Two attendees comfort eachother at a candlelight vigil in Eli’s honour in Kelowna on July 7, 2019. (David Venn - Capital News)

Family of murdered Okanagan teen fought for funeral funding

Ministry wouldn’t pay for stab victim’s funeral until family went public, father says

The funeral held for Elijah-lain Beauregard, a 16-year-old living in Kelowna who was fatally stabbed in late June, was paid for by the Ministry of Children and Family Development; but not before a riff occurred with Eli’s family, according to his father.

“It took us as far as calling the BC Human Rights Tribunal,” Robyn Beauregard, Eli’s father, said.

When Eli died, his mother and father began the process to apply for the Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, requesting funding for the teen’s funeral costs.

However, due to Eli being homeless at the time of his murder, the province was not obliged to fund his funeral costs.

“Eli didn’t qualify because he didn’t have an address and he wasn’t in his mother’s care or mine,” Beauregard said.

READ MORE: The life of Eli’s father: How a youth stab-victim ended up on the streets

The ministry, although they can‘t comment on individual circumstances, said, “The death of a child is an unthinkable tragedy and we extend our deepest condolences to the family,” but that they have specific guidelines around decision making for a child who is involved with them.

“For youth who had been in government care at the time of death, the ministry will cover payment of service for the deceased,” Shawn Larabee, government communications and public engagement officer, wrote in an email correspondence. “For youth who were not in care but had been receiving services from the ministry, the payment rests with the parents (legal guardians).”

READ MORE: Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Larabee pointed out that family members of a victim can apply for a maximum grant of $5,000 through CVAP, which “helps victims, immediate family members of victims, and witnesses affected by violent crime” and “offset(s) financial loss and assist(s) in recovery from injuries,” according to the province.

Beauregard and Eli’s mother were so distraught with the process during their time of grief, Beauregard said one of the funeral home employees began dealing with the ministry on their behalf to try and access funding.

Instead, Eli’s family began a GoFundMe account that registered $700 before they shut it down within the same day when the ministry changed their position.

READ MORE: Eli to be remembered by bridging the gap between Kelowna’s communities

“Within six hours (of us going public) the ministry over ruled their own decision to help us,” Beauregard said.

“There is discretion for the ministry to assist on a case-by-case basis in recognition of a parent’s financial hardship,” Larabee said.

Beauregard said his child “fell through the cracks” of the system.

Eli was stabbed on June 27, at approximately 11:24 p.m., near Bernard Avenue and Water Street. Reports of his death surfaced on July 2.

Anyone with any additional information is urged to contact the SCU at 250-762-3300.



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Star Gazing: Binoculars on the Christmas list

Advice on buying a gift for the astronomer on your list

Independent Investigations Office seeks witnesses following arrest in Penticton

The male resisted arrest at approximately 8:40 a.m. and sustained a head injury

City of Penticton records all-time high for fatal overdoses

Seventeen people have fatally overdosed so far this year

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen directors to receive pay increase

Increase of 11.9 per cent to offset changes to taxation for elected officials

PHOTOS: Clean-up at Esplanade Park extensive

It took the clean-up crew seven hours on Monday and work is still ongoing

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

Weak link in Sagmoen trial, defence says

Counsel questions whether search warrant police executed was obtained on reasonable grounds

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

North Okanagan MP says throne speech lacked specifics

‘Trudeau government presented a vague agenda,’: MP Mel Arnold

‘She was awesome’: Malakwa baker leaves U.S. holiday show

‘There are Christmas miracles, look at me’

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Letter: Examining the cause of anti-Semitism

“I was surprised to read how religious some in Penticton must be given the recent two letters”

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Most Read