Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, March 15


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 9 a.m., Nov. 28)
Drowning inquest may lead to tougher swimming pool regulations
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The circumstances surrounding the 2010 drowning death of Jérèmie Audette are the focus of a coroner's inquest which began on Monday. File photo


The city is ready and willing to strengthen it's bylaws governing the safety of backyard swimming pools pending the outcome and recommendations made by the inquest looking into the circumstances surrounding the July 2010 drowning of Jérèmie Audette.

That according to a city official who testified that the swimming pool the two-year-old toddler drowned in while on a playdate with his caregiver, complied with existing regulations even though the latch on the gate leading to the above ground pool was broken..

During the day two of the inquest on Tuesday, juror members heard that Audette's body was first discovered in the pool by eight-year-old Chloe Lapierre who gave video-taped evidence to police two hours after the accident occured.

"I was playing and then I was going to get in the pool when I see this kid," the little girl told police. "I thought it was my friend's brother, but it wasn't. It was one of her mom's daycare kids. And so I decided to jump, to jump in without thinking about anything and to go save his life by getting him out of the pool."

The little girl then estimated that her mother Wendy Lapierre, who operated the home-based day care where the accident occurred, jumped intothe pool about 20 seconds after she did.

"My mom comes and jumps in the pool, gets him, puts him on the deck, and then we started doing CPR."

Chloe was playing a restaurant game in the backyard with her nine-year-old Audrey Maynard when Audette disappeared. Maynard is the daughter of Audette's caregiver Cynthia McLellan who was sitting in a lawn chair having a conversation with the home day care operator who was hosting the backyard playdate when the accident happened.

"My mom told me (Jeremie) had disappeared,” Maynard told police investigators. “She just said ‘Jérèmie disappeared.’”

The inquest has yet to hear testimony from any of the four to six adults who were at the party, including the owner of the home, Wendy Lapierre, who operated the unlicensed home-based day care.

The inquest did hear testimony that there were 30 kids in the backyard when the accident happened. That's eight more kids than the number previously reported and more than the allowable number for licensed home day cares.

The inquest continues today in Courtroom 33 at the Provincial Courthouse on Elgin Street.

A police photo shows the South Fallinbrook backyard where two-year-old Jérèmie Audette drowned while attending a playdate on July 28, 2010.. Ottawa Police Service photo


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

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