Battle heats up over identities in Phoenix Sinclair case
Published Thursday, July 5, 2012 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 5, 2012 11:22PM EDT
WINNIPEG -- A battle continues today over whether media outlets will be allowed to identify Manitoba social workers involved in the tragic life and death of Phoenix Sinclair.
A public inquiry is set for September to examine how the child welfare system failed to protect Phoenix, who was beaten to death in her home at the age of five.
Lawyers for child welfare authorities and the social workers' union are asking for a publication ban, which would forbid reporters from naming or photographing any workers involved in the case.
Kris Saxberg, a lawyer for the regional authorities, says court cases involving child welfare always have such publication bans, and the inquiry should be no different.
But inquiry commissioner Ted Hughes questioned that assertion, saying the inquiry is supposed to be a public hearing.
Today, lawyers for media outlets and other groups will argue against the publication ban, and Hughes will render his decision in one week.
Phoenix Sinclair spent most of her life in foster care before being returned to her mother, Samantha Kematch.
Kematch and her boyfriend Karl McKay were convicted of murdering the girl in a brutal assault, and the death went unnoticed for nine months.