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Drugs, weapons at B.C. group home where teen lived before death: documents

Alex Gervais with girlfriend Arianne Dickson (Courtesy Facebook)

VICTORIA – Newly released government documents say drugs and weapons were issues at a former private group home where an 18-year-old British Columbia teen lived before his death.

Alex Gervais fell from an Abbotsford hotel window last September, and his death prompted a review by the government and BC’s representative for children and youth into the placement of foster children in hotels.

Gervais was sent to live in the hotel after the Ministry of Children and Family Development shut down several group homes operated by private care provider, A Community Vision for Children and Families.

Documents obtained through a freedom-of-information request indicate BC’s director of child welfare received allegations last January of caregivers using drugs and possessing weapons, which resulted in four people losing their jobs.

The company says in a statement that it has a 20-year history of successfully housing B.C.’s most difficult youth. It says the ministry put its interest in terminating contracts with the private-care provider ahead of the needs of the vulnerable children.

The company says one of those vulnerable people was Gervais, who had been living in the company’s care for seven years but died of a suspected suicide just weeks after being moved from the group home.