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Premier open to inquest in wake of southern Manitoba deaths


Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew says he is open to an inquest or inquiry into Child and Family Services in the wake of the deaths of five family members in southern Manitoba, including a 17-year-old in care.

Myah-Lee Gratton was one of the five people killed Sunday. Her mother Juliette Hastings said she warned CFS that Ryan Manoakeesick, the man accused of killing her, was dangerous and that her daughter should not have been in the home.

Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Kinew said the province has a responsibility to find out what went wrong when “terrible things like this happen in our province,” and how to fix it.

“I’m open to hearing the questions around a potential inquiry,” he said. “An inquest would be up to the chief medical examiner to call, but I can tell you right away the internal work of asking these questions, pursuing accountability and with an eye towards the future, of guaranteeing safety for people in Manitoba, young people, vulnerable people - that work is underway.”

The four other victims include 30-year-old Amanda Clearwater and her three children: Bethany, 6, Jayven, 4, and Isabella, who was two and half months old.

Hastings said Myah-Lee considered Amanda her aunt, even though the two were not blood relatives.

Ten months before her death, she was placed in Amanda’s home by CFS following a fight with her mother.

Hastings said she was concerned Manoakeesick, Clearwater’s common-law partner who was living in the home at the time, was violent, and that her complaints to CFS were ignored.

Manoakeesick has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

None of the charges have been tested in court.

-With files from CTV’s Danton Unger. Top Stories

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