* 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.
Judge Paul Walker commented that the social workers stubbornly clung to their conviction that the mother was a risk to her children, in spite of all the rest of the evidence. Of course they did, because senior staff warned them that there would be dire consequences if they did not. Why? Simple. To say they did not believe it would be to admit to bad faith and it would hand the misfeasance suit an easy win. This is the director clutching at straws in a vain effort to save the day.
Now we have minister Stephanie Cadieux vowing to conduct a searching inquiry. What else could the poor woman say? She is not allowed to make any of the decisions, but she is stuck with doing the damage control. She says that she is enlisting the help of her deputy minister to help her with the inquiry. This is what former Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev would have called “setting the goat to guard the cabbage.” What better person to help with damage control than the person that manages everything. Note that the inquiry will only deal with the behaviour of the social workers and not with anybody else. Bad smell already.
* This piece is written by my good friend Ray Ferris, a social conscience comrade with a vested interest in good child protection and care since he worked in the Ministry of Children for decades. Then, during retirement years as he learned about slipshod casework that ignored the Act that should govern case work, and he became with familiar with families helpless within the system, he became an advocate for parents, families and children seeking a voice, justice, and freedom. He has written a book entitled, 'The Art of Child Protection.' You can order his book by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a willing advisor to those seeking assistance to deal with MCFD.
And if you want to read the most incisive commentary on the probability that an internal review will result in more smoke screens and little change then read Ian Mulgrew's great Vancouver Sun article.