Grandmother of boy under N.S. government’s care wants him raised in Ontario
The grandmother of boy living under the Nova Scotia government’s care fears her grandson will end up on the streets if he’s not allowed to live with family in Ontario.
“I'm not saying the system is all bad. I'm saying it's broken,” says the grandmother, whose identity is protected by law to protect the identity of her grandson.
She says the 14-year-old’s home in Ontario is the first stable place he’s lived.
“It's not fair to him. He needs a life. He needs a home. And he needs somebody to love him and give him attention,” the grandmother says.
She says for the first time in his life, he has all of that. He's currently living with his aunt and uncle in Ontario, and they say that's where he wants to stay.
But after awarding the family temporary custody, the Nova Scotia government says he has to come back, at least for now.
“He'll be on the streets like he was before, police knocking on my door, me walking the streets looking for him,” says the grandmother.
“It's absolutely horrible.”
The family says the child was abandoned by his parents. They've been told the government agrees he should live with his aunt and uncle in Ontario, but they still insist he has to return to Nova Scotia temporarily as per policy.
“I think he will be rebellious (in Nova Scotia), and I think I will be walking the streets again looking for him,” the grandmother says.
Nova Scotia PC MLA Eddie Orrell says this is a case where the government needs to set policy aside and do what's right by letting family take care of each other.
“Why interfere with a child’s life for a tick box in a form that the government has to fill out? Or to justify someone's job? This kid has a chance now,” says Orrell.
In a statement to CTV News, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil reiterated the stance of the Department of Community Services, which is that the government has to do its due diligence to ensure the child is safe, and that he hopes this situation is resolved as quickly as possible.
The family says they received a phone call late Wednesday afternoon stating the child's case worker is flying to Ontario on Thursday to do an in-person assessment.
But for now, the government is still insisting he has to return to Nova Scotia for one week.
“I'm begging somebody,” says the grandmother. “I don't care who, somebody higher up, to stop this before he gets on the flight and ruined his little life.”
She says her grandson finally has a fresh start – a chance that every child deserves.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.