WLKY Target 32 News documentary on the child protection industry: going to court to prohibit media from unveiling the corruption, retaliation on those who disagree, suppressing different opinions, remove children for funding ... all these are happening in the best place to live on earth: British Columbia

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We received a letter dated 27 January 2012 from Katherine LeReverend of the Ministry of Attorney General, who acts as the solicitor for the director of Child, Family and Community Services for British Columbia. There are two pages in the original letter. For the ease of reference, we have reproduced this letter below without altering its content save and exempt removing personal identifiable information of the family in question and changing the B.C. government logo from black and white to color.

Our Official Reply to the Ministry's Demand

10 February 2012

Dear Ms. Katherine LeReverend:

Thank you for your letter dated 27 January 2012 and the tireless effort of your client, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), for browsing our web site.

We disagree with your allegation that PAPA People Assisting Parents Association (PAPA) has breached Section 3(6) of the Provincial Court Act (PCA) by running the story and video on the case and the child. Law must be interpreted in the context of its entirety under the light of legislative intent, relevant provisions from other more authoritative statues and precedents. Section 3 (1) of the PCA read:

“Subject to this section, proceedings before the court that deal with family or children's matters must be open to the public.”

It is obvious that proceedings before the court that deal with family or children's matters are intended to be open and transparent. It establishes open court principle in family law which is imperative to reduce the chance of corruption, abuse of power and to build public confidence in the judiciary. Members of the public could be present in the courtroom to hear child protection litigations in which personally identifiable information, such as names and photos, are often openly used by parties in these proceedings. Media are entitled to freedom of the press. This is supported by the recent decision of M.E.H. v. Williams, 2012 ONCA 35 in which the Court of Appeal for Ontario set aside lower court orders of granting non-publication and orders of sealing record in a family proceeding. The Court of Appeal was specific in paragraph [62] that the motion judge erred in law in exercising her discretion in favour of granting the non-publication and sealing orders.

Furthermore, Section 3 (7) of the PCA read:

“Despite subsection (6), a report, comment or analysis concerning a proceeding may be published in a document designed primarily to assist those engaged in the practice of law or in legal or social research.”

It supports our position that reports, comments or analyses concerning family or children may be published for the purpose of legal or social research, the latter of which is one of our purposes.

Our right to express opinions, thought and belief is also guaranteed in Section 2 b. of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which read:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  1. freedom of conscience and religion;
  2. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  3. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  4. freedom of association.

In view of the aforesaid reasons, it is our submission that PAPA has not breached Section 3(6) of the Provincial Court Act (PCA) as alleged in your letter.

In the alternative, if the director’s position is upheld by court, such decision is inconsistent with the value of a transparent government, open court principle required by Section 3 (1) of the PCA and will render Section 3 (7) meaningless. Your demand to remove the entire page in question will also infringe the aforesaid charter right. It will present a serious risk to the proper administration justice and the right to express opinions, thought and belief. Above all, it will have a serious impact on the freedom of the press. It would be unimaginable to see our honorable court to concur with such decision that ought to have no place in a free and democratic society.

Having said the foregoing, we are pleased to hear that the director have a concern on the dignity, privacy and well being of children. Although we do not believe that we are obliged by law to do so, we have removed all personable identifiable information and the child's photo as a goodwill gesture to foster productive communication. The video in question was not made PAPA. If you have any concerns regarding the contents of this documentary, we respectfully ask that you contact the manufacturer directly. We are of the opinion that this TV documentary only touched the tip of an iceberg surrounding the corruption, abuse of power, breach of trust and other social problems created by the child protection industry. To provide better information to the public on how child removal authority threatens our safety and freedom, we have replaced this video with a more in-depth documentary made by another TV station.

Upon confirming with Fairchild TV on 2 February 2012 that they have not received similar notification from the MCFD, PAPA is contended that we have been selectively targeted. Most media, such as CBC and Global TV, had aired similar child protection cases with personal identifiable information of families involved. PAPA is unaware of any allegation of law infringement. We formally request an explanation from your Ministry why only PAPA is targeted. Your selective action towards the same alleged offence is not only unfair but will bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

We believe that the Ministry appears to have chosen PAPA as a target to create a legal precedent to infringe or limit the freedom of the press and to suppress different opinions. Therefore, PAPA has taken the liberty to advise all major media of the Ministry’s position surrounding broadcasting child protection cases and has suggested that they act as interveners should there be a litigation on this matter in the future. Judgment in a case of this nature will affect the rights of these non-parties and their ability to broadcast child protection matters effectively. It will have a substantial impact on public right to information on government.

We will notify all Members of the Legislative Assembly of your position to ascertain whether your demand and being cavalier with Section 3 (6) of the PCA taken out of context serves the best interests of society and is consistent with the value of a government that ardently speaks of accountability and transparency.

Speaking of dignity, privacy and well being of children, we would like to share some food for thought. State-sponsored child removal has reduced humanity to the level of brutes and seriously threatens our safety and freedom. Secrecy, fear, ignorance and public apathy are keys to success of the child protection industry. Privacy is often used to evade questions from the media and the public. Vague terms, such as child safety and best interests of children, are often used to justify oppressive actions against families. Children are warehoused in foster homes where most of them are traumatized by forceful removal, some are abused sexually and physically or even killed. Who is the real creator of stigma attached to removed children? Whose interests are more likely to be protected by prohibiting discussions of child protection matters under the pretext of privacy? The harm, if any, of disclosing a child’s identity is trivial compared with the foregoing.

On another note, we are unable to find your membership registration with the Law Society of B.C. under the name “Katherine LeReverend”. Please confirm whether you are a member of good standing in the Law Society of B.C.

Since the Ministry browses our web site often, we take that publicly responding to your letter on this web page is sufficient.

Please feel free to contact us if you still have any concerns.

Removal of 1-Year old S. from Mel in Victoria, British Columbia (December 2007)

Mel Farrell
Mel and his son S. during supervised visit
Mel is an accountant and a father of four children in Victoria, British Columbia. His youngest son S. was born in December of 2006. A few months before his first birthday he developed a rash on his body. He was taken to a walk-in clinic, his family doctor and to the emergency department of a hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. Mel was told to take S. home with various ointments as treatment. Finally on 9 December 2007, Mel was told by his family doctor to take his son to the hospital immediately where he was diagnosed with failure to thrive. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) was notified due to an allegation of neglect and failure to properly feed the child. On 21 December 2007, S. was apprehended. On 31 December, he was sent to foster home.

Mel was told that foster care was only a temporary measure. He should expect to have S. back home within a few months. In the meantime, the parents were allowed to have supervised visits, first at the Jutland Ministry Office and then at the home of the foster parents. During the supervised visits, someone watches and took notes constantly. Of course the foster parent appears to be open and supportive. However, just like dealing with social workers, parents have to be very cautious of what one should say. Casual conversation is taken out of context and may be used against parents. As the family moved closer to the day when S. was promised to be returned, they had to do case planning. At this time, the Ministry's workers saw the bizarre and inappropriate behaviour of S.’s mother. After one meeting, S.’s mother pulled the social worker aside and said that she feared for S.’s safety and he shouldn’t be returned to his father. The return was immediately stopped.

In his interview with Fairchild TV, Mel confirmed that his child protection worker had sought admission of guilt at the early stage of intervention. Mel did not admit anything that he has not done. His nightmare continued.

The modus operandi of the Ministry is to set a court date for a custody order and seek a long trial length (usually from five to 10 days) citing calling many witnesses and evidence. In most courthouses, the date for a 10-day trial is generally 10 months to 15 months later. In the meantime, parents are compelled to take parenting programs, attend mediations and meetings with child protection workers, supervised visitations with children. This will give an ample amount of time and opportunities for various service providers to fabricate incriminating evidence.

As trial date draws near, mediation or an offer of a "deal" is often used to stall the court process. Mel's first trial date was a Monday. On the Friday before the trial, his lawyer called and begged Mel to accept a “deal”. Mel gave up the trial date and went forward with a new plan in which S. was supposed to be returned to Mel after Mel obtained a restraining order against S.'s mother who had separated from Mel. Mel got the restraining order but he did not get S. Mel was given substantial access to S., however now the ministry was working with the mother, and allowing her more and more access. Oddly, some of her access (during parenting programs) overlapped Mel's access days. As the date of S.'s third supposed return approached, Mel's access was suddenly terminated. The Ministry alleged that S. was traumatized during Mel's visits. After he returned to the foster home, he was displaying traumatic behaviour, tired and sick. Mel was told that the Ministry had psychological report to back up this allegation. When Mel pushed to get these reports, he was told that they were actually observations of the foster parents.

Access was reduced from 7 hours two days a week and then to 1.5 hours one day a week. S. was returned to his mother for about 3 months. During this period of time, S. was required to go to foster care one day a week. He was re-apprehended after the mother allegedly breached the temporary custody order by allowing Mel to see their son and she had someone stay overnight at her home while S. was there. To the Ministry, it does not matter if the foregoing endangers S. The impact on Mel's family has been tremendous. Financially, he could not have sustained working and keeping up with the demands imposed by the MCFD, not to mention the tremendous legal costs. Mel was not allowed to leave S. with family, friends or other care providers. S. was unable to attend family events or holidays with extended family. He hardly know any of his siblings, Mel's elderly mother or extended family. Neither S. nor Mel's other children have experienced a normal family setting since removal.

In 2011, it is almost four years after Mel lost custody of S. For the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) that was designed to work in the "best interest of the child", this is an atrocity. S. has now been told to call his foster parents Mom and Dad.

During court hearing period, Mel was not allowed to see S. Mel was told that this is for the good of "him and S.". In November 2011, Mel applied for an order of more access as 2 hours a week is insufficient to maintain his "parental bond" with his child. The Ministry alleged that Mel could not see his son for longer as S. was displaying signs of trauma after visits. The child protection worker did not specifically say what was causing the trauma. However, they are sure at least one or both parents were the cause. The child protection worker refused to allow more visitation time. Mel has no option but to apply to court for reasonable access and to have S. under go therapy in order to determine the underlying cause of the "trauma". Mel has absolutely no fear that the alleged trauma is caused by him.

The judge who heard Mel's application had concerns in the request for S. to undergo therapy. He was not prepared to hear arguments until he heard good evidence of why S. needed therapy. He gave a huge lecture about the "ordeal" of sending him to therapy and Mel is prepared to call their psychologist as expert witness and pay for the expense. But the child protection worker opposed because the Ministry will not have "control" of the reports.

In August 2010, Mel fixed a 10 day trial for the continuing custody order hearing in June 2012. In the meantime, atrocity of this family continues. Thousands of families are facing ordeal like this in countries where government has the power to remove children from their parents. However, these oppressed parents are only a very small percentage of the population. Most people do not know or believe that corruption of this magnitude exists. The industry continues to flourish and oppressed parents continue to live in infamy.

Lessons Learned From This Case

  1. Unsuspecting parents do not know how vulnerable they are when they take their children to seek medical treatment on injuries. Mel's nightmare could happen to any parents with children under age 19 in Canada. CFCSA has granted absolute power to child protection workers to remove children at will and various levels of government provide financial incentives to service providers to remove children. Such power seriously threatens our safety and freedom.

  2. To lengthen child holding, various stalling tactics, such as diversion to mediation near the hearing date, proposal to return children if parents accept a short term custody or supervision order (of course, other excuses not to return children are often raised later), seeking adjournment alleging awaiting reports, are often used to stall hearing date fixed. These tactics are discussed in detail in our "MCFD Tactics" page.

  3. Using children as pawns, child protection workers often demand admission of child abuse as a prerequisite of considering return of children. In their view, no "service" could be offered unless parents admit responsibility of their concerns.

    Mel's case is not an isolated incident. We have come across many parents alleging that admission of guilt is often required as a condition to get their children back. While some child protection workers do this blatantly, some do this more subtly. It bears remarkable resemblance to extortion.

  4. Child protection workers will do everything they can to "control" reports, especially "professional" assessments that could lend support to their position in court. In Mel's case, the psychologist who gave favourable assessment on him was promptly dismissed and Mel was required to be assessed by another psychologist on the Ministry's approved list. Those on the approved list have more referrals from the Ministry, some work almost exclusively on cases referred and paid by the Ministry. Can they bite the hands that feed them? This explains why psychologists hired by parents, despite their equal or similar credentials, are often rejected by child protection workers.

    In our view, such practice should be tried of obstructing justice as the following conditions are met:

    1. there was a pending judicial proceeding;
    2. the accused knew of the proceeding; and
    3. the accused had corrupt intent to interfere with or attempted to interfere with the proceeding by way of dissuading expert witness, who is supposed to give imperial assessment to assist the court pursuant to Rule 11-2 of Court Rules Act Supreme Court Civil Rules, to give evidence in favor of the position of the accused.

    Concealment, alteration, or destruction of documents; and the encouraging or rendering of false testimony motivated by business offer is not uncommon. Note that actual obstruction is not required as an element of proof to sustain a conviction. Endeavor of the accused to obstruct justice is sufficient. Rejecting psychologists of equal or similar credentials not on the Ministry approval list is at the very least an endeavor.

    Among English-law practicing countries, the Watergate scandal in the 1970s involving President Richard M. Nixon is a classic example in which government officials were successfully convicted of seeking to prevent the disclosure of damaging information. On 21 February 1975, former Attorney General of the United States John N. Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and served 19 months in prison.

    Despite disappearance of evidence favorable to parents, motivating service providers to give harmful information, coercing parents to admit guilt in court, and many other corrupt means (discussed in details in "MCFD Tactics" to fabricate incriminating evidence, no child protection worker has ever been prosecuted, let alone convicted, to the best of our knowledge. This suggests corruption and difficulty to collect admissible evidence in criminal proceedings, especially against bureaucrats who have access to the deep pocket of taxpayers to retain legal service in their defence.

  5. In our view, state sponsored child removal amounts to a systematic attack directed against a civilian population that causes enforced disappearance of persons. To create maximum fear and anxiety, most parents are prohibited to know the whereabouts of removed children. Children are forbidden to tell and parents are not allowed to ask. As far as parents are concerned, their children have disappeared. Their disappearance beyond doubt is caused by the state. This meets one of the definitions of crimes against humanity stipulated in Article 7 1.(i) of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000, c. 24), which read:

    Crimes against humanity

    1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
      (i) enforced disappearance of persons;
    2. .

    Despite the fact that it is legalized by CFCSA, such act of wanton cruelty is inconsistent with the mainstream Canadian values of compassion, fairness and civil liberty.

  6. Aboriginal children are high value targets to all child protection agencies in Canada because the federal government subsidizes the removal of these children on a per head basis.
    March 31, 1999 March 31, 2000 March 31, 2001
    (A) Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD 2,961 3,078 3,534
    (B) Total Number of Children "in care" of MCFD 9,813 9,523 9,956
    (A)/(B) 30.17% 32.32% 35.50%
    (C) Aboriginal Population in BC in 2001 170,025
    (D) Total Population in BC in 2001 3,160,565
    (E) Non Aboriginal Population in BC in 2001 (D)-(C) 2,990,540
    (F) Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD per capita (A)/(C) 2.08%
    (G) Non Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD per capita [(B)-(A)]/(E) 0.21%
    Ratio between Aboringial and Non Aboriginal Groups (F)/(G) 967.91%

    Data source:

    MCFD 2010-11 to 2011-12 budget changes

    Empirically, the statistics above confirm that Aboriginal families attract the attention of MCFD almost 10 times more often than non-Aboriginal families in 2001. Child removal ratio per capita is consistently much higher in Aboriginal families than other ethnic groups since inception of the child removal regime.

    The 2010-11 and 2011-12 budgets of the Ministry contain recoveries from federal government and other sources of $77 and $76 millions respectively. Note that these recoveries are larger than the Ministry's operating costs.

    Different levels of government often fight for funding or refund of funding from one another. The payback of the $1.6 billion HST transition incentive British Columbia received from Ottawa is a good example to illustrate the foregoing. Aboriginal child removal is a tool to squeeze federal funding to finance the child protection industry.

    S. happens to be a Métis, one of the Aboriginal peoples that qualifies for federal subsidy.

  7. When the child protection industry is challenged of using children to earn federal subsidies, service providers vigorously fight back. Mr. Tom Emberton Jr., Social Services Commissioner, Kentucky argued that they have to spend $39 million to earn $1 million of federal subsidies and therefore make no net profit (watch Mr. Emberton's interview at video marker 5:54 near the end).

    On the surface, Mr. Emberton's explanation appears plausible. But do not lose sight that they are always spending tax dollars. The primary objective of special interests in the industry is to raise such spending to the maximum that taxpayers could bear so that they could keep their jobs and their lucrative businesses. The name of the game is to legally transfer wealth from taxpayers to service providers. Federal subsidy is just a bonus and an incentive to target Aboriginal children.

  8. Removed children are often forced to call foster parents their mum and dad. Why? Does it mean that foster parents really love these kids? Calling foster parents mum and dad is to create an appearance that parental bond is loosened, if not severed.

    On 5 May 1994, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down the decision "Catholic Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto v. M. (C.), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 165" (Docket: 23644). In 1992, parent obtained a provincial court order in Ontario obliging the Children's Aid Society (CAS) to return removed child, CAS obtained a stay of the order for return from the Court of Appeal pending appeal and a motion for the introduction of fresh evidence. The order for the return of the child to the mother was set aside and ordered that the child be made a Crown ward, without access, for the purposes of adoption, partly due to the new evidence (introduced by CAS) of the consistent and repeated assertions of the child that she regarded her foster family as her real family, that she did not want to see her birth mother. This decision supports that:

    1. "child protection" workers do not need to return children even if there is a provincial court order of return, apply for a stay of order and appeal are common legal tactics, hence rendering their power exceeding that of provincial court judges;
    2. "child protection" statute and legal process are hopelessly lopsided against parents;
    3. removed children are motivated to stay in foster care (often by way of offer of money, vacation trips and toys) and to alienate their birth parents as the child's negative emotional, psychological and physical reactions are legal grounds (established by this case) of permanent removal.

    To retain children in the child protection industry, all child protection agencies in Canada need to do is to exercise their statutory power of removing children at will until parental tie is severed, or more precisely, an appearance of severance of parental tie can be alleged. The longer children are kept in foster home and the more intimate the relationship with foster parents appears to be, the more legal ground the Ministry will have to adopt children. This explains why many foster children are told to call their foster parents mum and dad. Once foster children start calling their foster parents mum and dad, child protection workers can tell the court that these children no longer consider their birth parents mum and dad, hence this is no parental tie to justify custody applications and adoption. This also carries the added benefit of provoking natural parents to act out of character and lends further support to the Ministry custody applications. Just think for a moment how a parent would feel and react if his/her children call someone mum and dad. State-sponsored child removal has reduced humanity to the level of brutes.

  9. To justify re-removal and to prove that parents fail to obey court orders for the purpose of protecting children, stingy supervision terms are often shoveled down parents' throat by either:
    1. threatening parents to reduce visitation time and/or apply for a higher level of custody order (hence one step closer to adoption);
    2. changing and/or adding new terms not agreed upon or ordered by a judge in the written supervision order (be mindful that most supervision orders are drafted by the lawyers of the Ministry).

    Disputing these terms is seldom successful and often counterproductive as disagreement is often considered uncooperative. When breaching these uncompliable terms is caught by MCFD's agents during surveillance or other means, unsparing child protection workers promptly re-remove children alleging breaching supervision order. At times, re-removal is so arbitrary that they cannot even specify what supervision terms have been breached at the point of removal. Nevertheless, apprehension take place, often with assistance of the police.

  10. If removed children display any signs of trauma, child protection workers often hold parents responsible and reduce access time. It never occurs to them that children are more likely to be traumatized in foster homes and/or by forceful removal from their parents. Parents often are blamed for the results of atrocities created by these self-righteous bureaucrats.

[This page was added on 25 December 2011, last revised on 17 February 2012.]