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No Outside Advice

March 31, 2011 permalink

Parents aren't the only ones threatened by child protectors. The provincially funded group Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) was threatened with withdrawal of funding (fiscal death) if it sought a contrary view from lawyer Robert Lee and Virginia May. Lee says fear of retaliation is widespread.



Intimidation and bullying claims emerge from another government department

Amid dramatic allegations and claims of threats and intimidation against medical staff, an Edmonton lawyer says the problem is not isolated to the AHS.

According to court documents, similar allegations are also being made over the department now known as Children and Youth Services.

In a statutory declaration obtained through a court record check, Catherine Hedlin, the head of the non-profit child welfare organization AASCF, says a director from what was then the Alberta Ministry of Children's Services told her the group would have its government funding cut if they seeked independent legal advice.

Hedlin says Child Welfare director Laura Alcock warned her in 2001 the group would lose around $400,000 if lawyer Robert Lee spoke to the association.

''The person who contacted me and suggested that the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families should not permit Robert Lee and Virginia May to speak at our meeting or potentially face cuts to our funding, was Laura Alcock,'' Hedlin says in the statement.

''I felt this was a warning from her and not a threat.''

Lee, who did not speak to the association, says this shows a rare case of someone coming forward after a 'warning' from someone high up in the bureaucracy.

''I can't tell you how many people I have dealt with in the child welfare area that are terrified of retaliation by the government,'' Lee says.

''It's very similar with what's been going on right now with the health concerns and the issues being raised by MLA Raj Sherman where he's talking about how doctors are bullied, threatened and intimidated.''

Spokesman for Alberta Children and Youth Services John Tuckwell declined to comment saying the matter is before the courts. (JL,blb)

Source: 880 News