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Year in Review

December 29, 2011 permalink

This is the season to reflect on the past year. Our top ten list of stories is:

  • The documentary Powerful as God by Esther Buckareff was released. It produced an internal response within CAS leaked to Esther.
  • Dozens of rallies calling for reform of children's aid societies, especially allowing the ombudsman to look into complaints, took place across Ontario. CAS response included:

    Pat Niagara produced videos A Look Back at 2011 Rallies: YouTube and local copy (mp4) and A Tribute video to all of the 2011 advocates: local copy (mp4)

  • After Alberta child protectors let baby Delonna Victoria Sullivan die just six days into foster care, mother Jamie Sullivan went public.
  • Renfrew social worker Cynthia Racine was arrested for driving drunk while she had two small foster children in her car. [1] [2].
  • The Bayne family lost its court battle, but in August MCFD returned their children after three years separation.
  • A quickie adoption law was enacted in Ontario. This law, speeding up separation of children and parents, was a step backwards for families, but the silver lining is some interesting testimony on the public record [1] [2].
  • Bill 131 (becoming bill 183) to allow ombudsman oversight over children's aid societies was voted down on second reading, precluding legislative hearings.
  • The election of a minority government in Ontario in October left a legislature that could enact CAS reform over the opposition of the governing Liberals.
  • When mother Maryanne Godboldo decided that prescribed psychotropic drugs were doing her daughter more harm than good, police and social workers showed up to seize the girl. The police claim Maryanne fired a gun in defense of her family. Neighbors rushed to defend the mother, and later proceedings demonstrated that the apprehension warrant was not signed by a judge, only rubber stamped. All charges against Godboldo were eventually dismissed. [1] [2].
  • Laura Dekker, the Dutch girl who had to win a legal case in Holland before child protectors would let her sail, got 80% of the way around the world. At the end of December she is in the south Atlantic heading northwest toward either the Cape Verde Islands or the Caribbean. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]