Martin Lévesque, left, speaks to the media Friday alongside his lawyer Jean-François Bertrand. ((CBC))

The father of a 15-year-old Quebec girl who died at a youth centre two weeks ago is asking a coroner to call a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her death.

Rebecca Lévesque died of a blood infection while under child protection services at a centre for troubled youth in Lévis near Quebec City.

Her father, Martin Lévesque, said staff should have known she was sick, and should have taken her to the hospital.

His daughter, who was living at the centre, had complained of stomach pains for days before her death.

During the night of Feb. 12, her father said she was vomiting, feverish and disoriented.

Lévis police said even though Rebecca was found unconscious, her illness was not deemed serious enough to require a trip to the hospital.

The next morning, she was dead.

Her father's lawyer said it's inconceivable that caregivers at the centre didn't take Rebecca to the hospital when she was ill.

"It's so obvious for me, that I can't believe we're in 2011 and such things happen," said Jean-François Bertrand.

Quebec's coroner's office is already investigating the death, and is expected to complete a report containing recommendations within six months.


Rebecca Lévesque had run away from a youth centre eight times. (CBC)

But Bertrand said the only way to get answers is for the coroner to hold a public inquiry.

"I want this because it's important for the truth, to obtain the truth," he said.

Officials at the centre where Rebecca was staying would not comment on how Lévesque died, but spokesperson Geneviève Dion said youth staying at the centre are supervised throughout the day, and staff also perform routine checks of the dormitories at night.

Dion said the death has been upsetting for youth at the centre and staff. Extra psychologists and counsellors have been brought in to help them.

A troubled past

Lévesque said the past two weeks without his daughter have been difficult.

But his difficulties with Rebecca and child welfare officials started long before his daughter's death.

He was charged late last year with harassing an employee of child protection services.

Lévesque denies the allegations, and said he was only trying to get information on his daughter, who had run away from the centre where she was staying eight times.

On Friday, he called his daughter a hero.

"Rebecca, I have to say, is my hero. She's a hero for many young people, and she left this Earth so things could change, and that's my hero," said Lévesque.

With files from Ainslie MacLellan