Nunavut launches investigation into children placed in unlicensed Alberta group home
The Government of Nunavut says it has hired a lawyer to look into how eight children from the territory were placed in an unlicensed Alberta group home last year.
The situation came to light following a report from Radio-Canada in March.
It found that three homes run by Ever Bright Complex Needs Support Services in Airdrie, Alta., had permits that weren't active.
A Nunavut spokesperson said at the time that the territory was unaware of this when the children were sent, though Alberta Children's Services said the information was communicated to Nunavut multiple times.
The Nunavut premier's press secretary, Beth Brown, said in an email this week that the "Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs this week has contracted a third party to review the incident within Family Services regarding the children who were previously in care of the company Ever Bright."
In an interview, Premier P.J. Akeeagok told Radio-Canada this is the first time he has called for an internal investigation of this magnitude while in office.
The premier's office did not say who was hired to do the investigation or at what cost.
Nunavut routinely sends children with complex needs to be cared for outside of the territory, but the subject is rarely discussed in the media.
News that children had been placed in an unlicensed home in Alberta prompted outrage in Nunavut, including from Akeeagok who immediately launched an internal review.
NDP MP Lori Idlout also weighed in at the time, saying she was "shocked" by the news, and that she's long had concerns about Nunavut youth being placed in "a completely different environment and culture."