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Kamloops Rally

August 2, 2013 permalink

A dozen opponents of British Columbia MCFD rallied in Kamloops.



Angry parents protest against ministry

About a dozen individuals with angry claims against the Ministry of Children and Family Development protested on a busy street corner in North Kamloops on Monday.

"They're control freaks. They just hate to lose," said Carey Oryniak, whose grandchildren were taken away.

He and the rest of the protesters from Kamloops and Calgary all claim to have been lied about, lied to, dismissed and ignored over issues pertaining to their children's care.

"I'm the first one to say, we've made mistakes," said Kamloops resident Paula Ciardullo, who founded MCFD Unjustified out of frustration over her grandson's case. "Why can't they?"

Ciardullo said she's taken to recording all interactions with case workers and ministry employees after hearing so many denials and back tracking of previous statements.

"There's no accountability," she said.

The most prominent member of the group was Calgary's Velvet Martin of Protecting Canadian Children. Martin was the force behind Samantha's Law, which was named after her daughter, Samantha Martin, who died of a heart attack while in foster care in December 2006 at the age of 13.

As directed by representatives of the ministry, Samantha was in care strictly as a means to access funding and services for a disability created by her rare chromosome disorder.

The law named after her was enacted in 2008 and amends the Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act to challenge archaic laws inhibiting the rights of people with disabilities and their families.

But Alberta is the only province so far to do so.

During her campaign, Martin said she came across so many parents with so many stories of abuse of power at the ministry level that she decided not to stop fighting.

She's been featured in news media reports from Toronto to Vancouver and has no intention of stopping until the law becomes federal.

Protester Blake Newton's two children were also taken away and he says he's appealing the case to the Supreme Court.

"It's (an attempt to) control everything," said Newton in summing up his take on the ministry.

His friend Zygmunt Janiewicz joined the protest in support. He was incensed by what he's learned about the case - part of which involved him as a court appointed interpreter to Newton's Polish girlfriend.

And he was intent on spreading the word.

"I fought communism (in Poland) I can fight fascism here," said Janiewicz.

Source: Kamloops Daily News