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Officials mum about details surrounding sex abuse allegation at Ottawa daycare

City officials and police are not providing any additional information about an allegation of sexual abuse at a city-run daycare.

The city of Ottawa said in a memo Tuesday that the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa will be investigating an allegation of sexual abuse at the city-run Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre.

General manager of community and social services Clara Freire said the allegation was shared with the Ottawa Police Service and the city, and no other details were provided.

"The City is fully cooperating with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa on this matter and remains committed to ensuring the ongoing safety of children at the Centre. The City is following all appropriate labour relations policies and the employee in question was immediately removed and is currently on investigatory leave," Freire wrote.

There was no information in the memo about when the alleged incident occurred or how many people are involved. A notice posted on the door of the daycare said it was made aware of the allegation on Monday. The daycare looks after kids aged 18 months to five years.

CTV News Ottawa reached out to Ottawa police and the Children's Aid Society for comment.

An Ottawa police spokesperson said Wednesday that the service was aware of the memo from the city but refused to comment or provide any other details.

The Children's Aid Society was also limited in what it said. 

"The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa takes all allegations of abuse seriously and is committed to collaborating with the appropriate authorities as needed," the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa said in a statement Wednesday morning.

"In accordance with our privacy policy, we are unable to provide specific details about the services we provide to individuals, families or institutions. This policy is designed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved.  Our priority remains on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children, youth and families we serve."

Freire said staff and family members have been contacted and given a direct line to the city for additional support. The city has also filed a serious occurrence report with the ministry of education. 

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe told reporters Wednesday following city council that it was "shocking" to hear an allegation of this nature about a city-run daycare.

"During a period when it's being investigated, there's not much more I can say about it," he said.

Freire told reporters that the city needs to "respect the investigation that is underway" and not comment further.

"We're currently following the process, but our priority is the families," Freire added. "We understand the desire for more information, we just do not have any more information that we can provide at this time." Top Stories

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