Sunday, May 16, 2010

SHE WON – WE WON / Part 192 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Let's call it the Turpel-Lafond Ultimatum. She called them on it. They stuck to their arrogant guns as though they are exempt from the law. Well, they are not!

This high-handedness has buried this Government Ministry in thick suspicion and criticism for the past two decades. I thought diplomacy was the way to deal with these bureaucrats but they don't respond to that. The MCFD has too much power. Rein it in.

We should blow a few party horns. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's suit against Premier Gordon Campbell's government, specifically the Ministry of Children and Family Development was upheld by the B.C. Supreme Court Judge on Friday. But party horns are not what this is about nor are they appropriate, and Ms. Turpel-Lafond's own reaction to the decision rendered on Friday speaks to the honourable response by an reputable representative. “... I feel completely vindicated by the court,” she said. “All of this could have been avoided if the documents would have just been provided to me some time ago.”

Turpel-Lafond requested the documents so she could complete an audit of the Child in the Home of a Relative program, which serves about 4,400 children who are unable to live with their parents. The program was suddenly replaced with a new program this year, and Turpel-Lafond wanted to know what led to cabinet’s decision. The government not only refused her request, it brought in legislation that would retroactively limit her access to cabinet materials to March 30, 2007. The government wanted Turpel-Lafond to sign a protocol document in order to have any documents but this would have given the cabinet a veto over her requested reports. She refused to sign any protocols. She routinely deals with sensitive information about children and families without violating anyone’s privacy, she said. “The suggestion that I would obtain any material and use it in an inappropriate way is, I think as the judge said today, completely groundless.”

Justice Susan Griffin sorted this out in short order, no hesitation, no delay. She listened to their cases on Thursday and gave her ruling on Friday. It was a resounding rebuke and we should applaud both Ms. Turpel-Lafond and Justice Griffin. Campbell and his government ministry were rebuked for breaking the law when they refused to release cabinet materials to the public's watchdog on child-welfare. Griffin put it this way. Campbell's and Polak's offices “failed to comply with their statutory duty” when they withheld the necessary documents. Turpel-Lafond was herself a provincial court judge in Saskatchewan and she knew that the judge's ruling that the premier has breached his legal duties was highly unusual.
The way the Judge saw it was that when Turpel-Lafond's position was created, the Representative for Children and Youth was given sweeping powers and that was intentional. “This could not have been an oversight,” Griffin said.

Judge Ted Hughes wrote the 2006 review of the B.C.'s child-welfare system and one of the recommendations was the creation of an independent watch dog position. It will be very interesting to hear on Monday what Judge Ted Hughes says. He indicated he would make some comments on this matter. Interestingly he was in court on Friday to listen to Justice Griffin's decision.

Appreciation for Photograph by: Adrian Lam, Times Colonist
Story in Times Colonist by Lindsey Kines provides full coverage


    in Mr Hawthorne's brilliant comment RE:
    Government Mooches
    Why does she want the records regarding children in a home of a relative? So that they can end that program (and have they have deliberately put children in homes where they know they will be abused)?
    Get it through your heads people - The MCFD couldn't care less about children! That's why they rip them from their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, every day of the week. They aren't interested in reunification. They aren't interested in preserving families. They are interested in showing how powerful and mean the big, fat government is.
    These are people who have serious issues, the so-called child protectors who see abuse everywhere, who are the worlds biggest hypocrites (like the foster parent in Saskatchewan who was named Foster Parent of the Year and later charged with sexually assaulting numerous foster children in his "care.")
    If there truly is child abuse - treat it like a crime. Have the guilty party charged by the police. Get the evidence. But MCFD would be out of business in 24 hours if they had to adhere to due process. So instead they operate on the balance of probability. So easy to win, especially when the judge takes all they say as gospel, even when its outright perjury.
    For those of you who think we need more social workers. You are wrong! We need to butt out and if we do anything, support parents who are poor, don't steal their children. The stupidity of people on this issue is truly astounding. You really think Turpel-Lafond or this judge have done anything for children? She and the other gov't mooches couldn't care less. They only want to LOOK good. If they get these records, and the records make the parents or relatives look bad - they've won! The extended family program will be toast. And that's EXACTLY what the MCFD wants.

  2. Well Mr. Fisher, I suppose you are speaking to me as much as to anyone. I have not gone through what you have, that's true. I might see things through different eyes if I had. I am not naive, but I am also not as cynical as you are. I am an artist and I do not paint everything and everyone with the same brush or colour. I stand by today's post that Turpel-Lafond is a genuine servant to the cause of good care for children and youth and accountability to us.

  3. Well Mr. Unruh, I am a chemist, former army officer, and I too use my knowledge, training and experience. How I wish you are right and Ms. T-L will limit horrendous abuses! I very much appreciate what you do, but I live and fight them for more than 12 years. I hope that Bayne's and other families' cruel suffering will be limited much sooner, and I thank you for your part.

  4. (2 of 2)

    Perhaps the Ministry intentionally disqualifies people who volunteer to care for kids by making up reasons why they are not suitable. The gathering of statistics, properly reported and analyzed points to motive and gives grounds for further investigation to validate suspicions. Perhaps this is what MCFD is afraid of.

    In my personal experience and in talking with at least a dozen other parents, foster parents are commissioned to act as spies, eyes and ears of the social worker who works tirelessly to accumulate negative information produced by children and eavesdropping on phone calls, and to monitor the coercive efforts of foster parents who are instructed by MCFD either ingratiate themselves to the children or make their lives miserable depending on the desired outcome.

    To lose the eyes and ears of foster parents to relatives, I suspect would threaten the Ministry's lucrative money-spending activities. The other issue is, who in their right mind believes that relatives would not leave kids entrusted to them alone with the parents who are accused of abusing them? The answer here, is when the decision to place kids with relatives occurs, MCFD no longer believes parents are a danger to the children. This is simply another mechanism to ensure their involvement with the family to guarantee that government budgetary allocation for that office continues for as long as possible. The government saves on foster care, but taxpayers still has to fork out to pay social workers to maintain high caseload counts.

    Why else would the Ministry put up such a fuss to prevent access to such information?

    Polak's inexperience has surely been exposed by her putting up such a public fight and exposing herself to such ridicule. Perhaps this is the intent, to by those in power to allow this poor inexperienced women to allow herself to be seen as incompetent and then they can put the woes of the Ministry at her feet when she "fails." Perhaps her tenure was doomed from the beginning.

    While my kids were in care, RCY was useless to me and my kids. I phoned to complain the kids were inappropriately moved and separated agains MCFD's own policies, and the representative said I could not be the one calling, my kids had to be the one's phoning. The lady refused to do a follow-up; she said she could not call the kids to find out what was going on.

    My kids were terrified to call RCY because they would have had to do it from the foster home where they listen in. My children felt as though they were being separated from each other and moved as punishment, and they feared greater reprisals if they did call RCY. MCFD manages to use RCY as a weapon also, getting kids to call when there is an issue that could be used to denigrate the parents, but either refusing such calls by intimidating them with their presences or bribing them with treats and privileges to placate children.

    Keep tracking the story, it seems the matter is far from over.

  5. 1 of 2
    The judgement on this is worth reading. It is a respectable 24 page long document for any judge to write overnight. (For comparison, I have a 32-page judgement resulting from a 7-day trial, and an 80-page document after an 18-day trial).

    It is also fascinating to hear Ted Hughes was at the hearing as well. In this case, the judge is well aware she knows everyone is watching, and no one is cheering for MCFD, so there is no downside for slamming the Ministry. This turns into a feather in her cap, so of course she puts in extra effort into the decision. It would be nice of all such decisions were as thoroughly reasoned.

    On a personal note, the subject of foster care versus family care, and paying alternate family members such as grandparents, or even volunteers is an interesting subject.

    In my case, several months before my children were removed, the ex-wife was in discussions with the social worker and she was told that she could take care of one or more removed children and be paid for her efforts. That did not come to pass. I heard of more disturbing details from my daughter of what appears to be significant advance planning of the removal months before.

    In the Bayne's case, the grandparents were taking care of the boys. Does this mean they get the same rate of payments as the foster parents in this situation? Was this discussed? If MCFD is quick to shut off family child allowance and subsidized housing allowances when the kids are removed, are they equally fast in restoring such funding when kids are returned or are put into care of other "suitable" family members or friends?

    Is there a potential that families can profit by intentionally getting their kids removed, knowing they would be returned to relatives who would receive far more money than the standard family allowance cheque? Is this the sort of hidden information that exists within the system? This curious taxpaying parent wants to know.

    In my case, after the removal of my kids all such sources were disqualified as able to take care of the kids, and they were subsequently shuffled from two emergency care facilities as well as three foster care homes. One foster home was located as far as two-hours round-trip drive to school each day. The children were eventually separated and their school was changed after the third move, and this action induced great amounts of trauma.

    (continues... see 2 of 2)

  6. Just a thought. If I were an investigative journalist doing a story on The Child Protection Industry in Canada, I think that I would pay attention to Goudge Inquiry, Campbell Inquiry, Doctors and golden handshakes with the OACAS, I would then go and find out who lobbied the government for Child Protection legislation. I would not be surprised to find that The same Doctors went to the same schools, ie Smith, Cairns, Young, Meadows, Roy...Leeds I think it was...All of them have lost or given up their medical licenses during incompetence hearings or investigations. I dont think it would be too difficult to see or track the names, the legislative legacy and the Corporate partnerships..all the way to the bank. I am certain that any decent investigation would even reveal that this started in Britian,was modeled in Ontario, and the Forensics of it all can even be tracked to BC via a Conference in 2008. (All the same Docs) All the same experts...Follow the names, follow the handshakes, follow those Bills all the way to the FSA.

  7. Ron,

    While I agree that Mr. Fisher may be a little harsh in his assessment, I can certainly emphathize. While a characterization of all is unfair, I can honestly say that the vast majority of all people I have met don't have a single kind word to say about the Ministry. Cries of underfunding are rather misleading. Proper spending of the available funds on enforcing the Act as it is written, not as it is interpretted by undertrained Social Workers(Note that most are not Registered), would stop wasteful spending and rein in out of control SW's. This simple measure and transparency would bring accountability. Finally a revision of the appeal procedure so that the Gov't funds The Representative of Children and Youth to handle appeals then we could hope to rid the system of bad SW's. I say hope intentonally as the past is a great predictor of the future. As Proof -- Show me in the Act where The Bayne's have been treated properly and I will issue a formal apology. One last thing. Even though this is signed anonymous(To protect myself from You know who), I have met you Ron and am a close follower of your blog. God Bless.

  8. Thanks Mr. Fisher.
    Thanks to all of you who have written.

  9. To Mr. Josef Fisher:

    I totally agree with your analysis. It takes a 12-year veteran to fully understand the tricks government plays. To fan off unhappy campers, the Office of RYC was created so that the government appears not turning a blind eye to all ministry-created atrocities. Be mindful that the RYC is not there to protect the rights of parents nor to promote family reunification. It is another bureaucracy burning tax dollars.

    You are absolutely right that we don't need more "child protection" social workers. The more god-like creatures we have, more children will be removed. Many Canadians don't understand government, in particular MCFD. They believe that problems in MCFD are due to lack of funding. No, absolutely not. Too much funding is allocated to the wrong hands, rendering "child protection" counter productive, cost inefficient and oppressive.

    To stop this circus, to build a safer and fairer future for our children, there is only one solution - outlaw state-sponsored child removal. This inhumane and barbaric act has no place in a civilized society. Any measures less than this will leave us status quo.

  10. The problem with changing the injustices of child protection all over the world is that people do not believe that "child protectors" could actually be doing so much harm to children and families. Because most people can't believe that "child protectors" could actually be child destroyers, child protection agencies can get away with murder.

    Hitler was right. If you are going to tell a lie, make it a big one. People will more readily believe a big lie, because most people don't have the audacity , or sociopathy, to tell a big lie, and therefore assume that no one else would. This reliance on big lies works in MCFD's favour, but only for so long. Once truth gathers momentum, there's no stopping it. The depth and the breadth of the lies that have been told, the harm that has been done in the name of protecting the most defenceless and innocent members of our society, make this truth absolutely unstoppable. The MCFD and other child protection agencies around the world must know this, even if only instictively, and they must be fearful of what lies ahead for them once they are exposed. This fear, and the desire to hold onto their God-like power, accounts for their increasingly desperate measures. It's a vicious circle for them, the more they lie, the more they have to lie. The tangled web is closing in on them.

  11. To CPS DF
    I am sure you have picked up that you and I express ourselves differently. Granted, your experience with Child Protection is far more devastating than anything I know. That explains the fire in your belly. Nevertheless, I believe that in a public forum of this nature, we get more mileage in readership by making a valid point by selecting illustrations wisely. A mention of Hitler doesn't qualify. The comparison between injustices gets lost. Other aspects of what you say are worth saying. I agree MCFD should receive deserved censure when this case concludes.


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