20130130 victim of sexual assault by Howard Smith Scarborough foster parent

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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. Findings therein confirm our views and support the merit of our cause. Continuous 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. If you have evidence of misfeasance or abuse of children in foster care, please come forward and contact us.
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  17. "Death of a foster child Dontel Jeffers, Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Part 1)" "(Part 2)" ABC News
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  19. "Children's Aid Society workers should be reined in" National Post
  20. Wrongful Removal of Christina Harrison's Baby
  21. Jessica Laboy case
  22. Removal of the 13 Gates Children in Texas, U.S.A.
  23. "Married to the State: How government colonizes the family"
    by Professor Stephen Baskerville (September 2009)

Howard Smith (Foster Father) of Scarborough Pleaded Guilty of Raping Underage Foster Child

We once said that some removed children become sex toys of their foster parents. Here is the proof. This crime was committed between 26 April 1978 and 13 July 1978, 35 years ago from the date of trial in January 2013. In April 2010, Howard Smith of Scarborough, a retired Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) general superintendent once in charge of over 5,000 employees, was charged after DNA test confirmed that he was the father of the girl born by his foster daughter who is now 50. In January 2013, Smith pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges of his foster daughter who was 14-year old at the time of the crime.

The victim was in and out of the "care" of the highly controversial Catholic Children's Aid Society (CCAS, or more commonly known as CAS, MCFD's counterpart in Ontario) for undisclosed reasons. Like most removed children, the victim was bounced around more than 22 different foster homes in two years before ending in the Smith home. In less than a year with the Smith, the victim was repeatedly raped by Howard Smith and was pregnant with his child at age 15. Her virginity was taken by a man whom she despised.

To cover up wrongdoings of their peers in the child protection industry, her social worker ignored her complaints and accused her of lying. In the news article "Teen impregnated by foster dad failed by Children's Aid Society" published on 29 January 2013, news reporter Michele Mandel of Toronto Sun wrote: "Her CCAS worker ignored her pleas to be moved. “Nobody would believe me over Mr. TTC inspector at the time,” she recalled. “They told me it was either there or the street.”" This is very common that complaints of abuse from removed children in foster homes are often ignored until problems get out of hand.

After she became pregnant, her social worker yanked her out of Smith's home. She was placed in a home for unwed mothers. CCAS never report to the police. The victim, 15-year old at that time, was warned by her social worker that if she dares to name Smith as the father on the birth certificate, her new born infant will be removed and be given to Smith. Under such threat and duress, she named the paternity unknown. When she decided to raise her baby herself, CAS workers harassed her ruthlessly and attempted to remove her child.

To discourage the victim from talking to the police, CCAS supervisor laughed at her in 1998 and said that a statute of limitations would bar charges being laid against Smith. Of course, the CCAS supervisor is wrong. There is no time limit in laying criminal charges of this nature as long as the perpetrators are still alive. She finally spoke to the London (Ontario) police in 2010. The Toronto police subsequently took over the investigation. DNA test confirmed the victim's allegation that Smith is the biological father of her child.

Howard Smith was arrested and charged with indisputable evidence. To mitigate punishment, Smith shrewdly pleaded guilty, apologized, expressed remorse, filed numerous character reference letters (including one from his wife) to the court suggesting that he is a good church-going family man with unblemished record. After reaching a plea agreement with the Crown, rape indictment against Smith was withdrawn in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges of having sexual intercourse with his underage foster child. Alleging health problems and supported by the aforesaid mitigating factors, Smith was sentenced to a conditional 2-year house arrest followed by three years of probation and 360 hours of community service on 29 March 2013.

According to the impact statement filed to court, the victim claimed that she washed herself with bleach to cleanse the lingering memories of this CAS-created atrocity. The incident triggered her lifelong battle of depression. She suffers from eating disorder and post traumatic stress in the last decade. Her comment on the March 2013 judgment is:

"I felt that the judge not only let me down, but I felt the judge let down all the future victims of the Children's Aid Society." She described the sentence as "a gold medal" and a "kiss on the cheek."


Outside the courtroom, the victim told reporters that she plans to sue Smith and the CCAS.

When unwanted public attention is attracted in cases involving state-sponsored child removal, little information is available to the public. We are unable to find any news video footage or Ontario Superior Court judgment surrounding this CAS-created tragedy. CAS spokesperson Gehna Singh could not comment on whether the social worker in charge of the file is still employed or has been disciplined because it will take a day to locate the file. Later, Mary McConville, executive director of the CCAS of Toronto wrote in an e-mail:

"Since the early 80s, the children's aid societies of the province have been required by the Government of Ontario to have a joint protocol for the investigation of child physical and sexual abuse....."


Like most spokesperson and politicians defending the child protection industry, her reply is devious, ambiguous and fails to answer whether the social worker in question is still employed or has been disciplined. Such response is akin to often heard inane statement like child removal decision is not made lightly, we intend to return the children when it is safe to do so.

The details available to the public surrounding this case are archived below.

The following are noteworthy in this case:

  1. Removed children are often bounced around in different foster homes to ensure that enough foster parents financially benefit to stay in the system and hence remain a die-hard supporter of the industry.

  2. Child protection workers at times are boastful of their legal knowledge which turns out to be incorrect. In this case, the CCAS supervisor gave wrong legal information that misled the victim not to prosecute her raper.

    In child protection proceedings, statements from child protection workers are often taken as gospel truth and their recommendations are often rubber stamped by the judiciary. Hearsay evidence is explicitly allowed. Judges allow child protection proceedings, which are civil in nature, to be as informal as possible to suit the best interests of the child protection agency (Section 66 of Child, Family and Community Service Act, CFCSA). The level of proof is extremely low. Erring on the side of caution to make orders in favor of the agency is a term often used in child protection decisions. Spirit of law is flouted to allow orders be made in favor of the agency. For example, parents often bear the reverse onus of proof and agency can commence proceedings when there is no third party complaint or needs not to show the child is in immediate danger (see "Director v. M.P., 2005 BCPC 651"). This modus operandi supports arbitrary child removal and reduces the judiciary to a rubber stamping kangaroo court. This may give child protection workers confidence that their beliefs correctly interpret laws.

    Despite both proceedings are run by the same groups of judges at the same court level, criminal trials are completely different from child protection hearings. It is a due process where the Crown bears the onus of proof (as the accused is assumed to be innocent by the Canadian Charter of Rights until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which only applies in criminal trials). Admissible evidence is under strict control of the Evidence Act. Using the lax standard in child protection proceedings to give legal advice on criminal matters suggest ignorance, lack of accountability and arrogance.


  3. CAS workers who abused their power to conceal serious crimes, such as rape in this case, are completely out of the picture. Their names are not disclosed and of course they receive no punishment whatsoever. Why these bureaucrats with such absolute and oppressive power are immune from punishment? How can accountability be established when wrongdoings carry no consequence? No wonder why some of these creatures can play god and boast that they have more power than judges in front of oppressed parents.

  4. Corruption in the child protection industry: retaliation on those who disagree, unveil wrongdoings and those who get their children back in court
    An appalling act of child protection workers often heard is threat and retaliation if the victim and their supporters dare to embarrass service providers or to uncover their wrongdoings. In this case, the victim was warned by her social worker that if she names Smith as the father on the baby’s birth certificate, they would ensure her daughter be given to him. Furthermore, when she raised her child on her own, unsparing CAS workers harassed her ruthlessly and attempted to remove her child. Note that young single mothers, especially Aboriginal mothers, with weak financial background are their prime targets.

    Child removal power is often abused to suppress whistle-blowers and to beat parents and children into submission, such as admitting child abuse accusation, addiction of substance abuse, having mental disorder, ... etc. This case sheds light to confirm the authenticity of the abuse of power that we discuss in "MCFD's Absolute Power".


  5. In the dark era of residential schools, children pregnant by their care givers were common. Nothing is new under the sun. Modern child protection is of no difference. Some foster children become the sex slaves of their foster parents or other foster children living in the same home.

    Despite Stephen Harper's apology and the government decision to shut down all residential schools in 1996, the dark era never ends. It just re-emerges in a more dangerous and hypocritical form called child protection in which all ethnic groups may fall prey. How can the government renounce residential schools and yet support "child protection"? Their similarities in nature are discussed in our "MCFD & The First Nation" and will not be repeated here. Modern child protection is an extension or a disguised derivative of the oppressive "cultural assimilation" policy expanded to all ethnic groups as the interpretation of "child safety and best interests of children" is dictated by service providers whose value and interests are not the same with all parents.


  6. Service providers in the child protection industry have been very successful in lobbying law to prohibit dissemination of information under the pretext of protecting child privacy. All child protection agencies are very aggressive in launching lawsuits to prevent information may harm their business. "Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto v. N.B.R., 2013 ONSC 1965" is a recent case launched by the same CAS to compel a father to remove identifiable information from the internet. Who are they trying to protect? The children or service providers? Who initiated oppressive and inhumane actions that derogate a family for life?

    The aforesaid case confirms that child protection agencies have employees browsing the internet to fish for information that could harm the industry. Whenever they find anything they dislike, they will pursue to have it remove. MCFD does precisely this in "Removal of 1-Year old S. from Mel in Victoria, British Columbia (December 2007)". To serve their best interests, they do not want people to talk about them (of course except commendable remarks), to know the real nature of their business or to hear anything from people they oppress.

    Mr. Robert Quaid said in the "Ruses Used By Politicians" video below that the child protection industry will disclose the full identify of foster children if it is in its best interests to so. He is suggesting a self-serving, hypocritical and situational double standard. The BC Government propaganda video "Celebrating B.C.'s Amazing Foster Parents" below promoting foster parenting clearly identified Ms. Raven Wright as a former youth in care. Beyond any doubt, this confirms Mr. Quaid's view.

foster home

Remarks

The victim is one of the many children who have suffered unspeakable horror in foster homes. Traumatized by separation from their parents, young children have to deal with bossy, if not bullying, child protection workers who play the role of business broker in the industry. Under the pretext of child protection, they hire various service providers, whose livelihood depends on state-sponsored child removal, with inexhaustible tax dollars at their disposal.

Most people run foster homes to make easy tax-free money. In the harsh environment of foster homes, most foster children live without the irreplaceable loving care of their parents. Unlucky ones are abused or killed by their foster parents. Most foster children become a burden to society after they graduate from foster care. The foregoing is supported by empirical date in "Impacts on Children, Families and Society." It is safe to contend that state-sponsored child removal creates more problems that it solves and is, ironically, the largest institutional risk to child safety.

Without forensic science, the victim will never bring her raper to justice. She stands no chance against a respectable and financially well off foster father who has demonstrated remarkable astuteness in his shrewd legal manoeuver in minimizing punishment. Child protection workers and their psychologists will mudsling her as delusional, tarnish her as an undisciplined child with a psychotic disorder and, perhaps, put all responsibilities on her biological parents.

This case demonstrates how vulnerable parents and children are once scrutinized by a child protection agency and how difficult it is to protect your family against such absolute oppressive power motivated by huge tax dollars. Seeking remedies is even more difficult, risky and time consuming. Retaliation and costs are prohibitive to victims who suffered inhumane treatments in the child protection industry. After a 35-year struggle, the perpetrator received a trivial sentence that could only be characterized as a kiss on the cheek. The victim continues to suffer from a nightmare in her childhood that child protection law is supposed to prevent. CAS workers get away unpunished, perhaps still receiving their paychecks and enjoying their fat pension. Above all, they or their successors are still pursuing helpless families and continue to place children in the highly questionable foster care.

State-sponsored child removal seriously jeopardizes our safety and freedom. It has been used by service providers for racketeering under the pretext of child protection. Such corruption is dangerous, inhumane, barbaric and often counter-productive in protecting children. It is a disgrace to humanity and has no place in any civilized society.


Lessons Learnt From This Case

  1. Corruption in the child protection industry is not new. It stems back to the inception of state-sponsored child removal which originally emerged in form of residential schools in Canada. Why such serious corruption could exist for such a long time without catching public attention in a nation that ardently speaks of human rights, civil liberty and accountable government? The child protection industry employs a very successful strategy of using huge public resources to target a very small percentage of the population (less than 1% including their extended families according to some statistics in 2001). Few people could fully appreciate the extent of the corruption without experiencing it first hand.

    Financially motivated service providers have a strong influence in government. They occupy the moral high ground and have lobbied self-serving law that prevent dissemination of identifiable information under the pretext of protecting privacy. Legitimate criticism, especially if coming from parents whom they call clients is often considered dismissive. Many oppressed parents fear retaliation and remain silent.

    Furthermore, Canadians have been indoctrinated in their upbringing to believe that state-sponsored child removal is instrumental in child protection and therefore is an acceptable government activity. Government propaganda is very effective in misleading the public. Needless to say, gullible people who believe in government fail to see the atrocities and other serious social problems created by the child protection industry. This explain why daily abuse of power is so well concealed.


  2. Under immense obstruction from child protection workers, it took the victim 35 years of determination to bring the perpetrator to justice. It prompts us to think how many of these self-righteous, self-serving, self-praising service providers in the child protection industry have committed hideous crimes against vulnerable children placed in their care. Like the residential schools, corruption in the industry is so serious that it will collapse government if unveiled. This sheds light to explain why politicians partake in the cover up operation, refuse to deal with the problems created by the pathetic child protection law and turn a blind eye to legitimate complaints from parents.

  3. Service providers abuse their absolute power to cover up atrocities created by them and/or their peers to preserve public trust on the child protection industry, hence continue to financially benefit from their ill-earned income from taxpayers. After the victim was found pregnant, she was removed from the Smith home. Despite complaints of sexual abuse from the victim who was 14-year of age at that time, the social worker did not act and failed to investigate. While most provincial child protection law obliges everyone to report if there is reason to believe that a child needs protection, this social worker has contravened the very act that he or she is supposed to enforce. Child protection workers often ruthlessly harass parents for minor issues such as picking up children late from schools or allowing them to walk home alone. This double standard is an act of cover up, which amounts to failure to carry out statutory duties and obstruction of justice.

  4. In their infinite wisdom, most judges allege that foster homes are known safe places and make custody order in favor of child protection agency. This case casts serious doubt on the allegation that foster homes as a known safe place, which shakes the foundation of the rubber stamping judicial justification.

  5. Howard Smith was sentenced to a 2-year house arrest plus 360 hours of community services. Ontario Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly believes that her sentences on Smith are "onerous and can provide significant denunciation and deterrence." Convicted perpetrators committing crimes of this nature often receive jail sentence. We agree with the opinion of the victim that punishment on such serious crimes involving breach of trust and abuse of authority by foster parents is too light and does not meet the expectation of society. Such leniency does not provide sufficient deterrence and delivers a wrong signal to perpetrators in the child protection industry that crimes committed under the pretext of child protection carries little consequence.

  6. Complaints from foster children are often undermined and ignored by child protection workers. Many foster children are threatened to remain silent of the abuse they suffer in foster homes. Otherwise, they have to face consequences like reduced or termination of visitations of seeing their real parents, removal of toys, termination of favorite activities, ... etc.

  7. This case confirms all the points of the documentary made in 2011 "Powerful as God".

  8. Some parents in Ontario advocate that the provincial government should form a ministry responsible for child protection headed by elected official to established accountability. British Columbia has precisely this type outfit called Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and we have the same problems here. Their pursuit will not solve the problem.

    Whether child removal is carried out by a delegated non-profit society or a government ministry is of no essence. The root problem is the general power to remove child based on a bureaucratic opinion, a lack of real due process, no prompt legal remedies to reverse wrong removal decisions and to punish abuse of child removal authority. This problem cannot be solved without revoking the general child removal authority by way of changing law. Our views are further elaborated in "Flaws of CFCSA".


  9. Government propaganda "Celebrating B.C.'s Amazing Foster Parents" praised foster parents using the testimony of a grateful foster children. Note that the identity of party involved in child protection is fully disclosed when it serves the best interests of service providers to do so. The message delivered is: there are NEVER enough foster homes. To service providers, enough is never enough until taxpayers are milked dry.
    Using a former foster child to glorify the good deeds of foster parents (a major service provider in the child protection industry), government propaganda praised foster parents and encouraged people to join the industry. Be mindful that creating a show case like this is completely within MCFD's budget.

    Note that the identity of former foster child Raven Wright is fully disclosed in the propaganda video. This contradicts MCFD's policy that they cannot discuss any individual cases to protect the privacy of the children involved in child protection. When it serves the best interests of the industry to disclose the identity of children, they will do so without hesitation. Protecting privacy is another way of saying don't ask.

    Incidentally, comments from the victim of this case in the sentencing day are: "I felt that the judge not only let me down, but I felt the judge let down all the future victims of the Children's Aid Society." She saw the corruption first hand and said in no uncertain term that she is not the last victim (nor is she the first neither) of the CAS. We wonder what this victim will say about foster parents. It is very unlikely that she and Raven Wright (the show case former foster youth in the MCFD propaganda) will share the same views.

    If you believe that foster homes in B.C. are better, here is a video recording of removed children in Vancouver Island who told their story and shared their opinions. The girls alleged that social workers and the police lie to separate the siblings, prevent them from returning to their parents and told their sufferings in foster homes. After their parents put this video on the internet, social worker canceled their visitation. Obviously, this was done to retaliate unveiling their abuse of power. Audio recording of the phone conversation with their social worker notifying the cancellation of parent´s visitation right was included in the second half of this video.


  10. Involuntarily losing virginity at age 14 to a foster father is horrendous. You may think that this is the worst case that could ever happen to foster children. No, this case only unveils the tip of an iceberg. Some foster children lose their lives. The following are some recent deaths in foster care:

    "Death of Children in Care" suggests that these two cases are not isolated incidents.


  11. The victim is on disability of post-traumatic stress and becomes a burden to society. If she was in the care of her parents, she could be a productive member in our society. Childless people and those whose children are over 19 may think that the child protection industry is not their concern. Wrong. It affects everyone in the country. Taxes to finance the lifestyle of service providers and the social costs are unbearable. Furthermore, the victim is planning to sue Smith and CCAS. If she is successful in getting remedies (which always include monetary compensation), where does the money of CCAS come from? Taxpayers, they are always an indirect victim in the child protection industry.


References



[This page was added on 11 May 2013, last revised on 19 May 2013.]