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Appeals are Futile

December 26, 2010 permalink

The Ron Unruh blog, focusing on the Bayne case, attracts well-informed comments. Here is one from Ray Ferris on the futility of applying for relief from child protectors.



Ray Ferris said...

Victoria columnist, Les Leyne wrote an article today in which he referred to the Hughes report as a road map. Well a road map for Leslie Dutoit could be useful, providing that it is written in braille.

You recently asked me about the various places where you can go to ask for help against MCF injustices. Well, I am happy to say that there are lots of them, but they are all pretty well useless. I think we need to start off by looking at the culture in the courts and the legal system. For centuries the legal system has developed rules and procedures aimed at the truth and the purity of the court's concluisions. The problem is that the process is based on an adversarial system and it is full of ritual, precedent and process and it is ruinously expensive. Only too often justice is drowned in process. Courts do not dispense justice,they dispense law.

When we look at the various watchdog agencies like the Ombudsbody office, of the YCR, we see that they are quasi-legal bodies which are run by lawyers. As soon as lawyers run things, they become obsessed with procedures and processes and they tend to become adverarial They work under strict and rigid rules and if you do not fit precisely into the right pigeon holes you are totally out of luck. "My heart bleeds for you, but you do not really fit our mandate so will you please get lost."

The ombudsman will look at your case, but they may take a year to do the job and they touch nothing that is before court. I have usually found that by the time they conclude it is far too late to do anything. Mostly they produce frustration for clients who go to the office full of false hope. They do not have the hope dashed--it slowly ebbs away. In preparing people to go to the ombudsmman I have found it useful to anticipate the barriers and to prepare arguments as to why it fits the mandate

The first registrar and the board of registration for social workers much preferred to use the mediation clauses of the social workers act and to settle complaints to the mutual satisfaction of social worker and client. After the Board contracted a lawyer, everything changed. Complaints were all addressed in an adversarial manner. Forgotten were the mediation clauses and complaints small and large were given the sledgehammer treatment. Many people preferred to quit registration, rather than go broke paying legal fees. The budget of the board went up every year becaus of legal costs.

There are numerous internal review people and most of them cannot do anything. One of the devices is that a client can ask to have a director's review. This is an investigation ordered by the director.It is a confidential report made to the director. In these cases (like the Baynes) it is usaually the director who is calling the shots, so a director's review is to have him examining himself. The narrow scope of the review is to see if all proper procedures have been followed. Guess what? They always clear the worker. You got screwed with proper process, so what is your problem? I have already mentioned that in the closure of one foster home, no fewer than 22 ministry bureaucrats put in their oar. The dreaded John Fitzsimmons was one of these bureaucrats, only this time he was on the side of the angels He was given the responsibility of doing a director's report. He did a fair and balanced report, which recommended that the 12 year old child be returned to the only home she had known for the last 10 years. The foster parents were not allowed to see the report and they only got it filtered through Bruce McNeill and his boss Les Boon. It took them a year to see the Fitzsimmons report through the privacy commissioner.

In short dear bloggers, most of the helping resources are there in theory only. I can guarantee that you will get a ton of process, but no results. Actually, none of these people can tell the difference.

Source: Ron Unruh blog