Friday, July 31, 2015


Bob Plecas
Recommendations are valueless when they are ignored. Bob Plecas' independent review will contain recommendations for improvements and change for the Ministry of Children and Family Services. I have zero confidence that the recommendations will bring change within the Ministry. Plecas' work will be thorough and predictably commendable but it will have been ineffectual unless the Premier Christy Clark, and the Minister Hon. Stephanie Cadieux and preferably the Deputy Minister Mark Sieben construe the Plecas recommendations as beneficial and indispensable and determine to affect them. They must make them happen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


*BY guest writer RAY FERRIS

Hon. Stephanie Cadieux
Being the minister for children and families has always been a poisoned portfolio, which has despoiled the budding careers of various politicians. Ministers have virtually no powers, yet they have to take all the heat for a chronically incompetent senior administration of career bureaucrats. The periodic child welfare scandals that erupt cause frantic wriggling and writhing, but no effective change.

Judge Hughes
How naive Judge Hughes was when he said that they needed to halt the turnover of Ministers and Deputy Ministers to provide stability and leadership.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


This month the child welfare ministry in B.C. has been censured for sickening misconduct in a decades old litany of disturbing stories. This time it was for defiance and deceptive of the courts and supplying four children into the hands of their abusive father. The public and the media are outraged, well perhaps only annoyed. I'm not convinced too many people take this Ministry's chronic dysfunction seriously. Yet Premier Clark sounded sincerely disconcerted by Judge Walker's pronouncement of culpability against the Ministry. Both the Minister of Children, Hon. Stephanie Cadieux and Premier Clark pledged to conduct a review. Well of course. But I suspect that it is merely a bubble that will burst.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Bob Plecas
By Ray Ferris, my Advocacy Colleague 

So Bob Plecas has been asked to do an independent review. So what does this really mean.

First let us look at the Walker judgement. The judge found many failures on the part of several different staff members. To sum it up there was ill-will, lying and deception, stupidity, professional ignorance, denial, and abusive persistence in the face of the facts. This is just for starters. There was a pervasive failure in carrying out the mandate and a wilful pursuit of dominance and control. Good protection staff show intelligence, integrity, compassion, courage and good judgement. Did we see any of this? That’s right---don’t make me laugh.

Monday, July 27, 2015


I began writing about Paul and Zabeth Bayne's effort to recover their children in 2009, when their case was already two years old. They were suspected of having harmed their youngest of three children. Shaken Baby Syndrome was the Ministry's concern at the time. I was in daily contact with the Baynes, commiserating and gathering information. In order to be reasonably objective as a blogger advocate, I educated myself about the history, the policies, the failures, and the reviews of child welfare in B.C.  It became apparent to me that the Ministry's burdensome responsibilities were not consistently managed judiciously, compassionately, economically or in timely fashion. I became quickly aware that there were many parents and families helplessly mired in bureaucratic gorilla tape, and that the Ministry was decidedly adversarial with parents in many of these cases.

Friday, July 24, 2015


This blog and numerous other ones have been advocating for years for an objective but robust review of the Ministry of Children and Family Development with regard to case management, treatment of parents, investigation of complaints and concerns, response to children's best interests. Too many cases in the past are brought to light through private online sites or public journalistic articles and becomes sound bites that lose ground to next week's news. 

This time, a Supreme Court Justice's ruling has made such a spectacle of the Ministry's malfeasance in the case of a woman whose concerns about her husband's abuse of their children, was ignored by social workers, that Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of MCFD has been unable to assure the public that an objective outside review will do the job. Premier Christy Clark has needed to step forward to cover with promises of an independent review. The Ministry and the government do not Mary-Ellen Turpel Lafond, the Representative for Children and Youth, to do this, claiming she already has a position about this case and the Ministry. So, understandably, in partnership with the Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC), the Ministry of Children and Family Development has asked Bob Plecas, a highly respected former deputy minister, to lead an independent review into matters arising from Judge Walker’s recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

PAUL WALKER JUDGEMENT & Hon. Stephanie Cadieux’s Promise

* by Ray Ferris, Guest Author
Two things immediately strike me as being of interest following the scathing Paul Walker judgement. First it looks as if they intend to hang the social workers out to dry and blame it all on them. Do they imagine we don’t know that the social workers act under strict direction and many people higher up the ladder were involved in this case. One cannot spend the millions that the protection trial cost and the many more that the misfeasance trial cost without authorization from a very high level. Nor did the social workers have the authority to abruptly fold the case on day 66.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


News sources jumped on this story that Judge Paul Walker ruled that the Ministry failed to protect children from sexual abuse by their father, despite the report and testimony of their mother whom they chose not to believe. Judge Walker ruled in her favour. She then sued the Ministry and this past week, July 14, 2015 Judge Walker again ruled in her favour and has shamed Ministry personnel in his scathing denunciation of their work. Here are sources you can review.

Justice Paul Walker labelled the failure as 'egregious, negligent and a breach of duty ... Tuesday,
Justice Paul Walker issued a biting decision against MCFD in an horrendous case that the Sun revealed two years ago.
NDP demands answers from the government about its Child Ministry's failure to protect children from an abusive father, refusing to believe their mother's allegation against him.
Justice Paul Walker delivered a scathing ruling in favour of a mother who sued the province for refusing to investigate her kids' reports ...
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker ruled the father sexually abused his children and he says the province acted recklessly.
Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker rules in favour of a mother who sued the province for refusing to investigate her children's reports.
Justice Walker's scathing ruling in favour of a mother who sued the province after the Children's Ministry failed to believe her allegations that the father was abusing the children.
5 days ago - B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker has delivered a scathing ruling in favour of a mother who sued the province for refusing to investigate her kids' reports ...

Justice Paul Walker said in a written decision released Tuesday that the ministry showed “reckless disregard” when it falsely accused a mother of being mentally.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Honourable Mr. Justice Walker rendered a scathing decision against the Director of the Ministry of Children and Family and the agents of the Ministry. After approximately 130 pages of factual summary, Justice Paul Walker wrote the following judgement dated, July 14, 2015.
It is by far the most wounding judgement ever directed against the often negligent and criticized Ministry. The ruling will cost the Ministry a fortune that taxpayers are funding because this was a lawsuit brought by a mother who was wronged and whose children were sexually molested by their father and the Ministry failed to investigate thoroughly and sided with the father against the mother. The Ministry got it all wrong all of the time. And sadly, this is the allegation that so many parents have been making over many years. Now Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family promises a review, but she must understand that she must conduct this rather than to leave it to MCFD to do a self-assessment. Read Justice Walker's entire ruling. You will shudder. Here is his conclusion.
[1071]  The Province is liable for misfeasance, breach of the standard of care, and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the Director and her agents.
[1072]  The misfeasance of Mr. Strickland set in motion a series of events, including the Apprehension, which caused various social workers and Ministry employees involved in the file to view J.P. as manipulative and malicious. . The Director failed to assess and investigate reports of sexual abuse as required by the CFCSA and the standard of care. The Director had no reasonable basis to apprehend the children. The Apprehension was wrongful.
[1073]  The Director unreasonably and with a closed mind rejected at the outset the veracity of the sexual abuse allegations and took the view they were fabricated by J.P. before the VPD completed its investigation and before the children were interviewed. The Director did not consider whether the children were at risk of harm as a result of the children’s sexual abuse disclosures and other evidence. The Director concluded that the children needed protection from J.P. and not B.G. without conducting any assessment and investigation of her own.
[1074]  As J.P. continued to complain about the sexual abuse of her children and to protest the Director’s conduct, social workers’ antipathy towards her increased, and as it did, the Director’s focus turned away from the best interests of the children to J.P. As early as February 2010, the Director encouraged B.G. to apply for custody in order to return the children to him, regardless of information adverse to B.G. and even though she acknowledged the possibility that B.G. had sexually abused his children. In that latter respect, the Director acted in breach of her fiduciary duty to the children while they were in her care.
[1075]  The children remained in foster care while the Director provided her ongoing support of B.G., until March 29, 2012 (when the Director withdrew her protection concerns about J.P.). The children could not be immediately returned to their mother’s care because of the need for appropriate reintegration having been kept in foster care for so long.
[1076]  The Director rebuffed J.P.’s efforts to ameliorate the Director’s protection concerns and always, and unreasonably, assumed the worst of J.P.’s motives and conduct. In addition to Mr. Strickland’s misfeasance, for which the Director is responsible, social workers, for whom the Director is also responsible, engaged in a wholesale disregard of their statutory mandate and the requisite standard of care expected of them to protect the children from harm.
[1077]  Social workers who became involved in the case for the Director sought to further the plan to support B.G. in a manner that overlooked the children’s best interests. The Director’s antipathy towards J.P. diverted her attention from the children’s needs for medical intervention in spite of Mr. Colby’s opinion evidence and reports of the children’s highly disturbing sexualized and aggressive behaviours provided by supervised access workers. That antipathy, coupled with the plan to support B.G., led social workers to rebuff J.P. personally as well as the information she tried to provide in support of her case and to provide services for the children. Based on the evidence available to the Director by mid to late December 2009, it should have been apparent to the Director that the risk of harm to the children from B.G. was very high.
[1078]  The Director was put on notice that B.G. had sexually abused the children and would do it again, and she cannot say now that she did not know it was possible or could occur while he was given unsupervised access to his children.
[1079]  The Director’s decision to provide B.G. with unsupervised access led to P.G. being sexually abused by her father. Her decision also placed the children in close, regular, and unsupervised proximity with the person who had abused them
[1080]  In the course of pursuing custody of the children in favour of B.G., the Director decided that she did not have to abide by orders and directions of this Court about B.G.’s supervised access to the children. No credence can be given to the Director’s current advice to this Court, communicated through counsel, that she will abide by orders of this Court. Her advice is inconsistent with the position she recently took before another judge of this Court.
[1081]  The Director provided false and misleading information (in the Form “A”) to the Provincial Court to support the Apprehension and failed to correct or amend even though its social workers (depending on whom and at what point in time), knew or ought to have known it contained false and misleading information. She also relied on the Form “A” and other incorrect affidavit evidence when supporting B.G.’s custody application in this Court, when pursuing her application for an extension of the temporary custody order in the First Trial, and seeking the restraining order against J.P. in the Provincial Court. The Director improperly interfered with Mr. Colby’s investigation because she did not agree with an order made by this Court.
[1082]  The Director delayed in delivering documents requested by another branch of government in order to process the plaintiffs’ claims for compensation. Her conduct was either deliberate or the result of gross neglect but in either case the conduct was callously indifferent to the children’s needs.
[1083]  In all, I found that the Ministry employees who gave evidence, who were involved with the plaintiffs, lost sight of their duties, professionalism, and their objectivity.
[1084]  Even today, many of the social workers involved in the case doggedly stick to their adverse view of J.P., despite the Director’s decision to withdraw her protection concerns, the lack of any expert opinion evidence that J.P. suffers from a mental illness and the findings from the First Trial that the children were sexually and physically abused by their father. Many Ministry employees are unable to comprehend, let alone accept, any reason for the Director to have reversed her position, as she did, during the First Trial.
[1085]  Some Ministry witnesses were openly hostile towards J.P. when giving their testimony. Many of them refuse to accept the findings of fact made during the First Trial despite the claim made by some of them that what they wanted all along was to have an independent third party examine all of the evidence and determine if sexual abuse had occurred.
[1086]  Immunity afforded by the CFCSA to good faith discretionary decisions is not afforded to the Director and social workers in this case.
[1087]  The Director is also required to pay for special costs of the First Trial in an amount that will be determined from further submissions.

[1088]  In conclusion, I wish to add that J.P. assumed and carried out the Director’s statutory mandate to protect her children. If it were not for the Herculean efforts of J.P., the children would now, through the fault of the Director, be in the custody of their father who sexually and physically abused them.

Monday, July 20, 2015


A Woman known to us only as J.P. is the biological mother of four children whom we know as BT.G., K.G., BN.G., and P.G. has won a landmark lawsuit against the defendants, British Columbia (Ministry of Children and Family). The defendants are named as The Director of Child, Family and Community Services and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia. Throughout the two-year long court case, the unacceptable treatment of J.P and the substandard supervision of these children's welfare were unconcealed. A condemning judgement was anticipated. This was an evidence-based judgement by Justice Paul Walker who discerningly assessed that grounding their case management on evidence is precisely what the Ministry personnel failed to do. 

Justice Paul Walker's Full Script Ruling from July 14, 2015, is found at this link.

J.P told the Ministry that her husband B.G. was molesting her children. Workers did not believe her. Exclusive of due diligence her husband was deemed more credible than she. The children remained unprotected to him and defenseless. 

Furthermore, Justice Walker heard the court case two years ago in which J.P was the plaintiff and B.G. was the defendant, and then he ruled against B.G. and in favour of the children's mother.