Volume 12 Week 5

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Bob Monette

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(Posted 9:30 a.m., Oct. 26)
Regional coroner to hold inquest into 2010 drowning death of Orléans toddler
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Two-year-old Jérèmie Audette accidentally drowned during a backyard party at a home-based daycare in South Fallingbrook on July 28, 2010. File photo

It's been more than two years since two-year-old Jérèmie Audette drowned during a backyard party at a home-operated daycare in South Fallingbrook.

Audette was in the care of his babysitter, when he climbed onto the deck of an above-ground pool at 529 Rougemont Cres. and fell into the water.

According to police reports, the babysitter was briefly distracted while talking to another caregiver when the accident happened. There were at least five caregivers and 20 children in the backyard at the time.

The daycare operator, Wendy Lapierre, is facing multiple charges for operating an illegal daycare. No criminal charges were layed in connection with Audette's drowning.

Audette's parents have been asking for an inquiry into their son's tragic death since it happened. Their requests were answered on Thursday with the announcement that regional coroner Dr. Robert Skinner would be holding an inquest in late November.

Alain is hopeful the inquest will focus on the rules surrounding the operation of home-based daycares and more specifically the presence of outdoor swimmimg pools at home-based daycares.

“We want to see changes happen either in pools or daycare pools, which I don’t even think should exist,” says Alain Audette. “It’s sad that Jeremie had to be the one for people to realize that rules have to change.”

With more than 20 witnesses likely to testify, the inquest is expected to take three weeks to complete. Dr. Skinner's findings and any possible recommendations won't be made public until next year.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12

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