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May 19, 2006 permalink
John Dunn follows up on his denial of CAS membership in a letter to Barbara MacKinnon. John Dunn is the most soft-spoken critic of CAS to be found. If he cannot get a membership, only cops and social workers can now become members.
Friday, May 19, 2006, 10:50am
Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
1602 Telesat Court
RE: Meeting with Board of Directors — Rejection of Membership Application
Dear Barbara MacKinnon,
Children's Aid Societies offer memberships to people in the community as a means of providing public accountability through the right of its members to vote for members of the Board of Directors and through the dissemination of corporate information to its membership. I believe that the Society or its Board is rejecting memberships to persons simply because they have attempted to provide emotional support and/or resources to clients or potential clients of the Society in a peaceful & non-disruptive manner.
As you are aware, I faxed a letter to you requesting clarification as to why my membership application was rejected by the Board of Directors and to find out what I could do to improve my chances of obtaining a membership with the Society in the future. It is my understanding that the Board would make their decision based on the advice of yourself and other members of staff. I am also keenly aware of the fact that members of your staff were at one time instructed not to communicate with me since I have in fact supported clients of the CAS. This was mentioned to me by a staff member of your agency in 2004.
The response I received from the Board President, Brian McKee, in answer to the first part of my request simply stated that the Board "recognizes that you (John Dunn) have acted in a manner inconsistent with, and contrary to, the interests of the Children's Aid Society. In its opinion, you (John Dunn) do not have a genuine interest in the objectives of the Society."
I have not been provided with any evidence or even any suggestion as to what exactly it is that I have done to invoke such a response from the Board of Directors and as such I would like to request, again, a fair hearing or opportunity to meet with the Board of Directors for the purpose of learning what it is that I have done which suggests to the Board that I have acted in a manner which is inconsistent with and contrary to the interests of the Children's Aid Society and to learn if the decision to reject my membership application is permanent and/or irreversible.
I would also like to ask the Board -- should I be given an opportunity to meet with them -- what it is I can do to meet the criteria which would enable me to become a member of the Society in the future, as I am genuinely interested in the objectives of the Society which are, as far as I can tell from the Society's website, as follows:
"The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa is committed to protecting the children and youth of our community from all forms of abuse and neglect. We work to keep them safe and secure, both within their families and the communities in which they live."
If a meeting with the Board is refused, can I, as a member of the community, obtain access to the by-laws and or constitution of the Society for the purpose of reviewing its objects and membership eligibility requirements so that I may work toward meeting them? So far, I have not been given any means to contact the Board of Directors myself and would like to have that opportunity or at least information on how I can communicate directly with them.
I sincerely hope that neither you as Executive Director, nor the Board of Directors of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa believe that membership with the Society should only consist of people who do not question anything the Society or its Board does or neglects to do in the execution of its duties and that people who advocate for positive change in a non-violent and peaceful manner should be refused membership.
The Foster Care council of Canada
Pierre Viger — Director, Professional Standards — Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
Brian McKee, President — Board of Directors — Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
Michelle Cheung - CBC