QUEBEC CITY – Last month, Eric Hauptman’s 16-year-old daughter ran away from a Laval youth home.
Now, he’s calling for change at the National Assembly in Quebec City.
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“I’m coming as a father to speak about my daughter and our children,” said Hauptman.
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“I’m not the only one who has teenagers in the province of Quebec. I’m willing to fight that the laws are going to change.”
Hauptman’s daughter was one of half a dozen girls who ran away in February.
She was found last month in a Toronto hotel.
On Tuesday, Youth Protection Minister Lucie Charlebois and Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux unveiled a report into the situation at the Laval youth home.
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“We’ve had a few runaways in a few days coming from the Laval centre, which doesn’t mean the problem is only in Laval. It exists all over the province,” said Coiteux.
The near 40-page report by auditor André Lebon reveals where improvements can be made.
It also criticized the lack of funding for youth protection.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said it isn’t always true that adding more money into a system will make it work better.
“I’m always very careful about this linear relation that if you put more money into something it’s going to be miraculously better,” he said.
“I think the way things are done matters, it matters a lot.”
Regardless, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) said the youth protection minister is not handling the file properly.
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“Obviously, Minister Charlebois is not able to take care of those young girls and we ask Mr. Coiteux to take care of those files because we need action right now and we don’t have it,” said CAQ MNA Nathalie Roy.
As for Hauptman, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect his daughter and he wants to see more done, rather than just the recommendations from the report, as soon as possible.
“This is the main goal of why I’m here,” he said.
“If I have to go to Ottawa to do it, I’ll do it.”