*** Warning, some of the details in this documentary are disturbing.
By the time Alberta authorities discovered Betty Ann Gagnon in late 2009, she weighed just 65 pounds. She was bruised; she was filthy. The mentally disabled woman had been living in a converted school bus with no heat, no running water and no electricity.
Her sister, Denise Scriven, and Denise's husband Michael Scriven were charged with a list of offences including manslaughter, assault, criminal negligence causing death. In the end, they pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life to Betty Anne Gagnon.
• Justice for Betty Anne Gagnon -- Website by former "Supportive Roommates"
Today the Scrivens await sentencing. For some family and friends... the guilty plea has not answered their questions about how this could have occurred.
CBC Edmonton reporter, Marion Warnica spoke with Ms. Gagnon's acquaintances for her documentary, What Happened to Betty Anne Gagnon? The statement of facts from the court proceedings was read by CBC's John Baker.
We requested interviews with the Alberta minister of justice and the minister responsible for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as the Persons with Developmental Disabilities Edmonton regional office. We were told no one would comment about the case while it's before the courts.
A spokesperson for Strathcona County RCMP told us they have no record of calls from any members of Betty Anne Gagnon's family in the years before she died.
The province of Alberta will call a fatality inquiry once the court case is done, and its findings will be made public.
Some advocates are calling for stronger legislation to protect developmentally disabled adults such as Betty Anne Gagnon who live with family.
School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, Robert Gordon
Denise Scrivens and her husband Michael await sentencing after pleading guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Our next guest says if Betty Anne Gagnon had lived in British Columbia, instead of Alberta, she might have been saved. That's because legislation in BC ensures that someone must investigate when there are accusations of abuse against a person with a developmental disability, even if that person lives with family.
Panel: Shelley Fletcher Rattai / Michael Bach
To continue our discussion, we were joined by two people who advocate for people with disabilities.
Shelley Fletcher Rattai is executive director of People First of Canada. She was in Winnipeg.
And Michael Bach is executive vice-president of the Canadian Association for Community Living, which represents people with developmental disabilities and their families. He was in Montreal.
For more on this story, CBC Edmonton has created an interactive website that includes documents and video on What happened to Betty Anne Gagnon?
This segment was produced by Edmonton Network Producer, Gillian Rutherford.
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Artist: Yann Tiersen
CD: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain Film
Cut: # 1, J'Y Suis Jamais Alle
Last Word - Ajit Varki Promo
Tomorrow on The Current, we'll hear from scientist Ajit Varki on why he believes Human Beings came to dominate the world, leaving our ape-like cousins scraping their knuckles in the dust.
He believes it may have something to do with denial. It's not considered much of a virtue now, but Mr. Varki believes it may have helped send people on their way to global conquest. He'll have more on that idea tomorrow.
But in the meantime, one thing he's not too impressed by is... size. He gets today's Last Word.
Other segment from today's show: