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Monday, February 20, 2006

Stop Bill 210!

Letters to the Editor of the major newspapers are good!!

Contact information for individual members of the Social Policy Committee:
Chair: Mario Racco, Liberal
Vice Chair: Khalil Ramal, Liberal
Members: Ted Arnott, Conservative
Ted Chudleigh, Conservative
Kim Craitor, Liberal
Peter Fonseca, Liberal
Jeff Leal, Liberal
Rosario Marchese, New Democrat
Kathleen Wynne, Liberal

The committee's address is:
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen's Park Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2
General emails may be addressed to its clerk:

Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Fax: (416) 325-3745

Mary Anne Chambers
Minister of Children and Youth Services
56 Wellesley Street West, 14th Floor
Toronto, M4S 2S3
Fax: (416) 212-7431

Marilyn Churley
MPP Toronto – Danforth
Rm. 116Legislative Building
Queen’s Park Toronto ON M7A 1A5

Jack Layton
1506 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 1N4
Fax: (416)

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ONCanada K1A 0A2

Stephen Harper
Premier of Canada
Phone: (613) 755-2000
Fax at: (613) 755-2001

Ontario Bell Trinity Square
483 Bay Street, 10th Floor, South Tower
Toronto, ON M5G 2C9


Anonymous said...

Letters to the editor may be more effective than writing to several of the politicians on this list.

May I also take this opportunity to remind everyone that Dufferin VOCA has an anti-CAS petition on its current news page.

Anonymous said...

Letters to the editor are a good idea, as the public needs to hear about this more and more. Especially at this stage. Flooding the media with letters is a good idea. It alerts media rooms to the serious nature of this bill, and the public OUTRAGE against it.

Anonymous said...

This is a link to a submission by the OACAS which is of great interest as it addresses the intent of the agencies to want to remain under their own complaint procedures. To find it simply copy and paste into the web bar.

Anonymous said...

I recieved a return email from Jack Layton's office as I wrote to them expressing my concerns of bill 210 and this is what they wrote back to me!!

Dear Amanda,

Thank you for contacting me about the need to have appropriate legislation that would hold the province's Children's Aid Societies (CAS) accountable for the well-being and safety of our most innocent and vulnerable citizens - our children. For any child left in care to experience such suffering as your young nephew Jeffrey did is deplorable and unacceptable.

Amanda, I agree with you that “it didn’t have to happen” and want to assure you that Jeffrey's death will not be ignored. The NDP critic for Children and Youth Services Critic, Andrea Horwath, MPP, is calling for the Ontario Ombudsman to be given the power to probe decisions of the province's Children's Aid Societies (CAS). She has proposed an amendment to Bill 210, the Child and Family Services Act, that would enable the Ombudsman to conduct independent reviews of CAS administrative decisions. The consideration of this provincial legislation starts today and Ms. Horwath's February 17th press statement expands on her intent to push for this change. Please see a copy of her release below.

Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. I can appreciate the enduring pain that you and your family have as a result of Jeffrey's death and hope that you may find some comfort in the ongoing efforts being carried out in his memory to rectify this grave situation.


Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)

Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada

Fri, 17 Feb 2006

QUEEN'S PARK - NDP Children and Youth Services Critic Andrea Horwath says the Ontario Ombudsman must have the power to probe decisions of the province's Children's Aid Societies (CAS).

The Hamilton East MPP wants the McGuinty government to accept her amendment to Bill 210, the Child and Family Services Act, when the committee meets Monday to undertake clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Her proposal would enable the Ombudsman to conduct independent reviews of CAS administrative decisions.

"This is the missing piece in the oversight of our child protection system,” Horwath said. “Ontario is one of the few provinces that refuses vulnerable children an independent avenue of redress.”

Five other provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) have Ombudsman oversight of child welfare issues including child protection. Saskatchewan, Quebec and Newfoundland have independent oversight through separate offices.

Horwath's amendment would grant authority Ontario Ombudsman AndrĂ© Marin has been seeking in the wake of the Jeffrey Baldwin death. It was a key recommendation in Marin’s December 6th submission to the standing committee on social policy, which he said he was “duty-bound to raise.” His office received 305 complaints last year concerning child welfare.

Canada’s Ombudsmen first identified investigations concerning children as their top priority back in 1986.

“The province of Ontario provides over $1 billion to fund child protection services through 53 independent children's aid societies, yet fails to provide the checks and balances that would ensure that administrative decisions taken by these societies, which have life-and-death impact on children in need, be exposed to independent investigation,” Marin told the committee at the time.

Horwath pointed out the auditor, coroner and police all have investigative roles, but none covers administrative decisions such as a child’s placement, access, custody and care. CAS boards of directors look into such matters internally.

Children’s Minister Mary Anne Chambers has suggested a “half-baked alternative” of government appointees conducting reviews, but “Ontario’s children deserve better,” Horwath said. “They deserve the independence, resources, investigative training and impartiality of the Ombudsman’s Office, nothing less.”

Amanda (AUNT)

Anonymous said...

Giving the Ombudsman power to probe CAS' administrative decisions would be a good first step. However, if I'm correct, this would hardly solve the problem. British Columbia, which gives the Ombudsman a role has an appalling history of children abused in CAS custody. The other thing that does not seem to be on the radar is criminal accountablility for CAS employees that demonstrate gross negligence, commit perjury, fabricate evidence, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Is there a letter template available?

Anonymous said...

Another thing about this system is that it does not require proof of abuse or give parents the opportunity to defend themselves. Abuse is whatever an unqualified social worker imagines. Cases like Wanda Young and Dr. Charles Smith demonstrate how horribly misguided this approach can be, even at the highest "expert" levels. As far as I can see, the amendment suggested by the NDP does nothing to address these basic issues.

Anonymous said...

I agree that giving the Ombudsman investigative powers regarding administrative decisions of CASs is a good step but only a step. We need much more than that, because it would only appear to lead to recommendations and no actual sanctions, be it criminal or civil, as remedies against those in CAS and the Ministry who are responsible for the welfare and protection of these children.
Actual accountability is needed in addition to investigation and recommendation. THe Minsitry and CAS should be paying out millions of dollars in damages for these horrific failures in addition to facing criminal culpability.

Anonymous said...

Are they listening, I have called and written, and the CAS and Minister do not want over sight

Anonymous said...

read on Duffin Voca, fix CAS

A news story , Chambers is angry about Harper not going ahead with child care plan. HELLO you just gave Child protection how MUCH, was that not enough, now big bucks for adoptions, WITH NO OVER SITE
Ms Chambers should read Quebec's, handle cases of child protection, why so few cases in care, why so few parents accused, do they abuse less???
its out of control, and it needs to stop. diaper rash will be child abuse, and day care reports will fill the wallets of the CAS and Government. hep c.anyone, no one trust this government. How can we.?
what is the problem with oversight, what have the promised in return, votes??

Anonymous said...

How nice, treat parents like children. report everything to CAS is this how my hard earned money is spent. CAS gets paid for every file opened. Anyone ever wondered, why they cannot stop real abuse.
How dare them ask for more funds, because they just figured out to do back ground cheaks on grannys that have history with them. Pat them on the back. Bull. they use this excuse and we give them more money, Who killed the baby in Welland? who will defend the young girl charged, that should have not been in that home.
You have children in homes being fostered today, of a convicted murder. I called the Minister, they dont care. I bet the parents of the children in the placement would care very much. And so will the press. Stop the abuse of familys this is silly.

Local mom says dental program is 'demeaning'
Mom reported to CAS for not returning son's dental form to region
LISA TALLYN, Staff Writer

A Georgetown woman doesn't mind being told her son has dental problems that need attention, but having to provide proof that the dentist did the work is going too far, she says.

Emy Stockley believes that the aspect of the dental screening program administered by Halton Region Health Department requiring her to get her dentist's signature verifying that work has been started or completed on her child is an invasion of privacy.

"Violated, humiliated and interfered with," is how she said she felt when she received the form requiring the dentist's signature after her son's teeth were checked at school last month.

"Although I did appreciate the screening and notification, I feel that having to report back to the department, and the embarrassment of asking the dentist for his signature was interfering, intrusive and demeaning," she said.

Stockley received a letter from Halton Health Department last month stating that her 10-year-old son Matthew's teeth had been checked at the school and he needed immediate dental attention.

Stockley said she already had a dental appointment booked for her son the day following the screening, and the work was done.

After receiving the letter she called Halton Health Department to discuss the program.

"I don't have any objection to this screening," she said she told the official. "I have an objection to being enforced to report his treatment to the Halton Health Department."

She said she will allow her son to be screened again at school, "but again I will not be demeaned, humiliated or forced like a child to get a dentist to prove that I have sought dental health for my child. I have done so of my own accord."

She said the region official told her that by law she was required to report to the Children's Aid Society (CAS) that she hadn't returned the dental form.

"I have accepted that the incident will be reported to Children's Aid and that the municipality justifies their intrusion on my private life and that of my children's lives because it benefits their ability to follow up with those in need of treatment, but I will not give up my right to privacy, my right to freedom from unreasonable interference in my private life."

Gisele Franck, manager of dental health for Halton Region, said most parents are very happy with the dental screening program, which she said is mandated by the province.

She said the goal is to ensure children's dental health is looked after.

The form sent to parents includes an option they can check requesting financial assistance to cover basic dental treatment.

"I think it's fair, it's a service mainly provided to the parents," said Franck.

She said the region makes every effort to work with the parents.

"If they provide us with the name of the dentist, we can call the dentist's office," she said.

She said parents have 100 days to get the dental work done on their child and the health department follows up with a re-screening of the child.

She said at that point if the dental work is not complete the matter is referred to the CAS.

"Dental situations that are not treated are deemed neglect by law," said Franck.

She said last year of the 16,000 kids screened across Halton, less than .01 per cent were referred to the CAS.

Greg Flood, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Promotion, which oversees the program, said the signature of the dentist is a "legislative requirement."

He stressed people shouldn't lose sight of the purpose of the program.

"It's a very important program," said Flood. "It's about ensuring that youth are having appropriate dental services and that's why this program is offered by the government."

He added the program enables parents who can't afford dental services to get them for their child.

He said since the program has been administered by his Ministry he has never heard of a complaint similar to the one raise by Stockley.

Anonymous said...

This is the email addresses for Andrea Horwath.

What I suggest is writing a letter to your own MPP and carbon copying it to MPP Andrea Horwath. That way when the politicians continue to play games with this inept bill they will know that their critic has real letters from OUTRAGED citizens about section 68 of Bill 210.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long before the CHILD ABDUCTION SOCIETY (CAS)takes children as they have not flossed their teeth! These agencies are there to broker children out to others. They are there for jobs and money. One has to question if these agencies are so wonderful why ALL OF THEM ARE AGAINST THE OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATING THEM! That to me says it all. I commend Andrea Horwath for the amendment to the bill, and to the members of Jeffrey's family who are taking action about this.

With respect to the Ombudsman it does not go far enough but if the Ombudsman can investigate those agencies it may hopefully pave the way for real criminal charges against them. It is a good start and I hope everyone writes to MPP's about it to support the Omdudsman.

One day a law MUST BE PASSED THAT FIRES INEPT SOCIAL WORKERS LIKE ANGELA MARTIN who oversought the baby Jordan tragedy. We are paying for her as she is on long term disability from the CCAS of Toronto. I resent it as a tax payer - that baby also starved to death under their watch!

Anonymous said...

Arsenic methylation by micro-organisms isolated from sheepskin bedding materials.

Lehr CR, Polishchuk E, Delisle MC, Franz C, Cullen WR.

Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has been associated with the volatilization of arsenic, antimony or phosphorus compounds from infants' bedding material by micro-organisms, the so-called 'toxic gas hypothesis'. The volatilization of arsenic by aerobic micro-organisms isolated from new sheepskin bedding material, as well as on material used by a healthy infant and by an infant who perished of SIDS, was examined. Three fungi were isolated from a piece of sheepskin bedding material on which an infant perished of SIDS, which methylated arsenic to form trimethylarsenic(V) species, precursors to volatile trimethylarsine. These three fungi were identified as Scopulariopsis koningii, Fomitopsis pinicola and Penicillium gladioli by their 26S-ribosomal RNA polymerase chain reaction products. These fungi were not previously known to methylate arsenic. The volatilization of arsenic by these three fungi was then examined. Only P. gladioli volatilized arsenic and only under conditions such that the production of sufficient trimethylarsine to be acutely toxic to an infant is unlikely. S. brevicaulis grew on the sheepskin bedding material and evolved a trace amount of trimethylarsine. Known human pathogens such as Mycobacterium neoaurum and Acinetobacter junii were isolated from used bedding.

PMID: 12856955 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Anonymous said...

Bill 210 is going for it's 3rd reading. Debate will be Feb 28, Mar 1, Mar 2.

If we are going to stop it or force changes, now is the time. The CAS's of Ontario have to have oversight. Call your MPP. Tell them if they vote for the the current Bill without changes to Section 68, you will not vote for them again. Write the newspapers. This is our only leverage It's now or never folks!!