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June 18, 2006 permalink
We have received a photocopy of a letter from Children's Aid, threatening participants in the upcoming rally on June 20. We have heard of other threats of retribution, but so far this is the only one in writing.
The parents are being threatened for violating a law intended to prevent newspapers and broadcast media from publicizing the names of vulnerable children. We do not know of any case in which courts have dealt with a parent naming his own child. Since the parents lack the means to hire appellate lawyers, it will not be dealt with in this case.
To keep this family out of further trouble, we will not disclose their names or identify the Children's Aid Society involved. We use the mark ▉ in places where our copy has material deleted.
The Children's Aid Society ▉▉
It has come to the attention of the Society that you ▉ are involved in the United Family Front rally set for Tuesday, June 20, 2006, and that you will be making public information regarding the various children of ▉▉▉▉ and the child protection proceedings. As you ▉▉▉ amply aware, the current laws provide that the publication or public release of information regarding, and that would tend to identify, children involved in child protection proceedings is prohibited and a breach thereof would open you up to legal repercussions. Accordingly, you are not to release such information in any way.
In particular, Subsection 45(8) of the Child and Family Services Act states:
No person shall publish or make public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is a witness at or a participant in a hearing or the subject of a proceeding, or the child's parent or foster parent or a member of the child's family.
As you have been advised in the past, breaching the prohibition against publishing or making public any information about any of your children, yourselves or any other family members, could give rise to the penalties under subsection 85(3) of the Child and Family Services Act, which states:
A person who contravenes subsection 45(8) (publication of identifying information) or an order prohibiting publication made under clause 45(7) (c) or subsection 45(9), and a director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in such a contravention by the corporation, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or to both.
In particular, ▉▉▉▉ can speak at the June 20, 2006 rally about the situations relating to your children, or speak about your "story" and the children.
You are also directed to deleted (sic) any website information relating to the child protection proceedings and also any information (such as, but not limited to, the names or part of the names of any of the children, or the names or part of the names of ▉▉ you as a parent, or the names or part of the names of any other relatives, any and all photographs of the children or either of you as a parent or of any other relatives, and any other details or comments) "that has the effect of identifying" any of your children. Obviously, information regarding a parent or other relative, a foster parent, or a worker in turn can enable the public to identify which child or children are being spoken about, so that no such information can be published or spoken about or released to the public in any form or manner whatsoever.
Kindly confirm that you have taken the necessary steps to correct or cancel any and all such breaches or potential breaches so that any further legal action will not be necessary.
Source: email from aggrieved party