Mac Saini was just 16 months old when he died in an unlicensed B.C. daycare. (Submitted)

Health authority denies wrongdoing in B.C. toddler’s death at daycare

The 16-month-old, also known as Baby Mac, died in January 2017 at Olive Branch Daycare in Vancouver

The regional health authority in charge of overseeing the operations of daycares in Vancouver says it was not responsible for the death of a B.C. toddler at an unlicensed daycare.

The mother of Macallan Wayne Saini, Shelly Sheppard, filed the lawsuit in September.

The 16-month-old, also known as Baby Mac, died in January 2017 at Olive Branch Daycare in Vancouver. According to court documents that name Vancouver Coastal Health, Sheppard said she “understands that Mac Saini has been left unattended and had choked on an electrical causing his death.”

The civil suit has listed the health authority, the Ministry of Child and Family Development, daycare operator Yasmine Saad and building owners Karen Pearl Kruse and Peter Andrew Scott as defendants.

Sheppard argued the health authority and MCFD, which both oversee the standards for daycare facilities in the region, were aware of and had investigated multiple complaints of the daycare operating without a licence, dating as far back as 2010.

Baby Mac’s death sparked provincewide debate on regulating childcare. Sheppard and the child’s father, Chris Saini, called on the B.C. government to create a registry for daycare operators and more affordable childcare options to increase safety.

READ MORE: Parents mourning death of toddler call on province for $10-a-day childcare

Sheppard’s lawsuit also claims she has suffered fatigue, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since her son’s death.

She is seeking payment for a number of damages, including loss of earnings, as well as a declaration by officials that Baby Mac was deprived of his right to life and security contrary to his human rights.

According to court documents, the health authority had identified daycare operator Saad as a “moderate risk to health and safety,” but had never fined her.

In a response to her claim, filed Dec. 5, Vancouver Coastal Health denied any negligence, claiming it had no knowledge Saad was running an unlicensed facility.

It also said while it had received four complaints about Saad, they each involved different addresses and all related to caring for too many kids, not about being unlicensed. The health authority said each complaint was dealt with.

The health authority is asking the court to dismiss the claim, with costs.

No other respondents have filed a statement of defence. None of the allegations has been proven in court.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read