Home » The Canadian Press » Manitoba Premier to Apologize to Two Men Switched at Birth in 1955

Manitoba Premier to Apologize to Two Men Switched at Birth in 1955

March 20, 2024 1:41 PM | The Canadian Press

By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Edward Ambrose

Edward Ambrose is photographed at his home in Winnipeg on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. Ambrose, who was switched at birth more than 60 years ago, has received his Métis citizenship. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew is set to apologize on behalf of the government to two men who were switched at birth in 1955 in a hospital north of Winnipeg.

Kinew will apologize Thursday in the legislature to Edward Ambrose and Richard Beauvais, who were born in a municipally run hospital in Arborg, Man., the premier’s office said Wednesday. No further details were provided.

The men’s lawyer, Bill Gange, said his clients welcomed the news after a long wait.

“Mr. Beauvais and Mr. Ambrose are relieved and grateful. They’ve been waiting. I’ve been working on this for two years,” Gange said in an interview Wednesday.

Ambrose and Beauvais were born on the same day — June 28, 1955 — and sent home with each other’s parents.

Decades later, after moving to British Columbia, Beauvais, who had been raised Métis, did an at-home ancestry kit that said he was Ukrainian and Jewish.

Back in Manitoba, Ambrose’s sister also did an at-home ancestry kit. Hers showed a brother living in British Columbia. It was Beauvais. The pieces of the puzzle were soon put in place.

Gange reached out to the Manitoba government, led at the time by the Progressive Conservatives. The health minister at the time, Audrey Gordon, issued a statement through her office that said the Arborg hospital was not under the province’s direction or control in 1955.

But Gange said the province did have some involvement.

“Two-thirds of the operating budget of any hospital at the time would have been paid by the provincial government, one-third by the municipalities,” Gange said.

This is the third known case of babies switched at birth in Manitoba.

Norman Barkman and Luke Monias of Garden Hill First Nation, a fly-in community 400 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, revealed in 2015 that DNA tests proved they were switched at birth at the Norway House Indian Hospital in 1975.

DNA tests also showed two men from Norway House Cree Nation, Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr., were switched at birth at the same hospital the same year.

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