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Submission to Youth Leaving Care Hearings. Penny Mifflin CAS lawlessness & lack of accountability

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 08:08

Submission to Youth Leaving Care Hearings.

by Yvonne Craig on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 1:48pm

My children were locked into the Crown through procedural anomaly (family law rule) because of legal incompetence. The Judicial act gave the presiding Judge (Oct. 2001) discretionary powers to rule on Summary Judgment motion & a balance of expediency- the “12 month rule”. James Oxley’s lack of any activity on return of the Crown Wardship application (unknown to me & against my instruction) placed me in infinite default, even vetoing 10 months work with lawyer, Jennifer Suzor, or any compliancy with CAS requests to attend counseling & parenting programs.

I had no voice; no defense or case before the Court based on legal interpretations of being placed in default. What lawyer James Oxley did was commit "Loss of Chance" as it indoctrinates into law. When you're in default, you have no defense & aren't even entitled to notice of hearing by most family law rules or rules of civil procedure, though I was present for each hearing, including the Summary Judgment hearing in which I was sitting in the Court room with a lawyer having NO IDEA I wasn’t represented through his failure to accept or confirm his legal aid certificate, nor his having filed any responding materials by the deadline for return of the Crown Wardship application (I have the original incomplete form in my possession to date.

It’s incomplete because I didn’t know how to construct a response & was without access to legal advice or assistance until such time as I agreed to retain James Oxley; I left the forms with instructions for their completion in his possession, he agreed to accept the case & perform all tasks/duties associated therein). This whole circumstance was a serious violation of my constitutional right to representation, in a Court of law, so I would have opportunity to present a defense because my section 7 rights were going to be violated by removal of full parental entitlements to the Crown (parens patriae).

Justice Zaltz (Windsor OCJ) knew I was in the Crown Wardship hearing unrepresented. I've only seen 1 other example of this in a legal writing on the website for a Toronto Family Law Lawyer Gene's titled, "Procedural Fairness in Family Law essential". Everything outlined in that document mirrors what happened to me & how my children became "locked into law", thereby victims of law. The finer applications of fundamental justice & the whole course of naturative law presents a whole other complex dynamic as there were residual failures to adhere to “procedural fairness”, questions of “due process” through the successive violations as applied to my case.

The only difference between the case examples in "Procedural Fairness Essential in Family Law" is that, that woman was given the opportunity to properly retain counsel & mount a defense for custody of her children. I, subsequently, spent 11 years fighting for custody, reduced to access, of my 3 children; then only my 2 sons. Their advanced ages & the balance of the continuum of child protection (paramountcy of children's rights; meaningful relationships & best interests) worked against me because of the collusive, cooperated effort of Bruce CAS, WECAS, the Foster provider Hilda Wales & my estranged In-laws who manipulated the family constellation.

Bruce CAS programmed my sons’ memories to create parental alienation so my children would be so far removed from me as to guarantee continued care, serving their privatized agenda. I began the case for my children with NOTHING & ended up with NOTHING after nearly a decade in ACTIVE litigation. The matter concluded June 27th, 2011.

2. Please refer to this example to purview the applied principles of the failures as they mirror my own case example as I’ve summarized in this submission:

3. The literary example “Procedural Fairness Essential” is a descriptive outline of exactly what happened in my circumstance; how my 3 children were locked into the Crown...not for any evidence of maltreatment or abuse, but exclusively on a procedural anomaly.

It became my mission to publicly educate about the severity & legal implications of Ontario's lawless child protection statutes which are somehow allowed to conflict with constitutional protections of individuals because it's parents fighting in a court of law & not an individual...parenting is not a protected right in Canada & that NEEDS to change so no more children become VICTIMS OF LAW, like mine did! Unlike the mother in this example who got her reprieve to find another lawyer & make a case, I didn't have that through various degrees of Windsor legal incompetence.

My children & myself were wholly violated of any protections afforded us to be able to remain a family unit. The corruption, abuses of power, manipulations of relationships by CAS who are accountable to no one has been rendered irrelevant as there’s no provincially based mechanism of accountability. The main grievance was the legal incompetence & injustices perpetrating the rights abuses for which the Ontario Court & Superior Courts of Justice failed to be able to provide any remedy; the sociological dynamic of poverty that’s used as grounds to substantiate permanency under the analogous CFSA.

Any onus of proof was removed several years ago via legislative amendments to the act & a change in terminology to “suspicion” or “allegation” of harm which adds to constructive rights protections being violated in that “status” is being used as grounds to substantiate child abuse and/or neglect. The ideology being employed by CAS using the courts as their medium is that a single female or any individual or family living in poverty cannot provide necessities of life thereby substantiating a determination of harm under the child protection rules & criteria.

Nowhere in the natural world can anyone be deemed guilty before proving innocence or to be retained in detention, such as children can be, without their being a presentation of evidence the person has committed a crime & full knowledge of what the charge is…Further complications & hardships arose for me by geographical location of Court services which precluded me from having reliable/consistent access to Court services or a bank of competent lawyers who will mount a proper defense.

There is/was a prevalent stigmatization with CAS & Windsor lawyers who would comprehensively refuse to partake of a case citing CAS matters as non-productive, the legal aid scale of pay too minimal for their efforts, leaving a person “empty handed” with children in foster care & no conceivable way of making a defense. Even with incredible resourcefulness against many odds of having your life fall apart, an extreme reduction in income, the emotional trauma of having your children placed in foster care where you’re prohibited the freedoms of random contact/access after having loving, nurturing relationships, the scales are tipped in favour of Crown Wardship through a variety of Ontario structures which support the Children’s Aid Society without question, including Judiciary who often refuse to hear a mother’s defense…this confused me when decisions were being made to “dismiss” before anyone uttered a word when there’s a constitutional protection to the “right to be heard” in a court of law; equal access to law.

I dispute there’s equal access, for anyone low income, against an unaccountable agency with legal defense funds (& in-house defense teams) backed by the power of state (through Crown powers of Federal delegation) who receive 1.4 billion dollars in funding for the administration of child protection duties, in comparison to a parent who’s on fixed income, limited access to legal services & who knows nothing of the complexities of Child Protection or any experiences within the court system/law because they’ve had no reason to be in conflict with the state or community they live in.

I volunteered the above “information” (numbered paragraphs) to an Ottawa lady who’s own case questions the constitutionality of Ontario’s child protection system, calling it “ultra vires” (A decision which is beyond the powers or authority of the person or organization which took it). My children were innocents; Kelsey, Julien & Kieran Barkovsky have been made technicalities of law, their entitlement to a natural upbringing stolen from them by an erroneous system which does not protect the individual right to life, liberty & security of person which extends to include “parenting” without arbitrary state interference through Ontario’s analogous & open-ended child protection statutes.

It discriminates & targets based on demographics of poverty & status; allows for future determinations (which sound like “ESP”). No one can predict future events; & a risk assessment model that affects future offspring. Bottom line, my children got no choice or say in the matter. Despite my actions or choices, it was a set-up; collusive conspiracy of favoritism. My in-laws adopted 2 children in the late 60's from the agency that ended up with management of my kids. Another in their "adoptive" family adopted 2 children from that same agency; so that's "4" adoptees total. I've often alleged that Windsor CAS had liability/image to protect. My former in-laws were "protected" (favoured) by CAS & therefore given extensive liberties to remain in the children's lives without a court order.

Something the Courts, later, wouldn't challenge (part of the pattern of status quo). But all the maternal relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) were all denied without question. It expanded over the years into a case of infinite corruption & collusion, STRONG bias. You're dealing with Mennonite culturalism (religious, cultural doctrine that I feel is nothing short of a "cult". Based on prophetic uttering’s of a man named Menno). I knew nothing of any of this when I met & married my husband.

I didn't discriminate that he was adopted. He appeared to be from a traditional family involved in their church (his parents were church deacons). My husband has psychiatric problems which weren't disclosed til later into the marriage (by him). He turned vile & ugly, became increasingly violent, irresponsible, & had a voracious sexual appetite that led him to become sexually predatory though he remains within the boundaries of the law (this patterned behavior persists to this day in his other relationships). He abandoned his wife & children, deserting us time & again.

I was being torn in the middle between his family who wanted no involvement with the domestic violence; feeling morbidly isolated & alone, combating a mentally ill parent (personality disorder) & my spouse, both who wanted to "dominate & control; take ownership of me & the children". I crumbled under the strain, went to my in-laws in a final desperate plea to “temporarily” take the children whilst I took a much needed reprieve from the chaos to collect my thoughts, energies & decide on a plan of action so my children could have an optimal life with me.

My in-laws chose to relinquish the children, in my temporary absence, to WECAS having declared they’d been abandoned. The father was already absent from the picture so all legal responsibility befell me. It was through Windsor lawyer negligence that I faced the court, after 1 year of working on court applications, compliancy with CAS, parenting plans, legal agreements in addition to being put out to the street (lost my home, furnishings, drivers license, car, employment & over 75% of my income support) to be left in the Crown Wardship hearing without a defense, no voice before the Court; unrepresented...there was no trial of the issues because of a chain reaction of incompetency’s & failures with Windsor legal systems, legal aid, that put me in a default position (I hadn’t knowingly defaulted; violation of constitutional protection to a “fair” hearing & legal representation) so I had no chance to present a case for my children...I, BEING the legal vehicle for them.

They were locked into permanent wardship through a procedural anomaly. I spent 9 + years in litigation, every opportunity to remedy the situation (2 appeals, multiple status review applications) but the infinite lack of accountability of CAS, the manipulations, psychological disruptions of the brokenness led to parental alienation at its finest.

My children DID NOT get a choice even when the law permitted for their express wishes to be considered, the damage was unalterable; they've been programmed to fear abduction (through aberrant means); the foster provider of my sons has been extorting my access for years. Hilda has repeatedly threatened my sons security but the onus was put on me that my wanting relationships with my children threatened to harm their sanctity & security within a stable environment (I was being vilified by CAS before the court & my sons).

My former in-laws are amiable with Julien & Kieran’s foster provider. It was a collusive conspiracy which included the in-laws who don’t want their intimate sphere with the children jeopardized by my attaining access after all these years as they'd be forced, once again, to have to have interaction with me (the mother) for the purposes of the children; very self-serving, deviant, cruel system to prohibit children from having their mom/maternal relationships though the law provides them a voice, CAS lawlessness & lack of accountability; any legal failures to provide equal access to legal resources all contribute to supporting the status quo.

I was ill-equipped to compete against an agency with immunity as acting Crown agents for child protection purposes, or my in-laws whose revered place within the Windsor Children’s aid’s memory left them above the law in that they didn’t need legal redress to be awarded liberal relationships with the children. Julien & Kieran’s statutory rights were violated, through Bruce CAS insolence, in commissioning contempt of court; refused blocked children’s lawyer from conducting interviews for the court record after all parties consenting to the ordering of children’s lawyer, for which the court waived judicial ability to hold them legally accountable citing, “whilst CAS methodology/practices may be undesirable, they are the only child protection agency we have in Ontario”.

My children were separated from each other under the excuse that placement of sibling units was nearly impossible; consume available placement resources. My daughter, Kelsey, MOURNED being torn away from her brother Julien, they were so intimately connected/bonded. She agonized, at the tender age of 7, over her brother’s fear & loss…the terror of going to strange environments.

Maternal family placements were never explored or considered. The situation RIFE with imbalances as ONLY the paternal adopted family was considered & they were very specific in having approached WECAS saying they COULD NOT & WOULD not care for the children. Biological maternal grandmother, Betty Craig, made feeble attempts at contacting Leamington WECAS offices & asking the director of services, Margaret Horrobin, to care for the children.

All attempts by any maternal family member during the year of society wardship to communicate with the children, offer “kinship” care, impart concerns/complaints about the children’s care arrangements as there were innumerable situations of abuse, torment, mishandling…was met with dismissal, run around & hostility. There were countless cancelled, interrupted visits; failure of supervisors to arrive in a timely manner (no make-up time, contesting imbalance in visitation times.

1 hour for me, 3.5 hours for the paternal family); my combating the system about the vulnerabilities of my children (abuse, torment, neglect by foster providers & affiliates; labeling, threats, intimidation, termination of visits by CAS); forced to remain in volunteer’s car, crying, hungry…trying to attend to the youngests diapering/toileting…threats of non-compliance for trying to attend to my children during visits when bureaucracy & CAS control impeded their care level; serious injury (potential for harm) at the hands of Penny Mifflin (in-home support worker, relief worker for Hilda Wales [foster parent to my sons Julien & Kieran]).

Penny caused Kieran (2.5 yrs. old) to fall & smash his head on concrete during a visit/trip to a petting zoo/greenhouse facility. Penny refused to drive us to hospital; I demanded leaving, attending to his injuries; applied ice temporarily-my infant son in extreme distress, screaming, the lump on his head expanding.

I called for taxi to take us to hospital during Penny’s vociferous disputes; Penny became increasingly agitated, controlling, hollering that she’d call police & have me arrested for trying to abduct the children if departed the visit with Kieran to attend Leamington Emergency Dept. Spectators observed the commotion (shaking their heads) as I defied Penny’s threats, Kieran’s injury taking precedence; Penny threatened termination of visits.

I called taxi, she phoned WECAS; WECAS conceded Penny as being ‘in the right’ to call police if I left the facility. I have pages & pages of accountings/affidavits of bruises, abrasions, goose eggs, respiratory illness from smokers & cats; the trauma & torment of mentally disturbed adopted children of the foster provider (Hilda Wales) verbally abusing my young sons (2-5 years old at the time).

Penny Mifflin manhandled & threatened my daughter during an access visit (fall 2001) after Kelsey became distressed & refused to leave. I phoned police. The stigma of CAS supervised visits left me powerless. Police wouldn’t do anything. I laid “private charges” afterwards. It never made it to a proper hearing as the Crown “threw out” the charges with “no probability” of conviction, based on CAS protections for the workers (again the stigma).

My sons had been interviewed by a police detective & CAS worker. The CAS workers say disparaging things about children; swearing affidavits that children aren’t credible (“nothing Julien says should be believed”. Accusing him of falsifying information based on being unable to sit still in his seat, at school, to comply with the interview.

HE WAS 6 YEARS OLD & AFRAID OF adults!!!), making my sons out to be disordered morons who can’t be believed; labeling them with ADHD & ODD disorders for which there’s no medical proof or basis in family history (CAS family case file), all substantiation (supported by psychologists who objectify CAS’s direction), inevitably having psychologists diagnose & medicate with mind/mood altering drugs (neural processing permanently compromised).

My children are forever altered; emotionally damaged, having been raised separate & apart when the natural course is that they are siblings & should have grown up together in ONE environment. My daughter is impeded & limited in her access to her brothers which has declined severely over the past few years on account of distance. Julien & Kieran were moved 5 hours away as “outside wards” (Sept./2003) when their providers re-located to another permanent home; supposedly to maintain “continuity of care” & stability.

This CAS/Child Protection “idealism” is at the expense of sibling relationships. The boys have grown distant from their sister. Kelsey’s been told by workers that the boys don’t love her like she loves them; Kelsey’s had emotional & rage problems; self-mutilation, drinking, smoking cigarettes & pot (beginning at age 12)…she’s undergone psyche evaluations & outpatient treatment. All stopped when access was granted (she began seeing me again at age 13) after a 5 year absence. Kelsey embarked on her own & called her grandma Betty (at age 11) to find mommy.

CAS & the children’s lawyer flipped OUT at her uncontrollable actions. Kelsey was deemed a “monster whom everyone is afraid of” in court affidavits. I wrote letters to MCYS about the damage of labeling…what kind of people tear down children, leaving them broken emotional/psychological wrecks; it’s all done to objectify permanent foster care as the child is perceived too disordered for the parent to manage should they be returned. Kelsey reversed, no longer pursuing self-abuse/mutilating behaviours.

I was deemed a very positive influence on her by workers but somehow none of this would gain me ground with being awarded access to my sons in court as NO ONE, not even counsel with Child Welfare expertise could overcome the dirty, underhanded manipulations & corruption of Hilda Wales in conjunction with Bruce CAS who programmed Julien & Kieran’s memories from WECAS case file notes to alienate the maternal family; this was disclosed to Judge Bondy by Children’s lawyer, Geri Wong, in Settlement Conference June/2011).

My daughter, Kelsey, placed under even more emotional constraint when the court broke down the court order (Nov. 2006) giving me access back to my daughter but not my sons…including “conditions” that Kelsey be placed under restrictions NOT to relay information to her brothers about their mom, & NOT to be giving mommy information about her SONS. That’s a HORRIFIC burden for a child.

My daughter would sometimes, with fear & trembling, feeling remorseful & guilty that she is seeing me whilst her brothers are denied; she would tell me, “Hilda rules with an iron fist”…how fearful Julien is of the foster provider; as he aged Julien tried to rebel (he’s a very sensitive & compassionate boy; healthy respect for nature, passive…slow to anger)…that Julien was reacting in “fits of anger”, smoking, smoking marijuana…Kelsey said, “Julien’s doing everything in his power to ‘piss’ Hilda off”.

There was evidence in 2004 of Julien’s emotional meltdowns at wanting me…coming to Leamington for paternal family visits, falling to pieces as they drove through town, he identified with where his grandma Betty lived (still lives there today)…the paternal family was ‘quick’ to hush him up & divert his attentions (the Mennonite way, walk off the injury, don’t cry; hide the tears). My daughter, Kelsey turned 18 years old Nov. 2nd/2011; she maybe see’s her brothers 3 times per year now, whereas it began once per week, then a couple times a month when the boys were local (in Leamington)…even til 3-4 years ago it was consistent monthly access; but Hilda Wales (FP) is aged (50+), the wear on their vehicle; I complained in the context of court applications re: access to my sons (my daughter’s matter not party to the boys access & pretty well concluded with the court in 2006) about the deterioration in access.

I approached WECAS to communicate with Bruce, repeatedly. I even suggested “ordering” access between the siblings. I was nearly laughed at by WECAS, told, “No such thing exists within our structure. There’s no rule to order access between wards”. Hilda is covetous & highly possessive of my sons. Judge Bondy infinitely explored this woman’s diction, control & unbelievable influence to direct my son’s care when the Court advised this is CAS’s duty, a foster parent only has entitlement to a say but not this amount of exclusivity; control over “wards”.

My daughter laments to this day that Hilda denies her phone calls to her brothers, interrupting or cutting them off after 3 minutes or refusing to let the boys speak with her. Kelsey can barely call to wish them a Happy Birthday, Christmas…; she was unable to attend her older brother’s Grade 8 graduation. WECAS has quoted to me that Hilda doesn’t like Kelsey…Jeime Esquavel (Kelsey’s former worker) said to me (I have detailed accountings of nearly every telephone communication, access visit & every communication [100’s of them] with my daughter, Kelsey, during phone calls/access visits) “Hilda doesn’t like Kelsey, if Kelsey proves herself to Hilda then there will be more contact. We’re working on Hilda to get her to cooperate”.

This is SICK! This is an ILL SYSTEM…too many supervisors, workers, paper trails, restrictions. There’s no humanity, individuality or flexibility. Realistically, my sons own sister is precluded from relationships with her brothers, not so much unlike me (but in a different context) because of the dominance & covetousness of this WOMAN who has NO POWER or authority over LIVES that BRUCE CAS doesn’t RELINQUISH to her!!! The integrity of these children’s relationships has been ERODED!

It is only through the strength of character & strong will of my daughter, Kelsey Barkovsky, that she is able to find the resilience to “tolerate” this shroud which oppresses her brothers. Kelsey has indicated Julien is terribly oppressed by Hilda. There are permanent emotional disorders within my children & reactive attachment issues with Kelsey on account of these experiences which will carry throughout adulthood.

Despite everything, Kelsey has minimally succeeded of her own volition. She fails to trust, she doesn’t trust love. Kelsey was shuffled through 13 foster placements in 10 years (she’s been with Jenn twice). Through special exception Kelsey was permitted to go back with Jenn, a single woman who’s caring for her “live in” senior mom (82+ years old).

Jenn has consistently supported & mentored Kelsey over the 11 years she & her brothers have been in the foster care system. I don’t know the magical recipe but Jenn is the only person Kelsey attached to & tries to please, calling her mom (Jenn was always “mom 1” & I’m “mom 2”). Kelsey graduated high school this year with honours (honour roll) & received the OYAP class award for baking. She began College September/2011; she’s doing upgrading then is hoping to transfer from St. Clair College (Windsor) to Niagara College to complete a 3 year Culinary Arts Diploma program & become a pastry chef.

She’s previously said she’d like to be employed on a cruise line so she can travel. Kelsey’s always been like a Wild Mustang; majestic to look at but spirited, a bit wild; with consistent nurturing will draw a little nearer, closing the gap til eventually you can reach out & touch her fleetingly.

In conclusion, I’d like to express that each person is an individual with variables in circumstance, yet in the conduction of child apprehension & children’s aid society involvement, there are a multiplicity of women, men, children, grandparents…extended families of all composition who relay similar experiences when dealing with any of Ontario’s 53 children’s aid societies; trying to file grievance or bring the abuses of power under some control that they are sent in circles by redundant agents established to give the appearance of some regulatory body (CFSRB, Office of the Child Advocate, Ministry of Children & Youth Services).

There is a condition & exemption to the applicability of any of them; most of them apply to provisions of care, service…they do NOT deal with the legal injustices, technicalities of law or socio-political dynamic of the systemic structure which limits a low income/disadvantaged person’s ability to effectively present a case, nor the rights violations which often occur. I would suggest that my own situation & the legal victimization of a family unit with no material evidentiary medium, purely a legal technicality, supports the presumption that these experiences are not exclusive…it is happening to THOUSANDS across the breadth of Ontario in the alleged name of “child protection”.

To remove a child from their natural environment without factual evidence of abuse or neglect can in itself be a greater “assault” on a child’s development (child abuse) than to provide non-punitive, non-judgmental Community supports & resources to remedy the obstacle which may be preventing that family constellation from providing a more optimal/stable environment.

I hereby make this my official submission to the “Youth Leaving Care Hearings” so that they will become more educated in the lawless victimization of Ontario Children under the “guise” of “Child Protection” in Ontario. My children were innocents, they committed no grievance or harm against the Province, nor did I; except to be an abused “spouse”…something for which such severe penalty of Crown Wardship without access was unjustified (this facet identified by Justice Rogin; 2002 Superior Court Appeal).

For: Kelsey, Julien & Kieran Barkovsky…my children who are my heart & the reason for everything I do in Child Protection Reform advocacy…my reason’s for “being”.

For: Betty J. Craig, DENIED biological maternal grandmother (hasn’t seen her grandchildren 2000-present)

For: Ruth Barber & Peter Robinson (biological maternal great-aunt & great-uncle) (haven’t seen their niece/nephews 2000-present)

For: Eilleen Robinson (deceased August/2009) (biological maternal great-grandmother to named children. Didn’t live long enough to be wholly viable in the children’s memories; impeded by foster care placements…destroyed years prior by ravages of Alzheimers) (only seen Kelsey twice & Julien once in her lifetime…she NEVER got to meet her great-grandson Kieran before she died).

For: William Craig (deceased July/1996) (biological maternal grandfather to the children. He didn’t live long enough to be viable in Kelsey & Julien’s memories; died before Kieran was born).

For: Muriel Craig (deceased August/2000) (biological maternal great-grandmother to the named children. She didn’t live long enough to be wholly viable in the children’s memories; impeded by foster care placements).


Ms. Yvonne E. Craig

(formerly Mrs. Yvonne Barkovsky)