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Tell Andrea Horwath
April 8, 2006 permalink
The amendments to the Child and Family Services Act were enacted without provision for the Ombusdman to look into Children's Aid Societies. Now Andrea Horwath has introduced a bill to do just that. Here are links to:
A letter from John Dunn explains the situation, and what you can do.
When Bill 210 was going through the Legislative Assembly (Queens Park in Toronto) it went through all three stages before it became law. During those stages, the NDP's Andrea Horwath attempted to get the Ombudsman to have jurisdiction over CAS's administrative and other decisions which are not subject to the court's Jurisdiction. Unfortunately the Government of the Day, (Liberals) shot the attempt down (including the Ministry of Children and Youth Services) They did not want the Ombudsman to have power to review CAS decisions or lack of decisions (omissions).
Now, in protest, Andrea Horwath has introduced to the Legislative Assembly, Bill 88, 2006. It is called
Bill 88, 2006, Ombudsman Amendment Act (Children's Aid Societies), 2006.
By Introducing this to the Legislative Assembly, she is forcing the Government to publicly admit that they do not want any form of external accountability over CAS's.
The reason it will force the Government to have to publicly admit it is because of how a Bill becomes Law. The Bill gets "introduced" to the Legislative Assembly and is "read for the first time" of three times.
The first time is just so all of the members of the Provincial Government have a chance to be made aware of it, and read it, then after a short period of time, (a few days) it is put on the Government's business schedule to be read a Second Time. This is when after everyone has had time to read it and prepare a discussion about it and their feelings, they get to discuss it publicly on the Legislative Assembly Channel (ONTLA) and will have their words permanently saved in the document or transcript called "Hansard".
Then after second reading it goes to the public possibly for public hearings. Now folks, this is your chance to go to the Government to force them to hear your stories of how CAS did, or did not do what it was not supposed to do, or what it was supposed to do etc, how they abused their power and how it affected your family and children's lives.
If you were in foster care yourself, get your life story told. Especially any abuse of yourself in care. Your attempts to get your records without success and the like.
We have been given a second chance to bring the attention of CAS abuse and omissions to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and to the General Public. Don't let us miss it again. If you have ever filed a complaint and had it unresolved, or were intimidated from complaining through the use of your child as a barganing chip, or if your child is not getting mail from you, or anything at all, this is your chance.
I of course will keep everyone informed.
April 8, 2006
Room 159 Main Legislative Building
Toronto Ontario M7A 1A5
Subject: Bill 88
I applaud you on your introduction of bill 88, to allow the Ontario Ombudsman to look into the operation of Ontario's children's aid societies.
In hopes that it may help your effort, I enclose an email that I sent to CH-TV after your appearance on March 9. In addition to this anecdote, I can also tell you of their groundless attempt to turn my three-year-old son into a crown ward, or summarize the over two hundred interviews I had with aggrieved families during my efforts to organize the required number of CAS members. Please let me know if you think these would help you further.
Robert T McQuaid
March 9, 2006
Subject: Dominic Verticchio claim
Sir and Madam:
On your program this afternoon with Andre Marin, Andrea Horwath and Dominic Verticchio, Mr Verticchio said that the CAS board of directors is independently elected, making it a form of oversight over children's aid.
I ran for the board of directors of Dufferin CAS. The board is elected by the members, and in year and a half of recruiting, I had a quarter of the membership. In another year and a half I could have reached a majority. How did CAS react? They changed the rules making it impossible for me, or anyone else not approved by the incumbents, to run.
Robert T McQuaid