Inquest into toddler’s drowning death begins
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 1:10PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 6:43PM EST
A coroner’s inquest into the drowning death of a 2-year-old boy in July 2010 began Monday morning.
Jeremie Audette was found face down in a swimming pool at an unlicensed daycare in Orleans two years ago.
Alain Audette, Jeremie’s father, said reliving the details of his son’s death is hard but is worth it if it means protecting other children.
That now includes two more children of his own, who were born after Jeremie passed away.
“We're here to represent the public and hopefully Jeremie will bring some changes with this outcome,” said Audette.
Although no criminal charges were laid, the owner of the poolwas fined $2,000 and given a year's probation. The unlicensed daycare on Rougemount Crescent was a popular spot for other caregivers to bring children to play. A ministry investigation found several violations under the Ontario Day Nurseries Act.
The inquest will examine the circumstances around Jeremie's death and make recommendations on how similar deaths can be prevented.
“We want to make sure we do the right steps to make sure that they're safe in daycares and other environments,” said Audette.
Pictures from Ottawa police show the backyard where the drowning occurred had an above-ground pool and a smaller wading pool.
Jeremie was last seen alive in the wading pool. Evidence presented to the inquest showed there was a clear path just over five metres long between the wading pool and the above-ground swimming pool where Jeremie was found.
Yet tobe determined is whether the gate of the bigger pool was propped open when Jeremie drowned, but what is known is that the latch on the gate was damaged.
The inquest is expected to hear from 23 witnesses and last 15 days.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s John Hua