Saturday, December 17, 2011

WORK TO RULE & the Ministry of Children

Today's post was written by Ray Ferris.
"What does that phrase mean? Does it mean to work while strictly obeying all the rules, or does it mean to work in order to rule other people. Well, let me explain how it means both.

When people want to take job action in order to put pressure on an employer, there are various things they can do. There are numerous forms of striking. One can have rotating strikes or full time strikes. There is also a very effective method known as working to rule. A lot of organizations have multiple layers of bureaucracy and nothing can get done without lots of signing and countersigning. These organizations can only function because people learn to work around the rules. There is a lot of rubber stamping and signing of approvals after the fact.

So when people work to rule, they do only what the strict observance of all the rules and regulations require and they take no short cuts. They work the way the bosses imagine that they should be working all the time. If you wonder why the ministry of children and the courts are unable to do anything within the time frames dictated by legislation and why they have to invent new terminology to disguise the fact that they have no hope of following guidelines, there is a staggering cause. It is it has become the norm for the ministry and the courts to 'work to rule.'

The ministry is so bogged down in bureaucratic procedures that it is impossible to follow the true mission of the ministry. The means have completely derailed the ends. The courts are so bogged down in process, that good sense, compassion and common humanity are no longer able to play a role. In the end it looks as if they are all working to rule other people. It becomes a certainty that all the rights of parents and children will burn in the bureaucratic inferno.

And you know what? Most of the people who operate the system are not really comfortable with this, but they have no idea what to do about it. They almost feel like victims--especially when the news media roasts them. Social workers, supervisors, directors, lawyers and judges all see themselves as having no choice. Procedures must be followed at all costs. Of course they are aware that the outcomes are often disastrous and indefensible. That is why a good line of spin is absolutely necessary. The spin maybe ludicrous, but as long as it can convince the top brass, it doesn’t really matter. Why should anything change? It never has before. Even the judgements become spin. Cherry picking the evidence to spin a case to justify whatever has been done. To justify that on the judge's watch, every guideline of the act was ignored and he tolerated the rules of evidence becoming a mockery.

Work to rule does not work at all and does nothing for the rights of children. All it means is more and more judges, social workers and lawyers get jobs."


  1. I have not yet encountered a government agency who can take shortcuts and bypass bureaucratic procedures like MCFD can.

    They get to choose which 'rules' take precedence over others. They can return children virtually at will, at any time, with or without court knowledge if there is a determination concerns have been addressed. Simply by not stating the concerns, or being vague about them, the other rule becomes, everyone has to wait for court.

    We hear of a 4-month unsupervised access return offer to Derek if he would only visit Ayn, and an offer of tens of thousands of dollars worth of autism-related services that other parents who do NOT have their children removed can only dream of.

    Now, we hear that discussions of return plans for Ayn that have come to a virtual standstill, while we wait for the 1-hour mandatory January 23rd case conference.

    Rules are indeed a funny thing. The Baynes were beaten into submission as the MCFD lawyer strictly followed the rules, to the letter, in his conduct of the case. The judge, presumably, was following the rules when he decided to take six months to write the ruling.

    Finn Jensen laid out the rules for Chief Justice Crabtree when it came to explaining away the 45-day rule that protection hearings must be heard. You see, a three year delay is perfectly acceptable because the rule merely states that child protection proceedings have to _start_ within the 45-day period, they don't have to conclude within that time frame.

    Derek and Ayn are now in that position of waiting for court. This is in keeping with the rules that have been established for this cruel game.

  2. what ever happened to the idea of accountability?--and what happened to the idea that the baynes could and should sue the ministry for taking away their children when they should not have??

  3. The bottom line is the judges have nothing but distain for parents whose children have been apprehended. They have no great concern for these parents and if they consider the bond they have with their children and vice versa it is not deemed meaningful. They act as if they are dealing with a subhuman species.

    Their contempt is almost palpable. If you read their judgments you will see that they permanently sever what is the most sacred of bonds as casually as if they were making the most quotidian ruling. If they feel any remorse about what they are apparently forced to do by the "rules" I would be very surprised because nothing in their demeanor or the Reasons for Judgment has ever indicated any real concern for the trauma and suffering families are subject to as a result of government intrusion under the guise of protection.


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