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An inquest looking into the 1997 starvation death of newborn Jordan Heikamp while living in a Toronto shelter has returned its verdict.

As the union representing workers at both the Catholic Childrens Aid Society and the Anduyhaun Shelter, CUPE says wide-ranging recommendations from the jury are long overdue.

CUPE is committed to working with the various levels of government and agencies to ensure that the implementation of the recommendations will be part of baby Jordan Heikamps lasting legacy.

CUPE Legal representative Risa Pancer, who presented some 35 wide-ranging recommendations on behalf of the union to the jury, says, It is our sincerest hope that the homicide verdict returned today does not cloud the importance and urgency of those recommendations.

Among CUPEs recommendations to the jury 18 of which were adopted:

  • Provide more services and funding for pre-natal and post-natal care to young moms who live on the streets and in shelters
  • Develop and establish standards for shelter staff, and provide education and training programs.
  • That the Ministries of Health and Community and Social Services establish additional training for frontline workers who work with street kids

In addition, CUPE recommended that the Ministry of Community and Social Services be made accountable for system failures and to make certain that childrens protection needs are a priority.