More delays for Phoenix Sinclair inquiry

Kim Edwards, the godmother of Phoenix Sinclair, was a called to testify at the inquest into her death at the Convention Centre in Winnipeg on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

Credits: Winnipeg Sun/Qmi Agency


WINNIPEG ­ The public inquiry into Phoenix Sinclair’s death will again be delayed as lawyers spar over a request from witnesses for a publication ban.

People once connected to killer Karl Wesley McKay are seeking to have their identities kept out of the media spotlight when they’re called to testify in coming weeks. One of the four people is also seeking an order from Commissioner Ted Hughes that she be treated as a CFS source of referral (SOR), meaning she would receive additional protections for her identity.

The witnesses claim they will face risk if their identities are revealed in the media.

The Intertribal Child and Family Services agency and the Southern Chiefs Organization are opposing the ban. Arguments were to be heard Tuesday, but were delayed to March 11 to give Intertribal the opportunity to cross-examine the potential SOR.

The inquiry broke in early February just as the first few witnesses hailing from the Fisher River First Nation testified about their observations of Phoenix and her family in spring and summer 2005.

Phoenix, then five, was horrifically abused and murdered by McKay and her mother, Samantha Kematch, in a reserve home on June 11, 2005, RCMP say.

The killing happened mere months after Winnipeg CFS closed the little girl’s file a final time without physically seeking her or delving closely into her life.

The inquiry was announced after Pheonix’s death was discovered in 2006 but not called until 2011 to accommodate the murder trial and appeal process.

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