Saturday, May 08, 2010

Societes Wasting More Money on Legal Action Against Government of Ontario

Eleven of Ontario's Children's Aid Societies have taken the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to court for a Judicial Review "judicial review of the budgetary process" according to Tanya Talaga of the Toronto Star's Parent Central, for failing to increase funding to the agencies as they have requested. Very basically, a judicial review is a way of asking a judge to determine whether a Ministry or government decision maker has made a decision properly or not.

The article goes on to state that Jeanette Lewis, the Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) states that the decision to ask the courts to intervene was "not taken lightly" and that the OACAS is an "umbrella group" which represents 53 Children's Aid Societies.

This is partially correct, however, the OACAS is also a registered lobby group which lobbies the government on behalf of the Societies and which receives over 2 Million dollars a year in "membership fees" from those Societies from monies which the Ministry and the citizen's of Ontario, the tax-payers believe are being used to "protect children".

Lewis has been involved as the Executive Director of the OACAS in retaining the services of a Toronto law firm -- Swadron and Associates -- to write threatening letters to John Dunn, a foster care survivor who advocates for improved transparency and accountability of Children's Aid Societies, after he created a free on-line Internet discussion group to teach citizens how to properly advocate for changes to how the Societies operate by applying for corporate memberships with their local Societies. Dunn says with a hint of sarcasm, that the decision by the OACAS or Lewis to spend Ministry-allocated child protection funds on unnecessary and intimidating legal procedures against him was probably "not taken lightly" either.

The eleven agencies spending tax-payers money on taking the government to court are for more money instead of managing their money better are as follows: CAS of Brant; Chatham-Kent Children’s Services; Durham CAS: Family and Children’s Services of St. Thomas and Elgin; City of Kingston & County of Frontenac CAS; Haldimand & Norfolk CAS; Huron Perth CAS; CAS of Oxford County; Nipissing & Parry Sound CAS; Timiskaming Child and Family Services and Child and Family Services of Timmins and District.

As many people are aware lately from the plethora of radio, television, print, Internet, and movie theatre advertizements, the OACAS has spent hundreds of thousands in tax-payers money on a publicity campaign called "I Am Your Children's Aid" to try and improve the image of Children's Aid Societies since the past few years have had more and more scruteny of them by publicly available provincial audits, reports by Ontario's Ombudsman Andre Marin, reports from the Child and Youth Advocate Irwin Elman, many public rallies by people affected by Societies which included youth from foster care speaking out and which were supported and attended by MPP's about the way Societies conduct their business. Conduct which has involved illegal activity, violating court orders, infringing the legislated rights of chidlren and youth in foster care and more.

The "I Am Your Children's Aid" campaign invites people to "get involved" with your children's aid society, however fails to inform people of how they can really get involved by joining their local Society with a corporate membership.

In addition to all of this, in June of 2010 the Foster Care Council of Canada's public awareness campaign titled "Ride for Accountability of Children's Aid Societies" will take place which will see foster care survivor John Dunn ride a bicycle from Ottawa to Windsor, accompanied by a truck and banner-clad camper-trailer to raise awareness of the need for external and Ministerial oversight Children's Aid Societies. You are invited to support the ride with a donation of any amount by visiting http://www.accountablecas.ca

3 comments:

  1. This is an excellent summary of the facts-we should bring copies of the summery on the ride...

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  2. I am glad you tackled this issue. The more attention on the atrocities the CAS orchestrates the better. I think this legal action business looks like the beginning of the end of the CAS reign of terror. London CAS is crying poor and threatening to close their doors in January 2010. I have a personal interest in wanting this outfit closing down because they harassed a young mother I knew to the point of suicide. This matter is being investigated by Ontario Provincial Police and the Coroner's Office.

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  3. John,

    I am to a survivor of wardship of the CAS and beleive me I would have been better to stay with my acholic mother. I suffered much emotional and physical abuse at the hands of CAS's staff. I had my head smashed off the floor and three staff sitting on me because I did not want to attened dinner one thanksgiving, because I was depressed about being in care and feeling so alone and frightened.

    The point I would like to make is maybe now our government will reconsider the call for accountabilty of the Children's Aid, since the governemnt is being questioned. I think that just maybe The Childrens Aids has biten the hand that feeds them, and they are about to feel the rath of accountability coming their way. I think this lawsuit is going to end up working against the CAS. I am happy these idiots took it to far this time.

    A survivor.

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