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May 28, 2013 permalink
Source: Facebook, Terri-Anne Bucholtz
The Napanee Beaver had a story.
Protesters call for improved gov't oversight
A small group of protesters hit Napanee's main street on Tuesday to push for more oversight and accountability for arms-length government agencies and organizations in Ontario.
"We arc petitioning the legislature for ombudsman oversight of the 'MUSH' sector — that includes schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities and children's aid societies," said Curtis Kingston, protest organizer and spokesperson for the Ontario Coalition for Accountability
Kingston said that, unlike other Canadian provinces, the mandate of the Ontario ombudsman — whose job it is to investigate complaints regarding government services — does not include municipalities, universities and other organizations that receive provincial government funding.
Kingston focussed specifically on children's aid societies, pointing out that Bill 42, a private member's bill put forward by the NDFs Monique Taylor, would bring CASs within the oversight of the ombudsman. The bill has received first and second reading and is currently at the standing committee stage.
Kingston said, currently, families with complaints regarding CASs do not have sufficient recourse to see those complaints investigated. He said the Children and Family Services Review Board, which does look into CASs' handing of cases, does not have the ability to sufficiently investigate complaint nor to force CASs to act on those complaints. "When something goes wrong, right now (families) have nobody to go to," he said. "The CFSRB has no authority to compel a (CAS) to do anything. Even when they do find that a society erred or they were unprofessional or did something wrong, they can't tell them to do anything "
He said his own dealings with the CAS system prompted him to get involved with the campaign to have CASs brought under ombudsman oversight.
Kingston said the campaign has the support of both of Ontario's opposition parties. He also says that he's heard from Liberal MPPs who support the concept, although all but one have voted against the legislation so far.
He said his group is not opposed to CASs, and supports the work done by those child welfare agencies. "We are absolutely for the children's aid, but we need oversight so the bad cases don't happen,' he said. "We're not asking to abolish the CASs, We're not asking to get rid of them. We're just asking for a little bit of oversight and accountability
Source: Napanee Beaver
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