Quotes to Inspire

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve either one"

— Thomas Jefferson

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

Legal system does not work for ordinary people says top Canadian Judge

(Feb 16, 2011) As Canada Court Watch has been pointing our for years, the Justice system in Canada has lost touch with the people of Canada can no longer serve the needs of the Canadian People. One of Canada's top judges agrees. Read the attached article which is also attached in pdf format.

+++++++++++++++Text of Article++++++++++++++
Feb. 13, 2011 - The Vancouver Sun

Canada’s top judge is warning that the legal system doesn’t work for ordinary people and courts are fast becoming the domain of the rich — or the indigent.

In a startlingly frank speech at a University of Toronto legal conference, Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin last week was especially critical of high legal fees — now averaging nearly $340 an hour.

“Do we have adequate access to justice?” Justice McLachlin asked.

“It seems to me that the answer is, no. We have wonderful justice for corporations and for the wealthy.

But the middle-class and the poor may not be able to access our justice system.”

Her speech was a near-perfect echo of one delivered in November by B.C.’s top jurist, provincial Court of Appeal Chief Justice Lance Finch, her former benchmate.

He, too, said the situation is unfair and that the profession must address “the elephant in the room.”

“Everyone knows it’s there, but no one wants to talk about it — I think it is time to open the conversation.

... No matter how much we may all wish to avoid the subject, high legal fees are an issue that must be addressed."

The chief justice agreed and gave the discussion even more urgency.

Like Justice Finch, Justice McLachlin in her critique focused on the monopoly lawyers enjoy with the implicit warning that if the profession doesn’t fix this problem, governments will — and the bar might not like their solution.

“If you’re the only one who can provide a fundamental social need from which you benefit, I think it follows that you have to provide it,” Justice McLachlin said.

“And I don’t think it’s enough to say we are providing it for the rich and the corporations. You have to find a way to provide it for everybody.”

Various Band-Aid measures are being tried, such as self-help Internet sites; judges and court administrators are becoming more accommodating to self-represented litigants; simplified rules and procedures are being adopted.

In an interview last year, Justice McLachlin drew the analogy between legal help and medical care — sometimes you can go to the drugstore and get a pill; but a lot of times, you need an expert who can diagnose the ailment, determine the proper treatment and present you with options.

No matter how many how-to websites are created or free-advice lines are staffed, people still need lawyers.

And, at the moment, any protracted court battle can generate legal costs that will crush middle-class wage earners.

Denied reasonable access to the courts, Joe and Joan Six-Pack are increasingly being invited to solve their own problems through self-help or vigilantism.

“We can draft the best rules in the world and we can render the best decisions, but if people can’t have access to our body of law to resolve their own legal difficulties, it is for naught,” Justice McLachlin said.

And this is not only our problem — it’s a concern in Britain, America and other jurisdictions that have seen a more and more complicated body of modern law develop and legal fees rise accordingly while governments reduced legal aid programs to funding only those facing serious criminal charges or the indigent.

Here’s the rub, however: most of the legal troubles faced by the middle-class are family or financial in origin.

Most can usually be resolved quickly and easily if addressed promptly, but can quickly spiral out of control if allowed to fester without being addressed properly.

No matter what your metaphor — the elephant in the room or the writing on the wall — the situation is alarming.

As Justice McLachlin said: “How can there be public confidence in a system of justice that shuts people out; that does not give them access? That’s a very dangerous road to follow.”

imulgrew@vancouversun.com
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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2011Feb13-Legal_System_Does_Not_Work_For_Ordinary_People.pdf150.71 KB

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