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November 11, 2011 permalink
Twenty people attended a rally outside the Bracebridge courthouse on November 10. The rally was intentionally not announced on any public forum to add an element of surprise. Most of the group continued two hours later at the second phase in front of the CAS office on Pine Street in Bracebridge.
The police were confrontational, claiming that ralliers speaking amounted to a disturbance of the peace. Two uninhibited participants faced up to the police and refused to quiet down. The police backed off and for the next hour and a half the rally continued without interference.
Articles by Canada Court Watch and Cottage Country Now are enclosed.
Police became aggressive with citizens who had gathered outside of the Bracebridge, Ontario courthouse to protest the family court system and the children's aid society. At one point and in front of witnesses, including a reporter from the local community newspaper, one police officer used force and confiscated (stole) the personal property of one protester consisting of a report on the abuse of power and authorty by the OPP. The officer grabbed the document and said that he was confiscating it.
It would appear as if some members of the Ontario Provincial police who work at the Bracebridge, Ontario courthouse consider themselves above the law.
Source: Facebook, Canada Court Watch
Protesters picket Bracebridge courthouse
BRACEBRIDGE - Members of Canada Court Watch were in front of the Bracebridge courthouse Thursday protesting for transparency in the Children's Aid Society (CAS).
Claiming there have been significant legal violations by CAS workers in Ontario, the group also argues the Ontario Courts of Justice have perpetuated and aided the alleged crimes against wards of the state. Canada Court Watch wants case workers within CAS to be registered and comply with the Social Work and Social Services Work Act proclaimed into law in 2000, requiring people engaged in the social work practice be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers.
For more detail see next Wednesday's edition of your local newspaper.
Source: Cottage Country Now
Addendum: Yet another picture shows two organizers, Vern Beck and Chad Wells. To their right are four passersby joining in by holding signs.
While Chad Wells was trying to show a document to a local newspaper reporter, OPP constable Ted Conway confiscated it. It was a draft of a 37-page report on police misconduct in the arrest of Chad Wells on May 12. Canada Court Watch has released a report: Statement by Mr. Chad Wells regarding the harassment of protesters by police at the Bracebridge, Ontario courthouse on November 10th, 2011 (pdf).
The Bracebridge Examiner did a front-page article that dealt with the real issues.
Protests take aim at children's aid, courts
For at least the second time this year members of Canada Court Watch were in front of the Bracebridge Courthouse and the Family, Youth and Child Services of Muskoka office protesting for transparency in the Children’s Aid Society (CAS).
Last Thursday, Nov. 10, the organization, including several members from both the Bracebridge and Gravenhurst areas, levelled their fingers and their bullhorns at the courthouse, claiming there have been significant legal violations by CAS workers in Ontario. The group also alleges the Ontario Courts of Justice have perpetuated “crimes” against wards of the state by allowing non-registered CAS workers to make recommendations on cases before the courts.
Protest organizer Chad Wells said Canada Court Watch wants case workers within CAS to be registered and comply with the Social Work and Social Services Work Act proclaimed into law in 2000, requiring people engaged in the social work practice be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers. He said the people who make recommendations to the court are not registered social workers and should therefore not be accepted by the courts.
Wells, who was arrested during a similar protest at the courthouse this past May, led another boisterous rally with about 20 supporters on hand without incident this time around.
One of the protestors was Gravenhurst’s Gordon Merton, 20, who became a ward of the state at about 12 years of age. He said the Bracebridge courthouse was where he was taken from his mother, Christine Terry, who too held a placard in hand on Thursday.
“I want to see transparency (in the CAS system),” he said. “If there is a complaint it has to be dealt with immediately and not brushed away; none of the social workers are registered in Muskoka, it’s unlawful … they never considered what I wanted; which was to be with my mother.”
Starting their protest in the morning at the courthouse, the group later moved to the child services office in the mid-afternoon for about an hour before breaking camp. In Muskoka, Family, Youth and Children Services is responsible for children’s aid and children’s mental health services.
Wells said Canada Court Watch has held about 60 protests this year alone and will continue to do so until the issues of non-registered social workers is addressed.
Aware of the group’s complaints, Muskoka’s family services’ executive director Marty Rutledge said the issue of child protection can be an emotional one where not everyone can appreciate the outcome.
“We know that the work of child protection can evoke tremendous emotion and passion in people and we appreciate that not every client of our child protection service will welcome our involvement,” he said. “As a society, Ontarians have been world leaders in their commitment to the protection of children from harm and neglect at the hands of their caregivers and so we know that the work of child protection is honourable, necessary work in our community.”
Source: Bracebridge Examiner
Addendum: As of November 17, constable Conway has returned the seized document to the reporter. More news.
Here is the Bracebridge video (mp4).