A Father's Story

at a glance

Security Company Owner
Durham Children's Aid society
Janet Ecker (PC) David Tsubouchi

In March 1996, I received a call from the Children's Aid Society in Oshawa, warning me about my girlfriend's step-father. The CAS told me this man could be a threat to my children. (He did not have access to my children at the time, anyway). The next time her step-father called, he was told not to call anymore, and he was told about the warning from CAS. He took offence, and this is what he did to my family through the same office.

On April 16, 1996, he called the CAS, after regular business hours, and left a message on their answering machine. He told them we had guns, knives, and drugs in the home. He also said we were harming the children, and that we were crazy parents. This call was made around 8pm.

The following morning, my street was blocked off and there were five police officers at my front door. They asked to come inside and check on our children. Many people might have taken a serious offence to this, but I allowed the police in and they checked the house out.

After the police realized this was a false call they left. The run-around I got from the CAS office that day was incredible! The CAS told me that my problem was now with the police, and if they received another call, like this, the same thing would happen.

The following year was spent writing letters to the CAS, to my MP, to the MPP as well as the Minister of Social Services. It would seem that nobody takes responsibility for the mistakes at the CAS. Each letter I received stated someone else was responsible.

However, things did change, and it was not any government office that made the changes. It was a newspaper writer, here in Oshawa, that was very upset with the number of calls coming into the paper with stories like mine.

Debbie Bodine started writing about the CAS shortly after I came forward with my story. In speaking with her, I learnt that the system had many, many serious flaws. She came to the aid of my family, and to this day, I hold a special place in my heart for her. It was also nice to see her report win 2nd place at an awards dinner in Whistler BC.

The following points are what I have learnt from all of this.

  1. Under the Child and Family Services Act, no search warrant is required by the police. The police can force their way in and the law allows this without a warrant.
  2. If you refuse access to the police or the CAS, the CAS will than get an apprehension warrant. When they return, they will remove all the children from the home LEGALLY!!
  3. Under the Child & Family Services Act, the CAS are supposed to answer all questions and put to them in writing. In my case, it took more than nine months to get to the supervisor level, and that did not help at all.
  4. The head office of the CAS in Peterborough does not keep track of how many families are searched in this manner. They do not even know the results of the searches unless charges are made.
  5. Local and Provincial governments all seem to know there are huge problems, but do nothing about it. I have copies from them all. One municipal board member I spoke to told me that the CAS voted him off its board of directors because of his concerns with the way their office was being run.
  6. The CAS in this area have been noted as not working with the police at times. I do not know any other group that can get away with this action. More than one police officer I spoke with told me this truth.
  7. The CAS will not release any information, even if it is in the best interest of the children that they should.
  8. The person that made the false call was not charged. I was told by the police that he would have to do this 12 to 15 more times before they would charge him. There are no consequences, at all, for making false calls to the CAS. If you called the police and made the same claim, and it was found to be false, you would be charged. With the CAS, a person who is trying to damage your family is protected from being charged.

The CAS had no idea I was such a fighter when they attacked my family. In the past year, I have had no problems, nor do I feel that I will down the road. However, I know that, every day, families are being attacked by this group. The CAS follows very poor guidelines and, what seems to be, NO RULES whatsoever.

While talking to a friend a month ago, he told me about this web site. I was very impressed with what I saw. I would like to help the families that do not have the resources I needed to protect my family. This website allows us to show the public some of the serious problems with the system. This documentary has been like a breath of fresh air and I hope many, many others will look it up so we can all work together and make some positive changes soon.

PS: I have kept following the CAS over the years as I worry we are losing a generation of kids and young parents to these criminals. While I would like to say it has improved, I feel it has not. The MP's and MPP's all know and do nothing!!!! The police have become the long arm of the CAS and act without thinking that they are being used by a criminal organization!!

Source: Esther Buckareff