Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ottawa CAS Implements Life Time Ban on Membership to Child Advocate

The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa has enforced a life-time ban on membership to a former foster child, John Dunn, seemingly because he advocates for quality of service and accountability in child welfare as there has been no other explanation for the membership ban other than a letter from the former president of the agency stating that he believes Dunn "has acted in ways" which don't support the objects of the Society, but never stating what those actions were, or how he can increase his chances at becoming a member in the future since he meets all other membership criteria.

Dunn recently filed a written complaint to the Society's Pierre Viger, Director of Professional Standards who deals with complaints within the agency and as of yet, has not received a response from him.

Dunn has however received a letter from Barbara MacKinnon stating the following:

"As you know from our by-laws, the approval of any membership application falls within the purview of the Board of Directors and there is no provision for an unsuccessful membership applicant to seek a "membership inquiry meeting" with the Executive Director or any other representative of the Society. We trust that this response clarifies our position in the matter that you have raised.".

It appears the Executive Director is speaking on behalf of all 17 members of the Board of Directors of the Society in her letter to Dunn.

He will continue to await the response from Pierre Viger and keep people posted via this blog.


  1. HI Everyone: Wanting to tell you all about our experience Monday, June15th 2009. CAS SD&G Cornwall, ON 150 Boundary Rd Cornwall, held there annual AGM, by the way it was there 101st year!!!
    I was invited through a newpaper adversement in the local paper, Winchester Press, the meeting commenced promptly at 7pm.
    I was to say surprized at there turn out of supporters, the room was airy and bright, there was a sign in sheet, hand outs, last years AGM minutes; an Agenda for this evenings meeting. It was a delight to have attended such a well run meeting, staying on topic; smoothly proceeding, in a timely fashion. I was surprised at first, as I saw many young teens / teenagers attending the AGM, upon further investigation, of the Agenda, I found the CAS, was proud of their accomplishments(the kids) and was to honour each of them this evening, with a small speech, regaling the childs accomplishments; photo's taken / an envelop (assuming a monetary gift)given. Some of these foster children were in attendance with their foster parent(S); some had their bio parent, grands, and siblings attending. I found this a nice touch. Also there was a 15 minute break, with fresh fruit / vegetable platters along with sweets; sodas and coffeee, this was a nice meeting to attend. Did I mention it ran like clock work, nicely done.
    Well after this, the Society held a 10 minute meeting regarding business of the Society, treasury reports $16551.00 on the plus side, I was wow! really. I sat and made notes, enjoying the well run meeting, not feeling overwelmed, nor unwelcomed. There were about five voting members in attendance and a few(5) Agency personel. Upon the vote of the new board members, all others were free to leave as the new board required a quick meeting regarding busines. When I was to leave, I quickly spoke with a woman from accounting, asking where / how does an individual learn about membership? And this woman kindly directed myself to another woman, I believe the director of finance(but I could be wrong)I walked to the car to retrieve my wallet, gave myself and spouse' name; mailing address, paid / was given two $5.00 reciepts, the ladies did tell me, there was an envelope in regards to more volunteer opportunities with this Agency. Great Itold them I looked forward to supporting this cause. Thank you and goodnight. WHEW!!!!!!!! Now I must say, I will sit back and wait for the notice to come in the mail, cancellation of membership, if this happens I wont be at all surprised, after reading all the (crap) that John has been through in Ottawa CAS. Thanks for giving me the strength to look into this and perseverve, I was actually very nervous driving to the meeting. But was welcomed and felt at ease upon arrival. Thanks everyone for the hard work you put in. PS just for a thought, while at the bank yesterday, there was a huge board up to recognize community volunteers, in my community, and I wrote congrats to the 12th gr students of both high school, and an appreciateve thank you for all Foster Parents for all they do, and going above and beyond!! The bank personel said they never thought of the Foster Families!!!! Yah! for me I realize how much they put forth and put up with.
    Sincerely Jennifer

  2. Very interesting. I am glad it was a good meeting. I have been to a couple and they usually are. Even non-members can attend the AGM's of course. However, now that you are a member, with receipt, please contact in writing, the Executive Office and ask for a copy of the Society's By-Laws as you are now a member. Let me know how that goes. I am interested to see how you are treated in regard to the by-laws. Also, if you do get them, give them a careful read. You will learn a lot such as your rights to review financials of the corporation, meeting minutes of the Board and much more. You also, as a member have many more rights. but for now, let's see how this goes. Good work! Thanks for reporting to us on your experience with the AGM of the Storemont Dundas (Cornwall) CAS.