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OACAS Threatens John Dunn

November 11, 2008 permalink

A businessman once claimed that no one is really successful until he has been sued. Well, John Dunn is now a success. The OACAS has threatened to sue him over his efforts to get people to join their local children's aid society.



On Monday November 10, 2008, Ontario citizen, John Dunn received a letter in the mail from the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) who retained the services of Swadron Associates Barristers & Solicitors Toronto, Ontario ( ) for the purpose of requesting that Dunn "cease and desist from using the name Ontario Association of Children's Aid Society Members" for his online support and discussion group which he created to unite all citizens of Ontario who are, or who wish to become, or to learn more about becoming a member of a Children's Aid Society in Ontario.

The reason given within the November 06th, 2008 cease and desist letter (Swadron Associates File Number: 89-1161) was that the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS), an Association which represents, and advocates on behalf of Ontario's Children's Aid Societies advised their solicitors that the name of the support and discussion group is "deceiving" in relation to the OACAS, and is "likely to cause confusion in the minds of members of the public". The letter was signed by Swadron Associates' Solicitor Barry B. Swadron, Q.C. Late that same evening, in response to the Swadron's cease and desist letter, Dunn wrote the following letter, and has since reported that he is looking forward to resolving this matter as soon as possible.

--Response Letter--

Jeanette Lewis,
Executive Director
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
care of;
Swadron Associates Barristers & Solicitors
115 Berkeley Street
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2W8
Barry B. Swadron, Q.C.,


Let it be known that all communication between myself and any person in relation to this matter will be made public and distributed to various individuals at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and several committees thereof, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman, the Auditor General's Office, the Provincial Child and Youth Advocates Office, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Cabinet of the Ontario Government, select members of the media and via various internet based news wires and resources. This is done strictly as a measure of accountability in relation to the expenditure of public funds.

Cease and Desist Letter:

As of the evening of Monday, November 10, 2008, I am in receipt of your cease and desist letter dated November 06, 2008 (Swadron Associates Barristers & Solicitors File Number 89-1161) requesting that I cease and desist from using the name "Ontario Association of Children's Aid Society Members" as the name of the support and discussion group which was created for people who have, or who wish to become members of a Children's Aid Society in Ontario.

Purpose of Group:

The purpose of the support and discussion group is to enable those who join it to communicate with other like-minded individuals regarding matters related to Children's Aid Society memberships, including, but not limited to, what they can do with a Children's Aid Society membership, and what to do should their application for a membership to a Children's Aid Society in Ontario be denied for any reason.

OACAS Sources of Funding:

It is my understanding from reading the "About OACAS" ( ) page of the OACAS's website, and from reading the Income Statement dated March 31, 2007 located within the OACAS's 2007-08 Annual Report ( ) that Children's Aid Societies in Ontario and/or their representatives paid over 2.4 million dollars in annual membership fees to the OACAS in 2008, and that the Government of Ontario transfered over 6.4 million dollars to the OACAS in 2008. Therefore, my calculations lead me to understand that in 2008 alone the Ontario Government has paid a total of at least 6.6 million dollars of Ontario tax-payer's hard-earned dollars to the OACAS directly through Ministry allocated transfer-payments, and indirectly through the membership fees which have been paid to the OACAS by Ministry funded OACAS member Children's Aid Societies.

OACAS use of Charitable Donations and Government Funds:

The OACAS, with what I assume to be approval from members of their Board of Directors, has apparently chosen to divert important charitable funds which have been entrusted to the OACAS for the delivery of charitable purposes on expensive, unnecessary, legal services which have resulted in legal action being threatened against me, without the OACAS even attempting to first contact me in any attempt to discuss the matter decently and to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution.

OACAS's Abuse of Power

Unfortunately, now that the OACAS has made the choice to lead this matter in a legally threatening manner, a manner in which I believe would be seen by any other reasonable person as being an unnecessary, and aggressive abuse of power and resources over a person who is greatly disadvantaged, I therefore feel compelled to respond in a way which I believe will afford me some legal protection while simultaneously working co-operatively with the OACAS, through their legal counsel, to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to this matter.

Mutually Satisfactory Resolution

I am now undertaking to attempt in good faith to resolve this matter to our mutual satisfaction by first asking you to provide me with the relevant Statutes, Regulations and provisions thereof that you are relying on in your threat of legal action against me so that we can discuss them and my obligations under them so that I may base my decision on how to proceed in this matter on our discussions and on the law. I am looking forward to your immediate response so that we can hopefully resolve this matter to our mutual satisfaction.

John Dunn

Source: email from John Dunn