Eby supports deeper review after couple kills Port Alberni boy in 2018

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Dontay Lucas is pictured.

B.C. Premier David Eby says he supports a wider probe into how the child welfare system failed Dontay Patrick Lucas, a six-year-old boy who was starved, beaten and ultimately died at the hands of his mother and stepfather in Port Alberni in 2018.

On Monday, the premier said he supported a more thorough review into how the six-year-old was returned to his mother’s care, and why something wasn’t done earlier as he was abused, before ultimately dying of blunt force trauma in March 2018.

“Cases of kids like Dontay and the horror that all British Columbians feel when we hear about a child being abused, being mistreated, is profound,” said Eby.

“For Dontay’s case, we will ensure that British Columbians get the answers they need and, in particular, we have the information we need to prevent any similar deaths from taking place,” he said

READ ALSO: Port Alberni father says his son’s killers should be tried on murder charges

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth, Jennifer Charlesworth, has declined to conduct a full investigation into the boy’s death due to the trauma it could cause the community and the time that has passed since he was killed.

She has also publicly stated she’s watching for sentencing and the appeal period to end for the mother and stepfather, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case on Nov. 27.

Any probe moving forward would involve the Nuu-chah-nulth’s child welfare services in Port Alberni, which transitioned Dontay into his mother’s care, where he ultimately died.

It’s a sensitive issue for the province, which is in the middle of actively transitioning child welfare services back to First Nations control.

RELATED: Mother, husband charged with first-degree murder in death of six-year-old Port Alberni boy

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