Quotes to Inspire

"Few will have the greatness to bend history; however, each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

— Robert F. Kennedy

We Won't Back Down

See what children and their families are doing to fight back against the Children's Aid Society (CAS) and the family courts (Video)

The unlawful detention of children at schools by school officials and CAS workers

This document is a must read for parents and school officials regarding the unlawful detention and interrogation of children by CAS workers in Ontario Schools

Questions & Answers for school officials regarding CAS at children's schools

This must read document for teachers and school officials answers many of the questions that school officials have about CAS in their schools

Questions & Answers for Police regarding involvement with CAS workers

This must read document for police officers answers many of the questions that law enforcement officials have about dealing with CAS workers. (Coming soon)

The Unlawful Practice of Social Work by CAS workers in Ontario

This document written by child and family justice advocate Vernon Beck outlines how most Childrens Aid Society workers in Ontario are breaking the law

Understanding the Children's Aid Society - A historical analysis

This document written by Michael Reid reviews the development of CAS in Ontario since the 1800's and its troubling past

How to launch a lawsuit against teachers or the School Board

This document will outline the steps for parents to launch a civil lawsuit against teachers or the local school board for allowing CAS workers to question their children at school without informed consent (coming soon)

A Child's Guide to Ontario's Office of the Children's Lawyer

This document will answer questions about the children's lawyer and show kids how to stand up against incompetent lawyers(coming soon)

What you Can Do to Help

A new section with initiatives for readers showing them how to get involved will be added soon. Please stay tuned.

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The Unlawful Practice of Social Work in Ontario by CAS workers (Jan 2016) - Download the latest copy

Judges can order lawyers to work for free Supreme Court of Canada rules

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a court can order that a lawyer must continue to represent a client even if the lawyer is not to get paid.

While this recent ruling by the Supreme Court may appear at first glance to be laudable gesture in order to uphold the principle that no Canadian is to be without legal services, in reality the ruling is is nothing but a smoke screen to cover up what is becoming increasingly evident - that the courts and the legal system in Canada is growing more and more out of touch with the Canadian people. Canadians are not so dumb to believe for one minute that forcing lawyers to work for free is good for the administration of Justice in Canada.

Under such circumstances it is highly unlikely that any person in Canada using the services of a lawyer who was forced to represent them would get any kind of meaningful defense. Likely, a person with a court ordered "free" lawyer would end up losing their case or in most cases, put under great pressure to accept a plea bargain, even when they are innocent.

Rather than forcing lawyers to work for free under a court order (a solution which likely would not work), all citizens of Canada must have the right to have any competent person of their choosing represent them in court, even if that person is not a lawyer. The law in Ontario which was imposed on the people of Ontario in 2007 which stated that only a lawyer or member of the Law Society can represent them, must be repealed. In many cases, there are advocates in the private sector who can easily outperform many of the lawyers.

+++++++++ Toronto Star March 26, 2010 +++++++

By: Tracey Tyler Legal Affairs Reporter

Judges can force criminal lawyers to continue to represent a client who is unwilling or unable to pay for their services or has a legal aid certificate revoked – but the power should be used “exceedingly sparingly,” the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

While an accused person could be prejudiced if abandoned by counsel, refusing a lawyer’s request to withdraw from a case and ordering them to work for free is a decision that should not be made lightly, the court said.

“In general, access to justice should not fall solely on the shoulders of the criminal defence bar, and in particular, legal aid lawyers,” said Justice Marshall Rothstein, who wrote the decision on behalf of a unanimous nine-member court.

The case was closely watched by lawyers, law societies and provincial governments across the country and comes at a time when more Canadians could find themselves in the predicament of not qualifying for legal aid and being unable to pay for a lawyer privately.

The ruling also resolves two conflicting lines of decisions from courts across the country.

Courts in British Columbia and the Yukon had determined judges have no authority to prevent defence counsel from withdrawing from a case for non-payment of fees. Courts in most other provinces, however, including Ontario, had taken the opposite view.

Scott Hutchison, who represented the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, an intervener in the case, said the decision moves the rule to a more balanced position from the perspective of defence lawyers in Ontario, “the people in the system who are least rewarded and most abused” economically.

“In Ontario, the onus was much more on counsel to justify getting off the record.” Hutchison said Friday.

The case originated in the Yukon, where Jennie Cunningham, a lawyer working for the Yukon Legal Services Society, was representing a man charged with sexual offences against a young child.

Approximately seven weeks before a preliminary hearing was to begin, legal aid informed Cunningham’s client he had to update his financial information and failing to so would result in suspension of his legal aid funding, which is exactly what happened.

Cunningham and several interveners argued that oversight of a lawyer’s decision to withdraw from a case should be the exclusive purview of law societies, which govern the conduct of lawyers and their discipline.

But Rothstein said the purpose of having a court determine whether a lawyer can withdraw from a case has nothing to do with discipline but with protecting the administration of justice and trial fairness.

To guide judges, the court set out eight factors they should consider when confronted with a lawyer’s request to get off a case.

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