Monday, January 28, 2013


This is the letter I sent to Christy Clark's office over one year ago. Numerous other advocates did the same. Ayn Van Dyk is still in foster care under direction of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. There is a possibility of her being returned to her daddy this year. It's an awful punishment for an autistic girl for wandering from her back yard, and a terrible penalty to impose on a dad for not seeing her leave. She was found 3 hours later.

The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
Box 9041
Victoria , BC
Dear Premier Clark,
Occasionally people like Derek Hoare come along to wrest our attention. Something has happened to Derek’s family that has interrupted family routine and happiness. But much worse than that, this occurrence has introduced a horror and an unrelenting panic against which Derek is virtually powerless.
As I have reflected on the importance and the value of my own family I have concluded that you too will affirm that ultimately, family means everything. Family is that closely knit network within which the most intimate of human feelings are shared. Family relationships engender trust, respect, unconditional acceptance and love. Cherished memories are archived in a family depository that is shared by and accessible to the entire family unit.
There is laughter and tradition and history that are inscribed deeply into the corporate consciousness so they serve as the magnet whenever holiday activities and reunion plans are made. All the griefs and exhilarations, heartaches and joys are commonly shared and owned by members of families. There is an enduring sense of belonging within family. Family takes a person with gladness through the stages of life all the way to the finish. Family importance is not negotiable. The outcome of my reflection is this. Without the people who matter most to you, Life would be vacant.
Then occasionally people like Derek Hoare come along to wrest our attention. Government legislation has empowered other people, a Ministry, to determine whether Derek and his three children should be permitted to function as they are without intervention. Ostensibly the intrusion has the best of intentions, that is, in the interests of children. In Derek’s case it is a violation of trust far graver than the concern that has generated the action. Derek’s daughter Ayn is nine years old and is autistic and five months ago on June 12th, 2011 she wandered from her back yard managing to evade daddy’s watchful eye for an unsurprising autistic meander. Derek’s concern issued in his call to police who found her playing in a neighbour’s yard. Four days later on June 16th MCFD removed Ayn from her school and then Derek was informed. What may have been deemed a protective action has become a punitive stroke. Ayn cried for 18 successive days and was finally given a photograph of her father and her together and she has carried this everywhere for these past 4 ½ months.
Shortly after being apprehended in June, Ayn was medicated with several anti psychotic drugs to control her, drugs that she has not required before. Still, she has wandered from Ministry care on two occasions, the last one she was found naked near a main street. She had left through a window of her bathing room. To the public few things are more distasteful than ministries that carry names like Family Welfare, and Ministry of Children and Family Development, when in truth they inflict greater heartache for the children and parents than do the normal challenges and issues of life. The emotional family trauma, the adversarial posture and the financial distresses must be stopped. This case is one of so many more. The Child, Family and Community Services Act was not designed for such flagrant exploitation by imprudent directors and social workers. Please Premier Clark, put a stop to this! 
Dr. Ron Unruh
Ms. Clark did not respond herself, but the deputy minister Doug Hughes did write an acknowledgement in a standard manner.

Ayn has still not been returned to her home.

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