Nunavut calls inquest into three-month-old baby's death

IQALUIT, Nunavut -- Nunavut has called an inquest into the murky circumstances surrounding the death of a three-month-old boy in a remote Arctic community.

See Full Article

The probe into the 2012 death of Makibi Timilak could reveal more about a health system that has been heavily criticized in a previous review into the tragedy.

Although it was ultimately determined the baby died of sudden infant death syndrome, the review found that nurses and health officials failed to follow procedures the night the baby died. It concluded the death was hushed up and found a climate of fear within the health department that prevented problems from being addressed.

On the night of April 4, 2012, Makibi's mother Neevee Akesuk called the health centre in Cape Dorset on the southern tip of Baffin Island to say her baby wouldn't settle and go to sleep. She was advised to bathe Makibi and bring him in the next morning.

Akesuk did so and Makibi appeared to fall peacefully asleep. Several hours later he was rushed unconscious to the health centre and could not be revived.

Questions were raised about the death and the Nunavut government eventually called an external review into it.

That review found the on-duty nurse mishandled Akesuk's original call. All children less than a year old with health problems are supposed to be assessed in person, which wasn't done.

The death was not reported as a critical incident and no investigation was conducted.

The review found health centre staff and department officials glossed over the death and seemed more concerned about protecting themselves than fixing problems. It concluded Cape Dorset's health centre was a troubled workplace long before baby Makibi's death, where bullying prevented concerns from being voiced.

Health department officials didn't help. Written grievances were ignored.

The nurse at the centre of the bullying complaints was the one on duty the night Akesuk called about her son. Her nursing licence was subsequently restricted to prohibit her from treating children younger than 10.

Despite that, she was promoted to supervisor of the centre, where most of the care involves young children.

The review warned problems at Cape Dorset's health centre could be widespread.

"A culture of fear has developed within the government of Nunavut, from the very base of employees and work environments through the hierarchical ladder of authority ... There were a number of instances where health-care workers did not want to be identified when speaking with me for fear of repercussions to their employment," the reviewer wrote.

"It is likely that the experience of both nurses and patients at the Cape Dorset Health Centre is not exclusive to that community."

Some Nunavut politicians raised similar points.

The news that an inquest will beheld comes days after Makibi's parents filed an official request for one. Justice Minister Paul Okalik had promised to call an inquest if they asked.

A date for the inquest has not been announced. It is expected to take place in Cape Dorset.

-- By Bob Weber in Edmonton.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Sudan declares state of emergency, disbands Cabinet

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on Friday declared a state of emergency for a year and disbanded the government amid deadly protests. Al-Bashir -- who seized power in a 1989 coup-- also said that he will postpone pushing for constitutional amendments to allow him to seek a third term in office. Source
  • Alberta to ban seclusion or time-out rooms for students in schools

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta Education Minister David Eggen says the province will ban the use of seclusion or time-out rooms for students in schools. Problems with seclusion rooms surfaced last September when the parents of an autistic boy filed a lawsuit against the province. Source
  • Plan to bring grieving mother's relatives to Halifax 'moving quickly'

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Federal officials are closer to bringing as many as 10 relatives of a grieving Syrian refugee to Nova Scotia, as Halifax residents prepared to gather Saturday for the funeral of her seven children who died in a fast-moving house fire. Source
  • Ontario woman tried to smuggle man across U.S. border in trunk of car: docs

    World News CTV News
    A Toronto-area settlement worker could face jail time in the United States after attempting to smuggle a failed refugee claimant across the border in the trunk of her car. Court documents show Donna Pham pleaded guilty this week to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Source
  • AP source: Mueller report not expected next week

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation is not expected to be delivered to the Justice Department next week, a senior department official told The Associated Press on Friday. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Source
  • London, Ont., police to start naming those charged with buying sex

    Canada News CTV News
    A police force in southwestern Ontario says it will start releasing the names of those charged with buying sex in a bid to curb human trafficking. The announcement came at a meeting of the Police Services Board in London, Ont. Source
  • Canadian students urged to study in China despite Kovrig, Spavor arrests

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Eight days after Chinese authorities imprisoned Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, a senior Canadian foreign ministry official urged Canadian students to apply for a program to study in China. Sarah Taylor, the director-general of the north-Asia bureau at Global Affairs Canada, made the pitch for the 45-year-old Canada-China Scholarship Exchange Program during a Dec. Source
  • Russian court extends detention for alleged American spy

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- A Russian court ruled Friday to keep a former U.S. Marine held for alleged spying jailed in Moscow for another three months. Michigan resident Paul Whelan was arrested at a hotel in the Russian capital at the end of December. Source
  • Ont. mother charged in death of baby appears in court

    Canada News CTV News
    An Ontario woman charged with criminal negligence in the death of a 20-month-old baby has been identified as the girl’s mother. Waterloo Regional Police were called to a home in Kitchener at around noon on Thursday to reports of a child in distress. Source
  • Life after Trump: From Spicer to Omarosa, what people are up to since exiting White House inner circle

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source