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OACAS Demands Secrecy

May 24, 2005 permalink

Today the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS)posted a notice on its news site:

NOTE: The Child and Family Services Act Section 45(8) prevents the publication of information that identifies a child, the child's parent, foster parent or member of the child's family when the child is the subject of a child protection proceeding. Therefore, OACAS will not be posting news articles that fall into this category.

The OACAS also issues press releases, such as in the case of Lisa Heughan, urging news editors to withdraw the names of families in cases where the names have already been published.

There can be no doubt that the party protected by the secrecy is not the child, but the child protection bureaucracy.

In the case of Marguerite Dias who attacked Madelene Monast with a machete on suspicion of being a snitch, many Canadian newspapers printed the story without the name of the attacker, even after she was sentenced to prison. Some newspapers also suppress the names of Carline VandenElsen and Larry Finck, the parents in the Halifax standoff. Sending people to prison and withholding their names is the methodology of medieval tyrants, not countries respecting the rule of law.