Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today's post is a comment in response to a variety of other comments made on a Facebook page dedicated to the return of Ayn Van Dyk to her father Derek Hoare. IT IS WRITTEN BY RAY FERRIS, A BLISTERING CRITIC OF THE WAY THE MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT IS OPERATING TODAY. The Facebook page is entitled 'Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy." You will find informative dialogue throughout the page. 

"As I said in my address to the conference last August and I repeated in the advice letter to parents which you put in the blog, the court is an industry providing employment for many people. Lawyers for prosecution and defence both make a lot more money out of prolonging cases. The culture of the courts is adversarial and so enmeshed in process that goals and outcomes become completely obscured. Who do you blame, when all the participants see themselves as victims of circumstance and powerless to change anything?

Nobody in the system plans for protection cases to take years. They just cannot help themselves. Of course social workers and their lawyers know how to rig the system so that the parents never get their day in court. They just call a whole lot of witnesses with no factual evidence and this ensures that the court calendar will be jammed indefinitely. Defence lawyers think they have to call as many witnesses as the director, so this prolongs things even further. Judges seem to take no responsibility for trying to ensure that only quality evidence will be presented and that the court’s time will not be wasted with hearsay and conjecture. Also they will permit adjournments and postponements at the drop of a hat. The whole system is in collusion against resolving the best interests of the children. So who should we really blame?

Do we blame the lawmakers? I don’t think so, because they did pass an act which had numerous imperatives about time lines and numerous guiding principles. These are so routinely ignored by the courts, that the law may as well not exist. 

So who do we blame for the failure to abide by the law in many cases. Mostly we should blame the judges and the lawyers, who should know better and certainly not the poor scheduling clerk, who is stuck as pig in the middle. We also need to put a lot of blame on the shoulders of a government that lets this sorry state of affairs develop, without taking affirmative action to improve things. I can assure you that practices were much better thirty to forty years ago.

It is an outrage that parents should lose their children, largely because they cannot afford legal counsel.

It is an outrage that parents should have to sell the family home and go bankrupt in order to get their children back. 

It is an outrage that young children can suffer the emotional and psychological damage caused by keeping them in limbo for years until the case is settled. They suffer from the damage called attachment deficit disorder because they are bereft of their parents and often suffer multiple foster home moves. This is completely against the guidelines and time lines of the act. So who do we blame now. I blame any judge, lawyer, social worker, bureaucrat and politician who cannot feel outrage when such damage is done to families and children. I blame any citizen who is not horrified when they learn about such things. I blame any taxpayer who begrudges the money needed to put such things right."


  1. Hear hear.
    Now the trick is, how do we get the politicians to listen when they have not done so before now?

  2. A little tongue in cheek, but also a somewhat serious reply.

    It can be argued that politicians are neglecting their own kids in favour of their careers (working in the capital for weeks on end and never home, and when they are home, most of their time is spent campaigning, and using their kids as props to help them get re-elected).

    Perhaps if politicians lost their kids and had to go through the process to get them back, they might realize how broken the system really is...and be motivated to fix it.

    Until you experience the injustice, its hard to believe or appreciate that such things happen in Canada. Until it happenned to our family, I didn't think it could.


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