QUEEN'S PARK – Monique Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain and NDP critic for Children and Youth Services, was delighted when her private member’s bill, Katelynn’s Principle Act, passed second reading at Queen’s Park today. The bill puts children at the centre of any decision affecting them.
Katelynn’s Principle Act is named after Katelynn Sampson who died in 2008 at the age of 7 after being brutally beaten by her legal guardians. Those two individuals were found guilty of her murder in 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
“While justice has been served to those who directly caused Katelynn’s death, that cannot be the final chapter in her story,” said Taylor. “As the Coroner’s Inquest into her death heard, Katelynn was let down by a system that failed to ensure she got the care and attention she needed.”
The Act is based on the first recommendation from the Coroner’s Jury into the death of Katelynn Sampson.
Katelynn Sampson had been placed in the custody of her legal guardians despite them having previous criminal convictions and history with child welfare agencies. Throughout her time with them, agencies failed to follow up on reports of abuse and important information was lost.
At no time did the agencies actually speak to Katelynn.
Katelynn’s Principle outlines a number of principles that puts the child at the centre of decisions made under Ontario legislation affecting them. It ensures that children are given the right to be heard with full regard given to their heritage, and the broad and diverse communities the child identifies with.
“Katelynn Sampson could very well have been alive today, if this bill was in effect eight years ago. Someone would have asked Katelynn directly about what was going on at home. They would have made sure that she was heard from directly, when her home was visited,” said Taylor
“I’m delighted this bill has passed second reading with support from all parties. Putting children at the centre of decisions made about them would be a remarkably fitting legacy in Katelynn’s name,” Taylor said.