Liberal Opposition MHA Yvonne Jones says if new provincial legislation had been in place when three-year-old Chancey Miller died in 2011, her family would have the answers they are looking for about the little girl's death.
Bill 33, an act to amend the Fatalaties Investigation Act, states if any person under the age of 18 dies, a committee is appointed to review the circumstances and determine if further investigation is needed.
But the new law is not retroactive so it doesn't apply to the Millers' case.
"If the legislation that passed was amended, today the Miller family would not have to be in the courts, and they could be asking for the minister of justice to do this based on legislation," Jones said.
"Unfortunately, they don't have that option now and they're at the mercy of the government to determine if they get an investigation or not."
Chancey Miller was in the care of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services when she died in Sept. 2011.
Little girl had heart problem
Chancey was born with a heart problem, and received a pacemaker when she was just two months old to help her heart beat properly.
In August 2011, she was placed in a group home, and at about the same time tests showed further problems with her heart.
She was flown to Toronto to get another pacemaker, and two weeks after the surgery she was discharged to a foster home outside the city.
While Chancey was at the foster home, she became ill with cramps and vomiting. Her foster mother rushed her to hospital, where doctors examined her and sent her back to the foster home. Around 7:20 the next morning, the foster mother found Chancey dead in her crib.
Millers want answers from government
Chancey's parents, Bill and Maryann Miller, said they want to know why Chancey was released from hospital after her surgery, why they weren't told she had to be brought back to hospital, and why they weren't given an opportunity to be with their little girl when she took her last breath.
The Millers say Child, Youth and Family Services officials told them the department did everything correctly and there was no need for further investigation.
Charlene Johnson, the minister of Child, Youth and Family Services, said there is no formal policy in place for when a child dies in her department's care. She noted only two children from the province have ever died while in care.
Millers have hired lawyer
The Millers want an inquiry into their daughter's death and have hired lawyer Brian Wentzell to help them in their quest to find answers.
Jones said that's something she doesn't think the bereaved couple should have to do.
"It's very sad that we've come to a place in this province where families and parents have to go out and retain legal counsel in order to find out why their child died in trust to the state."