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Wall of Secrecy

April 28, 2008 permalink

John Dunn has taken his struggle with the foot-dragging Ottawa Children's Aid Society to the leader of the provincial opposition, John Tory, asking him to provide information about the expenditure of public funds by children's aid.

This time we can say for sure what the outcome will be. Even if Mr Tory decides to look into the matter, he will find nothing. It is just as hard for politicians to penetrate children's aid secrecy as for anyone else.



John Tory:

I am writing to inform you of the following matter, which your experience as a trained lawyer will assist you in understanding the issue of concern to Ontario citizens.

On November 30, 2006, when the Minister of Children and Youth Services introduced Bill 165 (Independant Child Advocate Bill)

See link below if required:

On this day, John Tory said the following in response to the Minister's introduction of the Bill.


Mr. John Tory (Leader of the Opposition): "My question is for the Minister of Children and Youth Services. Today, the CBC is reporting there's been a leak of the section of the Auditor General's upcoming annual report dealing with the children's aid societies. The stories claim that more than $1 billion of taxpayers' money is spent each year by the children's aid societies without any oversight at all by the government. The story goes on to claim, in the extract from the report, that instead of going to children, this money is being spent on luxury cars and expensive trips -- and there are a lot of details on that. This is hard-earned taxpayers' money that is supposed to be going to help children, but instead it seems that it's being spent on cars and trips. What does the minister have to say to the children, to the foster parents, to the people who work in that field who are short of resources and to the taxpayers about this gross mismanagement taking place on her watch?"

The sentence I wanted to focus on in this statement is as follows:

"The stories claim that more than $1 billion of taxpayers' money is spent each year by the children's aid societies without any oversight at all by the government."

Currently, I have filed a complaint with the current Minister of Children and Youth Services, Deborah Matthews, regarding a Society spending Ministry Allocated Transfer Payments (Tax Payers Money) on an illegal purpose by hiring an external lawyer to assist them in committing an Offence. (Under section 307 (5) of the Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-38 - "failing to furnish a list of their members as required")

They decided to commit the Offence of failing to furnish a list of their members as required by section 307 (1) of the Corporations Act, then retained the services of the external lawyer to write a letter on behalf of the Board (not the Society seeking legal advice, but instead using a lawyer to assist them to commit an Offence) to the person who properly requested the list informing the requester, on behalf of the Society's Board that they were going to commit the Offence of failing to furnish the list.

I contacted the Minister to complain about this illegal spending of Ministry Allocated Transfer Payments and like you said nin the sentence quoted from you above, the Minister simply stated that the Ministry only has a monitoring role over CAS's and that financial information is sent to the Ministry in their quarterly uploads to the Ministry from the Societies.

Unfortunately those quarterly uploads do not provide enough detailed information to notify the Ministry, even if they were closely scrutenizing the uploads, of the fact that the Society spent funds on a lawyer for that or any other purpose.

Is there anything you can assist me with in seeking detailed expenditure information from the Society so that I can show the Minister that they did in fact spend their funds illegally and against their service contracts.

I have charged the Society with the Offences under the Provincial Offences Act (section 23) as a private prosecutor and the Ottawa Society and their Executive Director have, after several adjournments, decied to enter into resolution discussions with me. It appears they do not wish the charges to enter the courts as they are very clear Strict Liability Offences and have a high probability of conviction.

Anything you can assist me with via information on how to obtain from a Society the evidence of their expenditure of money, or for you to ask the Minister of Children and Youth Services to investigate this matter under her powers of Revocation and Take-Over powers which if she has in her opinion, based on reasonable evidence submitted to her, believes that a Society has breached any portion of the Child and Family Services Act or any other Act (the corporations act)

When notified she simply responded that she has no jurisdiction over the Corporations Act. Of course we know she does not have jurisdiction over the Corporations Act, but she does have jurisdiction over the CFSA which states that a Society (s. 15) must adhere to this and any other Act which applies to it) but she chose to ignore it.

Feel free to contact me at 613-228-2178 for discussion on this matter if you can.

Also, more details can be read on the Enforcement page of the Foster Care Council of Canada site shown below


John Dunn
Former Foster Child
Child Welfare Reform Advocate
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada

Source: email from John Dunn