few months later.
The coroner's office says the inquest will examine the events leading up to Edine's death. It will also examine safety standards at public swimming pools.
"The main focus of this inquest is to examine admission and emission standards into pools and public swimming facilities in Ontario," said Lia Bramwell, counsel for the coroner.
At the time of Edine's death, children eight years and older did not need adult supervision at the Kanata wave pool. The city has since made changes to those rules.
Now, kids 10 and under need to be supervised by an adult. Kids eight to 10 must either pass a swim test or wear an orange bracelet which means an adult must be within arms reach at all times.
However, Edine's father wants the changes to go further.
"You need make sure they are safe. By being safe they'll have fun," he said.
The inquest is expected to last several days.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua