Officials from the city and local police have remained tight-lipped about a serious allegation of sexual abuse at a municipal daycare facility. The city of Ottawa has disclosed in a recent memo that the case at the city-operated Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre will be probed by the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa.
The allegation was relayed to both the Ottawa Police Service and city administrators, revealed Clara Freire, general manager of community and social services. However, no further details have been forthcoming.
The city has pledged its full cooperation with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa in looking into the matter and underlined its steadfast commitment to the safety of children at the Centre. Their stance adheres to all pertinent labour relations policies and the implicated employee has been expeditiously placed on investigatory leave, maintained Freire.
The city memo did not disclose when the alleged incident took place or how many individuals may be implicated. The daycare, which looks after children aged 18 months to five years, publicly acknowledged awareness of the allegation on its premises.
The Ottawa police have recognized receipt of the city’s memo but declined to comment or offer any additional information. Similarly, the Children’s Aid Society was circumspect in its response, citing an unwavering commitment to treating all allegations of abuse gravely and emphasizing collaboration with the appropriate authorities when required.
Freire advised that the daycare’s staff and families of the children have been contacted and provided with a direct connection to city services for further assistance. The city has also logged a serious occurrence report with the Ministry of Education in line with established protocol.
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe expressed shock regarding the allegation at the city-owned daycare during a post-council conference, noting there wasn’t much more he could assert given the ongoing investigation. Freire echoed the Mayor’s sentiment, emphasizing their resolve for maintaining respect for the investigation and prioritizing the affected families. Freire acknowledged the public’s craving for more details but stated they are currently unable to share further specifics on the matter.