Quebec man whose daughter's death sparked youth protection inquiry denied bail

GRANBY, Que. — A Quebec judge on Monday denied bail to the father of a seven-year-old Quebec girl whose death has sparked several probes about the state of youth protection services in the province.

Quebec court Judge Serge Champoux ruled the man, 30, would remain behind bars until there is a resolution to the charges he faces stemming from his daughter's death.

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The man and the young girl's stepmother were charged one day after police found the girl in critical condition in her family home in Granby, about 80 kilometres east of Montreal. In the hours following their initial court appearance on April 30, the girl died in hospital.

The two accused, who cannot be identified to protect the girl's identity, have been detained since. The Crown has been weighing whether to upgrade the charges.

The man's bail hearing took place last week with a publication ban on the evidence.

The father currently faces three charges — failing to provide the necessities of life, child abandonment and unlawful confinement. The girl's stepmother, 35, returns to court June 21 on charges of unlawful confinement and aggravated assault.

Prosecutor Claude Robitaille, who had opposed bail, said he was satisfied with the decision.

The Crown was prudent with his comments, noting it would be up to the defence to decide whether they would try again for a release at another stage in the process.

The young victim had been followed by youth protection services from birth, and her death sparked outrage across the province and raised questions about the effectiveness of the system to assist at-risk children.

The Quebec government launched a wide-ranging independent commission to look into youth protection in the province.

Several other investigations have been ordered into the handling of the girl's case, including a coroner's inquest, an internal probe by the regional health authority that oversees youth protection in the Eastern Townships region, an investigation by the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Commission and a provincial police probe.

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