Friday, October 16, 2009

Council asks to meet with Eastern Regional Office to Produce Evidence of Ottawa CAS Breaching Ministry Contract

The Foster Care Council of Canada has submitted the following letter to Susan Bihun, Director of the Eastern Regional Office of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, to ask for a meeting to provide them with evidence of the Ottawa Children's Aid Society breaching their contract with the Ministry.

The letter is as follows:


Susan Bihun,
Regional Director
Eastern Regional Office
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Date: October 16, 2009
Time: 11:59am

Susan Bihun,

I have a copy of the Service Contract between the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Which has been signed by Barbara MacKinnon, the Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society.

Section 22 of the contract (Laws) states that the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa agrees that the Society and its employees and representatives, if any, shall at all times comply with any and all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws, ordinances, statutes, rules, regulations and orders in respect of the performance of the contract.

I have documented evidence of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa, through its Executive Director, Barbara MacKinnon, contravening section 22 of the service contract between the Society and the Ministry which will show how they intentionally retained the services of an external law firm (Burke-Robertson Barristers and Solicitors in Ottawa) using Ministry allocated transfer payment funds to assist them to contravene an offence-creating provision of the Corporations Act (subsection 307 (5)), a provincial statute as referred to in section 22 of the service contract.

Therefore, I am asking you if we could meet so I can show you this evidence of the Society breaching their contract with the Ministry and to discuss what actions will be taken by you in relation to this breach and illegal conduct by the Society.

I am looking forward to a response from you as soon as possible.

Can you also please acknowledge receipt of this email as soon as you receive it.

Sincerely
John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
http://www.afterfostercare.ca

Foster Care News Blog
http://www.fostercarenews.blogspot.com

Also read about the Ride for Accountability in 2010
http://afterfostercare.wetpaint.com/page/RACAS


The Ministry of Children and Youth Services informed the Council of the fact that Judith Dunne would be taking over communications between the Ministry and the Foster Care Council of Canada regarding the Ottawa Children's Aid Society.

Judith Dunne contacted the Foster Care Council of Canada to discuss the matter of him bringing evidence and it was decided to wait until after the court matter was resolved.

The following letter from Judith Dunne summarizes that discussion, which is followed by a response letter from the Council.






















Subject: Ottawa CAS & Violation s. 22 Annual Service Agreement - Clarification Letter‏

From: John Dunn (johndunn@afterfostercare.ca)

Sent: December 1, 2009 1:58:57 PM

To: MinEasternRegionJudithDunne MinEasternRegionJudithDunne (judith.dunne@ontario.ca)

Cc: MinCYSEasternRegionWendaHodsdon MinCYSEasternRegionWendaHodsdon (wenda.hodsdon@ontario.ca); afterfostercare@yahoogroups.com; MPPSylviaJonesPCChildWelfareCritic MPPSylviaJonesPCChildWelfareCritic (sylvia.jonesqp@pc.ola.org); Horwath - QP, Andrea (ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca); Irwin Elman (irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca)

Judith Dunne
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Eastern Regional Office, Program Supervisor

Thank-you for your letter of November 27, 2009. I am responding to your letter which I received on Tuesday December 01, 2009 simply to inform you, to educate others, and to make a submission for the record containing some clarifications.There is no requirement for you to respond at this time to this submission.

1. Your letter stated that I advised you of the fact that I "believe that the society may have contravened the Corporations Act and article 22 of the service agreement with the Ministry.

In response, I just want to clarify that I advised you of the fact that the Society did contravene section 307 (5) of the Corporations Act, an offence creating provision and that the Society contravened section 22 of their annual service agreement with the Ministry, and that they contravened subsection 15 (3)(g) of the Child and Family Services Act which requires the Society to perform any other duties given to it by the Act, or any other Act, which naturally includes the Corporations Act.


2. Your letter stated that I agreed during our phone conversation on November 23rd, 2009 that although the ministry monitors each children's aid society's quarterly financial reports and directs corrective action where necessary, it has no authority to determine matters or make findings under the Corporations Act and that I informed you that I have laid charges against the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and that a court date has been set for early January 2010, and that we concluded our discussion by agreeing that this was now a matter for the courts consideration.

In response, I just want to clarify that;

a) I am aware of the fact that the Ministry monitors the quarterly financial reports the Societies share with the ministry, however I am also aware of the fact that those quarterly reports are not detailed enough to even make the ministry aware of the fact that the society used ministry allocated transfer payment funds for the purposes of using an external law firm (Burke-Robertson Barristers & Solicitors in Ottawa) to assist them in contravening section 307 (5) of the Corporations Act and that if I had not reported this issue to the ministry or pressed charges, the ministry would never have come to know of the fact that the society did so.

b) I understood from you that the ministry does not have the authority to determine matters or make findings under the Corporations Act and did not argue this, however it is important for you to know that even the ministry responsible for the Corporations Act (Ministry of Government Services) has also informed me that they do not have the mandate to conduct prosecutions under the Corporations Act with regard to non-profits, therefore leaving any prosecutions of offences under that act by a society, entirely up to private citizens, leaving a huge hole in accountability and making redundant subsection 15 (3)(g) of the Child and Family Services Act

c) I recall agreeing to wait until the matter has been resolved by the court before I will attempt to get the ministry to deal with the matter again. As I recall stating during our conversation, even if the court decides the society not to be guilty of the offence, which could happen for various reasons such as technicalities, or an interpretation of a word, etc, it does not mean that the society did not comply with section 15 (3)(g) of the Child and Family Services Act which is to comply with any other Acts. So I did agree to leave the matter until the court matter has concluded.

d) You mentioned that I am aware of the standardized complaints process for Children's Aid Societies, and yes, I am aware of this, however, section 68 complaints against a society are only available to people who are actual clients of the society. Since I am not receiving services, or seeking services from the society, section 68 complaints are not available to me. In addition, when I attempted to bring this matter before the Child and Family Services Review Board, they determined that Corporations Act matters are not deemed to be a "Service" or a "Child Protection Service" so even clients of a Society could not complain about societies contravening Corporations Act provisions using the standardized complaints process outlined in section 68 of the Child and Family Services Act

Again, this letter was only written for the purposes of informing you, educating others, and to make a submission for the record containing the above.

There is no requirement for you to respond at this time to this submission.

Thank-you for receiving this. Please distribute freely as you wish.

Sincerely
John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
613-220-1039
http://www.afterfostercare.ca

Foster Care News Blog
http://www.fostercarenews.blogspot.com

Also read about the Ride for Accountability in 2010
http://www.racas.wetpaint.com

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