Ray Ferris, my writing colleague for GPS (Advocacy Blog) has written another article to the Times Colonist. He himself had a helpful and rewarding career in the Ministry of Children and Family Development dealing justly for children and parents and caregivers. Later as he saw bureaucratic missteps and bungling he became an outspoken critic as well as an advisor.
Look at his latest piece.
MCFD's DEFAULT LEAP TO LITIGATION
The Clarke government always seems to be willing to spend more on battling its citizens than on helping them. They leap to litigation with no apparent heed for the cost. We know about the big ones like the years taken to lose a dispute with the teachers, the millions covering up the fired health researchers and the six million spent bailing out Basi and Verk. We will never be allowed to know the true cost of all those millions spent battling against families and innocent children in family court.
Suffice it to say that if a family has its children removed under the CF&CSA, they will need at least $200,000 in legal fees to get them back, regardless of the merits f the case. Several cases have cost far more. Parents need deep pockets, a valuable house or a very generous lawyer. The late Doug Christie worked free for the B. case for two years. Hittrich law advanced well over a million. The director was willing to fight for a year in a losing cause and the case still goes on. A Victoria lawyer gave $700,000 worth of service in a case, where the judge had already returned the children under supervision. The director wasted a full week of Hittrichcourt time just quibbling about details of a continued order. What did that cost the taxpayer?
Then there was the little Metis child SS. She was snatched from her Metis foster home over the pleadings of Ms. Turpel-Lafond and sent to strangers. The loving foster parents and extended family spent nearly a million dollars trying to keep her. How much did the taxpayer spend? Now their Metis adoption of her has been legally validated, the director spends more millions battling them and the child in the courts of the North-West-Territories. Sad.
From Ray Ferris. # 105-3900 Shelbourne St., Victoria V8P 4H8, 250 477 5723