Saturday, November 21, 2009

Can NDP Effectively Hold a Child Welfare Critic Portfolio?

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One of the most outspoken MPP's in Ontario on Child Welfare issues is the newly elected leader of the Party, Andrea Horwath. However, is it a conflict of interest to be the Leader of the NDP, or any NDP party member and to hold the position of a Child Welfare Critic?

In a post on Andrea Horwath's Facebook post, and fearful of losing the only support child welfare advocates have in the Legislature, John Dunn has challenged Andrea Horwath's followers with the following post;

I urge everyone to think carefully about this issue. CAS's are being very wasteful of the funds they use. They do good work, however, they are more litigious than they have to be. I encourage everyone to try and find out from their local CAS how much they spend on legal battles, and how many of them were for serious enough reasons. Also, remember that CAS's are union staffed.

Hence, it might be a bit of a conflict to have an NDP Leader as a child welfare critic. I know this might anger people, but I am not saying that unions should not exist, just to think carefully about this possible conflict. On one hand, we advocate for Ombudsman oversight of CAS's. On the other hand, we support them calling for more and more funds when they can't even clearly justify their need for more funds. Seriously look at their finances and try to determine how much is spent on administration, legal, travel expenses, law suits against them which get resolved out of court for abuse to kids in care and improper protection applications... where do you find this information. I seriously challenge anyone to find this.

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