B.C. childrens’ advocate says she was deceived about teen who died in care

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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — British Columbia’s representative for children says her trust in the provincial government has been shaken after she claims she was misled into believing that no children in care were being housed in hotels.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond issued a sharp rebuke following the death of 18-year-old Alex Gervais, a First Nations teen in care who was killed after falling from the fourth-floor window of an Abbotsford hotel last Friday.

Turpel-Lafond says Gervais had been living in a hotel for about two months after the province shut down the group home where he was living over safety concerns.

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She says Gervais moved 16 times before taking up residence in the hotel.

Turpel-Lafond says the young man was in distress and may have taken his own life.

Abbotsford police say they don’t suspect foul play in the death.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux has issued a statement saying information recently brought to light has caused her great concern but she declined to comment on specific cases.

The Canadian Press

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