By Mervin Brass

Bob Pringle 2

Saskatchewan’s Child Advocate Bob Pringle says questions still need answers into the death of Lee Bonneau. Photo credit: Treaty 4 News.

Saskatchewan’s Child Advocate says the 2013 death of a six-year-old boy could have been avoided.

Bob Pringle cited overworked social workers and a lack of adequate funding contributed to the tragic events that led to the death of Lee Bonneau.

Bonneau was found with head injuries after disappearing from a bingo hall with an older boy on a reserve in southern Saskatchewan.

Last week, a list of 19 recommendations was released following the inquest into the child’s beating death on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation.

Pringle says it’s ludicrous that provincial social service workers testified they would not do things differently had they not followed their own policies.

During his news conference Pringle chastised both the provincial social services department and the Yorkton Tribal Council’s child family service.

“It was troubling at the inquest to observe what appeared to be the Ministry of Social Services absolving themselves of their responsibilities to do due diligence in their assessments,” says Pringle. “Even though with the funding shortfall that Yorkton may have, we cannot ignore their repeated lack of compliance to adequately assess Derek’s needs and poor case planning.”

The Saskatchewan Advocate May 2014 report used the name Derek to protect the identity of the 10-year-old boy suspected of beating Bonneau to death.

Pringle says Bonneau was apprehended when his risk was unclear while Derek was a risk and not apprehended.

“In the case of both boys there were a number of turning points where proper interventions, which I think the public has the right to expect, were not provided.”

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