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CAS Gets More Protection from Public
July 24, 2010 permalink
John Dunn has spent years unsuccessfully trying to get Ottawa Children's Aid to comply with the law that requires them to provide him with a membership list. Now CAS is using the ultimate tool to thwart Mr Dunn: getting the Ontario legislature to change the law. A new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (bill 65) will further isolate children's aid societies from public scrutiny by limiting the ability to get a membership list to persons who are already members. In case that is not enough protection, a court can issue an order allowing a corporation to refuse access to information that would be detrimental to any member.
Proposed Bill 65 - Non-Profit Corporations Act - Attempts to block citizens right to advocate for changes in CAS
To ensure you read the latest version of this post, please visit http://www.fostercarenews.blogspot.com as this post may have been modified since being sent out.
New Non-Profit Corporations Act Bill going to Committee (this pertains to CAS's and has serious impl0Dunnications and restrictions to non-members) Please read: The proposed new Bill to kill the old Corporations Act and create a new Non-Profit Corporations Act (Bill 65) will prevent non-members from asking for lists of CAS members.
SECTIONS 95 AND 98 ARE IMPORTANT TO US AS PEOPLE WHO WISH TO REQUEST CAS MEMBERS LISTS TO ADVOCATE FOR INTERNAL CHANGES TO SOCIETY'S BY-LAWS AND POLICIES
CAS'S REJECT OUR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS. BUT THE LAW NOW STILL LETS US REQUEST MEMBERS LISTS TO ADVOCATE FOR CHANGES. THE NEW BILL 65 ONLY ALLOWS MEMBERS TO ASK FOR THE LIST. WE MUST PROTEST THIS AT THE COMMITTEE IN THE LEGISLATURE.
YOU CAN ASK TO CALL IN BY TELECONFERENCE OR GO IN PERSON.
PROPOSED PUBLIC INPUT DATES:
TORONTO QUEENS PARK: MONDAY AUG 23, 2010
KITCHENER: TUES AUG 24, 2010
SUDBURY: WED 25, 2010
KINGSTON: THURS AUG 26, 2010
TORONTO QUEEN'S PARK: AUG 31, 2010 - WHERE THEY GO THROUGH IT SECTION BY SECTION (CALLED CLAUSE-BY-CLAUSE)
YOU CAN ASK TO ATTEND BUT CAN'T SPEAK - GOOD TO LEARN HOWEVER WHEN IT GET'S TO SECTIONS 95 AND 98 WHAT THEY SAY. ANYONE ABLE TO MONITOR THAT DAY FOR ME AND REPORT BACK?
CALL BELOW FOR EXACT LOCATIONS AND TIMES FOR YOU TO SPEAK TO THE PROPOSED CHANGES AND HOW IT PREVENTS PEOPLE WHO ARE FILTERED OUT OF MEMBERSHIPS FROM ADVOCATING THROUGH EXISTING MEMBERS
YOU CAN SPEAK TO IT IN PERSON OR BY PHONE:
CALL BELOW TO GET YOUR NAME ON THE LIST TO SPEAK TO THE BILL BY PHONE OR IN PERSON
Bill 65, Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010
99 Wellesley Street West Room 1405, Whitney Block Queen's Park Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
TTY: (416) 325-3538
Members' access to register of members
95. (1) A member or a member's attorney or legal representative who wishes to examine the register of members of a corporation shall first make a request to the corporation or its agent accompanied by a statutory declaration described in subsection (3). As soon as is practical, the corporation or its agent shall allow the applicant access to the register during the corporation's regular office hours and, on payment of a reasonable fee, provide the applicant with an extract from the register.
Corporation to provide list of members
(2) Any person described in subsection (1), on payment of a reasonable fee and on giving a corporation or its agent the statutory declaration described in subsection (3), may on application require the corporation or its agent to give the person a current list of members setting out the names and addresses of each member and such additional information as is required by the by-laws as soon as is practical.
Contents of statutory declaration
(3) The statutory declaration required under subsection (1) or (2) must,
(a) state the name and address of the applicant and, if the applicant is a body corporate, its address for service; and
(b) state that the list of members or the information contained in the register of members obtained under subsection (1) will not be used except as permitted under subsection (5).
(4) If the applicant is a body corporate, the statutory declaration must be made by a director or officer of the body corporate.
Use of information or list
(5) A member or a member's attorney or legal representative who obtains a list of members or information from a register of members under this section shall not use the list or information except in connection with,
(a) an effort to influence the voting of members;
(b) requisitioning a meeting of the members; or
(c) another matter relating to the affairs of the corporation.
ALSO SEE SECTION 98 OF THE PROPOSED BILL 65
Access to records refused - court authorization
(1) On the application of a corporation, the court may authorize the corporation to refuse to allow access to any records the corporation is required to keep under this Part or to give any information that the corporation is obligated to allow access to or to give under this Part, in whole or in part and on any terms that the court thinks fit, if the court decides that allowing the access or giving the information would be detrimental to any member or the corporation.
(2) On the application of any member of a corporation, the court may direct the corporation not to allow access to any records the corporation is required to keep under this Part or not to give information that the corporation is obligated to allow access to or to give under this Part, in whole or in part and on any terms that the court thinks fit, if the court decides that allowing the access or giving the information would be detrimental to any member or the corporation.
Posted by afterfostercare at 5:13 PM
Source: Foster Care News (John Dunn)
Addendum: A letter to MPP Monique Smith outlines the weaknesses of the proposed new law.
July 26, 2010
165 Main Street East
North Bay Ontario P1B 1A9
Subject: Bill 65 / Children's Aid
sent by email and Canada Post
A bill before the legislature will change governance of non-profit corporations, including Ontario's children's aid societies. It is bill 65, Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Currently any person may get a list of members of a non-profit corporation, after executing an affidavit pledging to use the list only for lawful purposes. The new law limits membership lists to persons who are already members, and allows a court to restrict even that if finds that disclosure will be detrimental to any member. It continues the provision that a non-profit may through its bylaws determine what persons are eligible for membership.
While these provisions are suitable for a truly private organization such as a hunting club or a labor union, they are unsuitable for an agency disbursing over a billion dollars a year in public funds. Children's aid societies have shielded themselves from forms of oversight applying to other public agencies, such as freedom of information laws and the ombudsman. This new law will insulate them even more from public scrutiny.
To show you the developing public concern with children's aid, I attach to the electronic version of this letter two pictures published by the Huntsville Forester on July 13, showing a demonstration the day before. Twenty five similar demonstrations have taken place across Ontario this year and more are scheduled.
I suggest that you amend the proposed act to prevent children's aid societies from unreasonably restricting their membership through their bylaws, and to require them to disclose their membership to all pledging to use the information for lawful purposes.
I note that complaints about the Nipissing/Parry Sound children's aid are among the lowest in Ontario. To the degree that your efforts are responsible, I thank you for protecting the children in your riding from abuse at the hands of social workers.
Robert T McQuaid
558 McMartin Road
Mattawa Ontario P0H 1V0
Addendum: Reply from Mrs Smith
Monique Smith, MPP
August 24, 2010
Mr. Robert T. McQuaid
558 McMartin Road
Dear Mr. McQuaid,
Thank you for your e-mail of July 26 regarding Bill 65, Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, and the impact it may have on Children's Aid Societies (CAS) in Ontario.
I appreciate hearing from you on this issue. I can assure you that the government of Ontario recognizes that our Children's Aid Societies serve vulnerable members of our society and must be accountable to the government and to the communities that they serve. Having said that, I will certainly remain mindful of all of your comments and concerns as Bill 65 moves through the legislative process.
I have also taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to the Honourable John Gerretsen, Minister of Consumer Services, and to the Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services, so that they may be aware of your concerns.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
Hon. Monique Smith,
/aw/ps/bc165 Main Street East, North Bay, ON P1B 1A9 • T - (705)474-8340 F - (705) 474-9747 E - firstname.lastname@example.org www.moniquesmithmpp.ca