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Your contributors remind us of some good points that repeatedly occur on your blog. Mary Polak is indeed powerless. She is not allowed by law to intervene in any decisions of staff. Nor is Dutoit. All the power is with the directors and is stated in the act. All Dutoit can do is to remove a director, but she cannot overrule.Same for Polak. The previous ministry for social services, later split into the children's ministry became known as a ministers' graveyard. Only two ministers that I can recall could stand up to the top bureaucrats. One was Grace McCarthy and the other was Joy McPhail. Polak can only repeat the spin prepared for her by Dutoit. To deviate she would have to get permission from the Premier's deputy minister. Nobody gets to think for themselves if they want to sit at the cabinet table. She could say something like. "I fully share the concerns of Ms. Turpel-Lafonde and I will make a full inquiry as to how this was allowed to happen." She would be off the hook and would be committed to nothing. Instead she made the dumb statement that they had not had time to assess the potential injury. The basic underlying problem is that the ministry for children is no longer accountable to the legislature. They also flout the laws passed by the legislature with impunity. One only has to look at the Bayne case to see the proof of this. The only way to start on the long and arduous road to reform is to completely amend the legislation. Give the minister more powers. give the legislative committee more power and above all give the youth and child rep some real teeth. It should be possible to sue the ministry for incompetence and failure in duty of care, without having to prove bad faith. The next problem would be to help the inter-party child welfare committee to figure out how to apply their new mandate.
Thank you Ray. You have summed up issues and solutions well again. If only....
MCFD is the perfect example of how no accountability = corruption.
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