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Table of Contents

MCFD Mounted Surveillance

  1. What is Surveillance?
  2. Real or Paranoid?
  3. Evidence Suggesting Surveillance
  4. Government Modus Operandi
  5. MCFD's Hired Guns
  6. An Anecdote on Comments from Browsers and A Debate With A Service Provider in the Cyberspace
  7. Comments from Browsers
  8. Debate With A Service Provider in the Cyberspace
  9. Why Denying Surveillance?
  10. The Objective of Surveillance
  11. MCFDs Advantages
  12. Common Surveillance and Countermeasures
  13. MCFD Information Systems
  14. Remarks
  15. Popular Culture
  16. References

MCFD Information Systems

Information is power. MCFD's information system was built by TP Systems Ltd. located at 202-610 Sixth Street in New Westminster, British Columbia. This software developer described MCFD as:

"... one of the largest service providers of Adoption, Foster Care, Early Childhood Development and Child Care, Child and Youth Mental Health, Youth Justice and Youth Services, Special Needs Children and Youth, and Adult Community Living Services in British Columbia.

The Challenge

As early as 2000, MCFD was predicting a 4% to 5% growth in the number of client cases per year, a significant increase considering the ministry was already providing services to 16,000 children and their families in that same year.

The citation above implies the scope of MCFD's information systems on families under its scrutiny is both extensive and deep.

According to TP Systems Ltd., MCFD's information system comprises of core electronic registries on:

  1. "client" information;
  2. "service" provision, and
  3. access security.

It is noteworthy to remark on MCFD's prediction of a 4% to 5% growth in the number of client cases per year. One may guess that this growth rate is contingent on the population growth in the province. A more realistic explanation is that service providers in the child protection industry control the demand of their services, define the standard of service quality and suppress dissatisfaction or objective from children and parents whom they call "clients". Given their absolute statutory power of removing children from their parents, they could easily control the rate of growth in the number of "client" cases each year.

Lack of Law Governing Entry of Data and Use of Information

Unlike criminal records in the central database of Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) where personal data archived, removal and usage are governed by law [for example the Criminal Records Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-47)], we are not aware of any law governing data entry and use of MCFD's information system, most notably under what circumstances a person would be entered as "client". The Toronto Star published an article titled "How CPIC works" on 19 July 2008 giving a brief overview on how the system works.

A client information database is a centralized registry of parents with "child abuse" or "child protection concern" history. Such records could open another oppressive arena that may take wrongfully accused parents years and huge legal expenses to have their names removed. The Gary and Melissa Gates case in Texas aired by CBS 42 Investigates News on 10 July 2008 proves to this effect.

Duty To Report Need For Protection

In addition to computerized information systems, MCFD's surveillance function is also supported by Section 14 of Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) which read as follows:

A person who has reason to believe that a child needs protection under section 13 must promptly report the matter to a director or a person designated by a director.

Despite the legislative intent of CFCSA, Section 14 is a compulsory legal requirement to report any information that can be interpreted or misinterpreted as child abuse. It only requires a reason to believe that a child needs protection. This stipulation is vague, subjective, open to interpretation and requires an extremely low standard of proof. This amounts to an open invitation to submit information in a witch hunt. To our knowledge, no malicious informant has ever been charged, let alone punished, pursuant to Section 14(4) for reporting false information to the authority. On the other hand, we have come across many parents who have been unnecessarily scrutinized. Some have children wrongfully removed as a result of malicious reporting.

Thanks to an after-hour browser from Chilliwack (British Columbia) who sharply criticized and ridiculed information on our "MCFD Surveillance" page. Inspired by his mock and criticism that we disagreed with the merit of Section 14 (when we had not even mentioned this section on the "MCFD Surveillance" page at that time), we added this new section to complete MCFD's surveillance activities.

(back to MCFD Surveillance main page)

[This page was added on 13 March 2010, last revised on 24 March 2015.]