Friday, October 24, 2008

Child Advocate Report Evidence in Class Action Legal Action by Foster Kids

The controversy engulfing Alberta's child welfare system has unearthed valuable ammunition for a lawyer spearheading a class-action suit on behalf of foster kids.

Robert Lee told Sun Media that the provincial child advocate's internal quarterly reports, which detail a litany of complaints against the foster-care system, are "evidence" in his lawsuit involving 400 former foster kids.

"I didn't know they existed," Lee told Sun Media.

"They're going to be very helpful for me, but whether they create enough pressure for the government to fix the system remains to be seen."

The reports were released to the public this week by NDP MLA Rachel Notley after she acquired several years' worth of them through an access to information request.

They reveal complaints of illegal restraint techniques used on kids in care, kids sexually assaulting other kids, and children being placed in inappropriate or even dangerous homes because nothing better was available.

If you were a foster child in Alberta and suffered abuse or neglect while in foster care, please contact Lawyer - Robert P. Lee 780-438-4972 (ext. 306) to join the Class Action lawsuit. Don't be afraid, just call.

Read more here:

From Edmonton Sun

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Child and Family Services Review Board Speaks of it's own Redundancy

Start reading this publicly available case law from Lines 138 to the end and all of the foot notes to see how the Board discusses how redundant the complaint procedure and the Board itself is in relation to complaints brought to the Board about CAS issues.

Remember, move down to line 138 to start reading


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Children's Aid Society of Sudbury Manitoulin Charged

The Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin and its Executive Director have been charged by a local area resident with failing to furnish a list of their members as required by law.

The Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto also committed the same Offence but no charges were laid due to ongoing litigation with the Ottawa CAS.

The Charges against the Ottawa CAS for the same Offence were resolved by the person charging them as shown in the post after this one. (below)


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

CAS Charges Resolved

NOTE: Documents linked at end (.doc and .pdf formats)

The charges against the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and their Executive Director are set to go to Trial on WED OCT 08, 2008. However, after fifteen months of resolution discussions between Dunn and the Society's legal Counsel an agreement appears to have been reached which when finalized will result in the charge against Barbara MacKinnon as Executive Director of the Society being withdrawn (dropped) and the charge against Ontario Corporation 37637 (The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa) being "stayed" only to be reinstated at the Crown's discretion should any party breach the terms of the agreement within the 12 month period following the stay of the charges.

Approximately three years ago, John Dunn attempted to obtain a membership with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and was redirected to the Society's externally retained legal Counsel who has informed Dunn that the Society never intends to accept an application for membership from him.

Therefore, since Dunn was unable to advocate for changes to the Society from within as a member, Dunn was forced to use Section 307 of the Corporations Act to request a list of and contact the existing members of the Society to ask them if they support his advocacy efforts, and if so for them to call a meeting of the members as allowed in section 13 of the Society's By-Law and 295 of the Corporations Act.

On February 05, 2007 Dunn filed a request with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa for a list of their members so that he could contact them to advocate for changes to the agency's By-Laws which if successfull would give children in foster care a stronger voice in, and improved oversight of the agency they receive services from.

The letter to the members will be asking them to call a members meeting to advocate for a new class of non-voting members which would afford all Society and Crown Wards equal rights as other members of the Society less voting rights therefore strengthening and protecting their voices in relation to the services they receive from the agency and giving them the ability -- among other privileges -- to review corporate documents, meeting minutes and financial records of the Society if requested.

The Society, through its Board of Directors and with the support of its Executive Director, Barbara MacKinnon failed to furnish the list of members as required by statute. Dunn, after almost six months of attempting alternate means of bringing them into compliance with the law was forced to press private charges against them on August 08, 2007 under section 307 (5) of the Corporations Act.

After the charges were laid, the Society, through legal Counsel requested to enter into resolution discussions. Dunn agreed to enter into resolution discussions because his intent was to get his "letter of advocacy" to the Society's members so that they could call a members meeting if they support the proposed By-Law amendment.

The Crown offered to mediate the discussions and after approximately fifteen months of tense moments and communications a resolution has finally been reached. The Society was not comfortable releasing the list of their members to Dunn and subsequently agreed to supply the mediating Crown with postage-paid envelopes addressed with the members personal addresses so that Dunn would then provide the Crown with his "letter to the members" who would then mail the letter to each member at their place of residence.

The members who support calling a meeting would mail the enclosed response form to the Crown who, once the deadline date of November 16, 2008 has passed will count the responses and forward them to the Society.

If 1/10th of the members respond in support of calling a meeting for the purpose of dealing with the matter, the Society shall call a members meeting for that purpose. It is then up to the members to vote on the issue at the meeting if they want it to pass. Doing so would make the Ottawa Children's Aid Society the first in Canada to allow the children and youth in their care to be truly involved in monitoring and participating in the direction of the agency which controls their lives.

Letter to the Society's Members
Click MS Word or PDF formats