Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dunn Late for Trial Against CAS - CAS Gets Charges Dismissed

The following article was written by Don Butler of the Ottawa Citizen on Dec 01, 2010 in response to the fact that Dunn thought the Trial was at 9:30 so upon entering the court house, Dunn and his supporters went for coffee to wait until 9:30. At approximately 9:20am Dunn decided to go and check the court room just to be sure.. and that is when he saw the CAS' executive director Barbara MacKinnon, some other staff or volunteers and their lawyer in the hallway approaching him.

They stopped in the hallway, the lawyer gave Dunn back his original request, and his ten dollars and they left. It was at this point that Dunn realized the trial was scheduled for 9:00 am, that he had missed it, and that the Society has the case dismissed due to his absence and the lack of evidence against the CAS because of it.

Below you will see the follow up article to the day's events and Dunn's response to the reporter.

CAS membership case dismissed when plaintiff fails to show up

By Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen December 1, 2010

John Dunn's attempt to prosecute the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa crashed and burned before it even began Wednesday.

Dunn, an activist who runs an advocacy group called the Foster Care Council of Canada, filed charges last year under the Corporations Act after the CAS refused to release its membership list to him, citing privacy concerns.

The case was scheduled to be heard in provincial court at 9 a.m. Wednesday, but the charges were dismissed when Dunn failed to show up.

A chagrined Dunn later explained that he thought the case was scheduled for 9:30 a.m., even though the Foster Care Council's own website listed the correct time.

Dunn wanted the membership list so he could lobby CAS members to create a new class of members for the society's former wards, even if they live outside its area of jurisdiction.

Dunn said he will consider appealing the dismissal if he is legally able to do so.

Barbara MacKinnon, the Ottawa CAS's executive director, said the society's board "really would like to have a constructive relationship with Mr. Dunn.

"We don't want any adversarial relationship with Mr. Dunn at all," she said. "We're very open and recognize that every voice is important in this community."

MacKinnon said the CAS has offered to send letters from Dunn to CAS members, and is still willing to do so.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

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Hi Don,

I read the write up on today's crash and burn lol. Nice Touch! I know this matter is basically over with regard to the media however, I did want to explain something to you. In your article you mentioned that my site said 9:00 but I said I thought it was nine-thirty.

The reason I press released etc. 9:00 was simply to get folks who wanted to attend, to be there early. I honestly thought it was at nine. [CORRECTED TYPO: I MEANT THAT I THOUGHT THE TRIAL WAS AT 9:30] Besides I arrived at the court on time but went for coffee thinking we had a half hour :(

As for Barbara saying they are open to good relations etc.. too bad they did not mention their letters from the board where they say there are no appeal procedures and where they have refused to meet with me upon several requests now for years.

Even recently I was offered to meet by their communications person France Clost during a public event they had, she came up to me to ask .. why don't you just meet with us and talk about your concerns.. so I wrote to her last week to ask for a meeting here is the response. Just so you can see the truth as to how the CAS publicly makes themselves sound so nice. but in the background citizens are being driven to anger and frustration by them and their ways.

From: Facebook
To: France
Sent: Thu, November 25, 2010 6:10:39 PM
Subject: John F Dunn sent you a message on Facebook...

John sent you a message.

Subject: E-mails at work

Hi France. I have just received a disclosure package from the CAS which reveals many internal e-mails at the Society in relation to me. It appears from them that there is this fear that I am somehow a threat to people. I just want to say that I feel horrible that anyone thinks this way about me. All I can say is that I am sorry they do. As you know, through our couple of meetings, I am not violent in any way, and would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I merely use tools that are available to advocate for changes and don't mean to cause anyone any alarm. I know this will more than likely be passed around now, so to anyone reading this.. please understand I mean no harm to anyone.

Also, thanks for agreeing to meet with me soon France at the agency I assume as I am sure this will assist somehow in garnering a little more understanding from everyone involved.

I am only using facebook because I assumed that you might have a public presence on here as a communications officer. I will not use this anymore since it appears to raise alarm bells within the agency.

Sorry for that misunderstanding.

John Dunn

Here is the reply I got from their lawyer Danesh Rana. I also have other letters from the board refusing to meet with me to discuss my concerns.

Mr. Dunn,

Below is the Facebook message you sent to a CAS employee last week. This is completely inappropriate as the CAS retained counsel and we have a trial in 2 days. Do not let this happen again, I cannot stress how inappropriate this was.

Whatever meeting you think you have with France is now cancelled. Please do not attend the CAS office while we engaged in this matter.

In response to your email below, the CAS takes no position with regards to your intentions, but rather the result of your actions is that staff has felt threatened and defamed.

The CAS does not take your advocacy for change seriously because your messages are just that inappropriate. You say below that “I mean no harm to anyone”; but you are constantly threatening people with charges, you post people’s emails on your website, you belittle them in your communications, you accuse staff of abusing children, you write the media, you write people’s bosses, you write the government; my question to you is, how are they supposed to feel?

The CAS and their staff feel threatened by you. No amount of apologizing now will undo 5 yrs of your ‘advocacy’. This is why we don’t want you to have the Members List.

If you agree to drop the charges, it might make your apology seem more sincere. It rings quite hollow otherwise.

But, I know your intent on moving forward. In my cross-examination, I am going to make you answer for every one of those threatening emails.


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