April 28, 2022

Press release - Laurent Commission: Expert Task Force Announces Official Composition and Kickoff of Watchdog Committee

Montreal, Thursday, April 28, 2022 — A few days before the first anniversary of the tabling of the report by the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection, more commonly referred to as the Laurent Commission, the task force created by the Collectif petite enfance has released the outcome of their deliberations concerning the composition and leadership of the watchdog committee.

Accordingly, they have announced that Martine Desjardins will be chairing the Laurent Commission Watchdog Committee, which will be made up of the following individuals:

  • Andréanne Beaudry, Commission des services juridiques
  • Elise Bonneville, Collectif petite enfance
  • Nicolas Bourgois, Collectif autonome des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec
  • Jessica Côté-Guimond, Collectif Ex-placés
  • Fannie Dagenais, Early Childhood Observatory
  • Jérôme Di Giovanni, Alliance des communautés culturelles pour l’égalité dans la santé et les services sociaux
  • Caroline Dufour, Coalition Jeunes +
  • Maggy Durand, Comité jeune de l’Étude longitudinale sur le devenir des jeunes placés au Québec et en France (EDJeP)
  • Stéphanie Gareau, Marie-Vincent Foundation
  • Martin Goyette, Chaire de recherche sur l’Évaluation des actions publiques à l’égard des jeunes et des populations vulnérables (CREVAJ)
  • Richard Gray, First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission
  • Sonia Hélie, Évaluation d'impacts de la LPJ, Étude d'incidence québécoise sur les enfants évalués en protection de la jeunesse
  • Jennifer Johnson, Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN)
  • Denis Lafortune, Institut universitaire jeunes en difficulté
  • Julie Lane, Centre RBC d’expertise universitaire en santé mentale de l’Université de Sherbrooke
  • Louise Lemay, Recherche-action en collaboration avec Regroupement des Équipes d’intervention jeunesse (ÉIJ) du Québec
  • Geneviève Lessard, Recherches Appliquées et Interdisciplinaires sur les Violences intimes, familiales et structurelles
  • Geneviève Pagé, Équipe de recherche sur le placement et l’adoption en protection de la jeunesse
  • Karine Poitras, Laboratoire de psychologie légale
  • Cécile Rousseau, Institut universitaire SHERPA
  • Tanya Sirois, Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec
  • Marianne Talbot, Association des conseils multidisciplinaires du Québec
  • George Tarabulsy, Centre de recherche universitaire sur les jeunes et les familles


“I’m confident we have managed to put together a committee of the highest quality. Given the very diversified backgrounds and expertise of the selected members, the committee will be able to tap into the latest research as well as insight from the front lines to support its analysis,” said Camil Bouchard, a member of the task force who was involved in the selection process.

The watchdog committee met for the first time last week, during which a timeline was set out, leading up to an initial report to be issued in November. This will be an opportunity to provide impartial, objective information to the general public and elected officials alike about the progress made toward each of the Laurent Commission report’s recommendations.

“The work we do will help keep the broader community apprised of the changes that have been implemented, those that are currently underway and those that are still pending. Considering the National Assembly’s consensus as to the need to move forward with all of the recommendations outlined in the report, our efforts will be rooted in collaboration, openness and transparency,” said Desjardins, in her capacity as watchdog committee chair.

Consistent with their previous commitments, the former commissioners of the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection have reiterated their support for the initiative and indicated their willingness to help the watchdog committee advance its mandate.

“We were pleasantly surprised in February when the Minister for Health and Social Services spoke out in favour of the upcoming creation of the watchdog committee. We are particularly pleased with the strength and diversity of the stakeholders who have agreed to serve on the committee. And we are happy to make ourselves available for any clarifications about the commission’s past work and recommendations,” indicated the former commissioners.