Sunday, August 2, 2015


The disgrace, the shame, why not call it the outrage and scandal of the Ministry of Children and Families, uncovered and defined by the Judge Paul Walker's rulings in two landmark lawsuits brought by a mom we call J.P. against the MCFD Director and staff has compelled the government to do an objective review of the Ministry. Bob Plecas has been given this responsibility. His track record demonstrates his proficiency but he is disadvantaged by several factors. That's why in my view, Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the authorized Representative for Children and Youth, the certified government 'watchdog' over the MCFD, should have been selected. She can and doubtlessly will conduct her own review. That's her mandated job. It would have been commendable, so much more productive in the long term, for Hon. Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of MCFD, to depart from the adversarial posture historically typical of MCFD toward the RCY, and rather to work together with Ms. Turpel-Lafond to decontaminate this troubled Ministry.
The fault has already been found by the Judge in a court of law, so Plecas will not be reviewing or challenging that. Moreover, Plecas does not presently have authority to subpoena people for testimony. Therefore he will review Ministry policy and practice in light of Ministry conduct in this case. He will analyze what J.P.'s lawyer Jack Hittrich evidenced concerning the Ministry personnel's misfeasance and what Judge Walker upheld, and he will formulate recommendations calculated to amend, to correct and to prevent such case management in the future. Recommendations are advice, which infers option, and Judge Walker already pronounced that MCFD workers were not averse to violating a court order. They did. The finding in court was that J.P.'s children were abused by their father over a couple of years because MCFD workers ignored or impugned Judge Walker's earlier finding of probability of abuse, due to MCFD misinforming Vancouver police, and ignoring the existing court order to administer only supervised visits for the father. He was allowed unsupervised visits and that's when the youngest infant was abused.

One year, maybe two years after Plecas delivers his report with recommendations, it will not be his fault, that RCY Turpel-Lafond, delivers successive reports to government that MCFD has shown little interest in following through on Plecas' recommendations, just as she has been compelled to do with respect to Judge Hughes' recommendations in an earlier review.

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