NDP Question in legislature - to Ministry of Education


September 23rd, 2013

Hamilton Mountain MPP and NDP Children and Youth Services critic Monique Taylor asked a question to the Minister of Education Liz Sandals, regarding the facts revealed from the Public Health Report that was requested by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.


Monday 23 September 2013 Lundi 23 septembre 2013


Miss Monique Taylor: My question is to the Minister of Education. On Friday, a freedom-of-information request revealed that the Vaughan home daycare where two-year-old Eva Ravikovich died last July had meat contaminated with listeria in its refrigerator. Were complaints about contaminated and potentially lethal meat among those that your ministry never followed up on?

Hon. Liz Sandals: My heart does go out to the family of the child in this incredibly difficult time.

I think it’s important for the Legislature to recognize that the area in which my ministry is authorized to act is within the realm of the number of children who are at an unlicensed daycare. In fact, since this incident, we have applied for an injunction and have been granted a temporary injunction to prevent this particular provider from operating a daycare anywhere in Ontario.

Because this is before the courts waiting for the hearing of permanent injunction, I cannot comment any further on the specifics.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Miss Monique Taylor: The freedom-of-information report shows that when the Ministry of Education inspectors finally visited the daycare last November, they were refused entry for 20 minutes. The ministry’s manager for licensing speculates that the operator moved children next door while the inspectors were waiting. If the inspectors had gone in right away, they may have found 27 children and they may have closed that daycare immediately, perhaps saving that child’s life.

How many children’s lives has this government put at risk because of its toothless inspection of home-based daycares?

Hon. Liz Sandals: I repeat that my ministry has applied for an injunction in this particular case.

But I think in terms of the ongoing public policy, we have stated publicly that one of the problems with the existing Day Nurseries Act is, in fact, that my ministry has very little authority with respect to unlicensed daycare. In fact, the need to go to court is problematic, and we have committed to making amendments to the legislation to find a more effective process to intervene in the future.