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On 14 July 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. handed down an unprecedented judgment J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 1216. This is the first case in Canadian legal history in which child protection workers are found liable for misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the standard of care. Litigations between JP and the MCFD are summarized in JP Aftermath. Our commentary on the Plecas Review Part 1: Decision Time was published on 4 January 2016. On 31 August 2017, the Court of Appeal for B.C. set aside the orders in the civil proceeding against the Director/Province, set aside the finding that Mr. Strickland committed misfeasance in public office, that the Director and her delegates breached their fiduciary duty to the children, and that the Director and her delegates breached the standard of care in the decisions they made with respect to the children while they were in her care.
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Templeton Secondary School

Sister of Templeton Secondary "hit list" teen removed on June 29, 2009

A shotgun, ammunition, a machete, combat knife, sword and two collapsible metal batons were seized from the house as well as a computer.
The above weapons and a computer were seized from the home (photo credit: Vancouver Police Department).

An 18-year-old student of Vancouver's Templeton Secondary School was arrested on May 29, 2009. Due to the fact that he is a minor, no personal information is released. He appeared in court on June 2, 2009 to face seven charges connected to uttering death threat in the internet and a number of weapons (including a sawed-off shotgun, a machete, a sword, ammunition, a knife and two collapsible metal Batons) found at his home. The teen was in police custody.

The judge in the bail hearing had refuted the Crown's allegation that his family will be at risk if the teen is released. Despite this court decision, "child protection" social workers, in their infinite "wisdom", seized his 15-year-old sister and placed her in protective custody an hour after her brother was released on a $50,000 bail surety and returned home on June 29, 2009.

A forensic psychiatrist who did many interviews with the family found the boy was not a threat to his family, but the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) retained a psychology professor who argued in a report that the girl’s safety was at risk after the teen returns home.

The removed girl wrote a letter stating in no uncertain terms that she wants to go home and fears no safety risk of her brother. David Karp, the teen's criminal lawyer, read the letter in Global TV News shortly after the removal. Mr. Karp also told The Province that his client felt guilty and frustrated as a result of his sister's removal. The Province did a series on this case.

Karp, David
Mr. David Karp

After negotiation and pressure from the media, MCFD released the girl back to the family in the evening of July 14, 2009. This 16-day trauma has inevitably created emotional and financial stress to the family, above all, irreparable mental harm to the teenage girl.

This unnecessary removal appears to be a coordinated effort between the Crown prosecutor and MCFD, each using its unique power to beat the young teen into submission. Once combined, they form an extremely formidable power. This scheme works effectively well as this family is compelled to fight a multiple front war against a very powerful bureaucracy. The financial punishment exacted is heavy. The shock from the sudden and unexpected removal of a family member may shatter any will to fight. This case demonstrates the following:

  1. "child protection" social workers seldom (as a matter of fact, we never witness before) respect the free will of removed children to go home;
  2. under the pretext of "child protection", various government agencies and departments work together for their mutual benefits and common goals;
  3. the child removal authority of "child protection" social workers is not restricted by a provincial court bail hearing decision that a child's safety is not at risk when an accused family member is allowed to return home.

On 27 August 2009, the 18-year-old boy was arrested and taken back into custody after allegedly violating his bail condition of no contact with one of the people on his hit list on Facebook. He will remain in custody pending a bail hearing on September 10, 2009.

On 19 January 2010, the Provincial Youth Court handed down a sentence including a twenty-hour community service, a 2-year supervision order, a 5-year firearm prohibition and no contact order with people on the hit list.

[This page was added on added on 8 July 2009, last revised on 2 September 2009.]