A Brightly Colored Office

A Brightly Colored Office
Posted on February 15, 2018 | Derek Flegg | Written on February 15, 2018
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The term color of law denotes the "mere semblance of legal right", the "pretense or appearance of" right; hence, an action done under color of law colors (adjusts) the law to the circumstance (best interest of the child), yet said apparently legal action contravenes the law. Under color of authority is a legal phrase used in the US indicating that a person is claiming or implying the acts he or she is committing are related to and legitimized by his or her role as an agent of governmental power, especially if the acts are unlawful.

"Color of office" refers to an act usually committed by a public official under the appearance of authority but exceeds such authority. An affirmative act or omission, committed under color of office, is sometimes required to prove malfeasance in office.

"Report shines light on poverty’s role on kids in CAS system."

A new report cites poverty as a key factor in families who come into contact with the child protection system

The effect of provincial policies on struggling families was especially apparent in the late 1990s, when the Conservative government slashed welfare payments and social service funding while at the same time, it introduced in child protection the notion of maltreatment by “omission,” including not having enough food in the home and this after giving the society what amounted to an unlimited funding scheme. The number of children taken into care spiked as did their funding. 

“The ministry has been pretty clear with us that advocacy is not part of our mandate,” Goodman said speaking for the society. “It’s not like they’re asking for the (poverty) data. They’re not.” Goodman then when on to suggest the silence suited the government more than the silence suited the society's funding goals.

The reason children’s aid is in their lives is because “these families struggle to put food on the table, they struggle to keep a roof over their heads and because of these vulnerabilities they’re under a lot of stress knowing the society is watching and waiting for parents to slip up just once - AS THE SOCIETY TARGETS FAMILIES SUFFERING FROM MENTALLY DEBILITATING FINANCIAL STRESS CAUSED BY OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT POLICIES, THE SAME POLICIES THAT GAVE THE SOCIETY OVER 1.5 BILLION IN FUNDING LAST YEAR and that affects their parenting,” added Goodman, a professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of social work and a senior official with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. (not 100% Goodman)


Daycare operator sued for calling the CAS when she didn't have reasonable grounds for suspicion..

Was Tammy successfully sued because of her unreasonable suspicion or because she thought she could use Google to self validate her unfounded suspicions or because the CAS chose to act on Tammy's baseless suspicions..? 


"An internal memo asks case workers not close cases in March and intake workers to open 1000 more."

Though the CAS claimed the purpose of the of the 2013 memo wasn't to inflate numbers, between 2011 and 2013 the 46 (at the time) separate societies investigated a combined total of 42 000 families or about 14 000 investigations per year, in 2014 - after the Peel Memo Leak - and launching a new government funded advertising campaign and reopening 20 000 previously closed files the societies investigated a combined total of over 82 000 families to meet their funding goals in that one year as reported by the Toronto Star. What did the liberals do about it? The liberals paid for the CAS to create an advertising campaign that resulted in a massive explosion of reports and a huge backlog as members of the public started reporting just any suspicion at all which the society was all to happy internally label reasonable enough to investigate no checks, balances or judge required.


According to the Auditor General the society charges between 8 and 12 thousand dollars per investigation. 

No doubt something between $656 000 000 and $984 000 000 just providing investigative services for the government must have went a long way towards meeting the society's funding goals considering the society's child protection social workers don't have any ministry approved training or qualifications to conduct lawful investigations in Ontario and generally not qualified to conduct child welfare work.

Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS said there was more context going into the decision making process than met the eye.. 


"No one should be surprised that agencies like CAS are so willing to violate their mandate to ensure they meet their funding goals" said Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, Chair of the CUPE Ontario Social Services sector. (In other words, it won't be good news for underprivileged Canadians in Ontario.) 

Conservative children’s services critic Jane McKenna said the memo’s optics were “terrible” and “reflect poorly on not just the CAS but also Wynne and the Liberal government, which bears ultimate responsibility for child welfare in Ontario.” She then went on to say, “These are desperate people doing desperate things to meet their funding goals.”


Dealing with the children's aid society. What the CAS want honest Canadians to believe.

Recorded on February 28, 2013 - This webinar in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) series is the second of two discussions about the Children's Aid Society. This webinar looks at the child protection process from the point of view of parents who are dealing with the CAS. In this discussion, lawyer Seema Jain, of Jain Family Law and Mediation, discusses what parents should know before, during and after a child protection hearing, in conversation with METRAC’s Legal Director, Tamar Witelson.


CAS actions are shrouded in secrecy, and media investigations are chilled by CAS lawyers, who claim to be protecting the privacy rights of all involved. 

With no checks and balances or judges required to initiated proceedings, caseworkers have “as much power as God,” in the words of one former social worker. And they use it according to their diverse subjective impulses.

Powerful As God on IMDB.

The Children's Aid Societies of Ontario is a documentary that delves into society's most controversial and secretive topics. The film navigates 'truth' by engaging twenty-six witnesses with diverse experiences into conversation. By facilitating a voice for individuals whose lives have been tragically affected, with observations and recommendations by experts who have worked directly with the agency (such as doctors, social workers and lawyers), the film reveals a child welfare system plagued by systemic and bureaucratic abuse that urgently requires public attention. Financed by tax dollars and wielding extraordinary power, the Children's Aid Society is deconstructed to reveal a broken system where employees have been heard to describe their influence over children and families to be as powerful as god.


Things to expect if a child protection social worker shows up at your door.

The worker will not be registered with the Ontario College of Social Work or have had any ministry approved training to conduct a lawful investigation in Ontario.

For about the last 18 years the children's aid society hasn't required workers be registered with their regulating College and has lowered the education qualifications of a child protection social worker to anyone with a general diploma in pretty much anything. Those people who were never qualified to do child welfare work are now protected members of CUPE.  

1) “Do you know why I'm here?”

The worker will ask this, not because they want to have a friendly chat or help you, they are hoping you will “voluntarily” say something that will allow them to keep your file open.

They are not there to serve you or help you; the worker is there fishing for an excuse to coerce you into signing a service agreement or get a supervision order. In asking you the familiar question, they are essentially asking you what form of abuse or neglect your inflicting on your child and they will do this without giving you any legal warning because they are not required by law to do so.

2) “Do you have something to hide?”

(social workers and police officers will both try this)

Children's aid workers often talk as if you need a good reason for not answering whatever questions they ask, or for not consenting to a warrantless search of your home. The ridiculous implication is that if you haven’t committed some form of abuse or neglect against your child, you should be happy to be subjected to random interrogations and searches. This turns the concept of due process on its head, as the social worker puts the burden on you to prove your innocence, while implying that your failure to “cooperate” with random harassment must be evidence of guilt.

3) “Cooperating will make things easier on you.”

(social workers and your very own legal aid lawyers will both try this one to get you sign consents and service agreement)

The logical converse of this statement implies that refusing to answer questions and refusing to consent to a search will make things more difficult for you. In other words, you will be punished if you exercise your rights. Of course, if they coerce you into giving them a reason to keep a file open or apprehend your children, they will claim that you “voluntarily” answered questions and “consented” to a search, and will pretend there was no veiled threat of what they might do to you if you did not willingly “cooperate.”

In my family's experience the director of service for FCSLLG claimed the not so veiled threats were nothing more than attempt to be transparent that my wife and I failed to interpret correctly, well on video it certainly was transparent.

4) “We’ll just get a court order.”

Children's aid social workers may try to persuade you to “consent” to a search by claiming that they could easily just go get a court order if you don’t consent. This is just another ploy to intimidate people into surrendering their rights, with the implication again being that whoever inconveniences the children's aid society by requiring them to go through the process of getting a court order will receive worse treatment than one who “cooperates.” But by definition, one who is threatened or intimidated into “consenting” has not truly consented to anything and is one very good reason to record and document for legal purposes everything they say and do.

5) "I'd like to talk to you in person."

This is an excuse to randomly harass and "observe" (avoiding leaving a paper trail) your family and your home for documentation without an valid reason and should you rather communicate by with the social worker by telephone or E-mail see #2 and #3 on the list above.

6) "Would you mind signing a consent form?"

The worker will tell you signing the consent form to speak with children's doctor, teachers and anyone else involved with your children will make it easier and faster for them to close your file but what it really does is allow them to expand the investigation without having to showing a judge their reasonable grounds and to go on a fishing trip. The worker is hoping doctor, teachers and anyone else involved with your children will say something that will allow them to keep your file open.

If the worker has reasonable grounds to expand the investigation, the worker will show them to a judge without any need to harass the parents into consenting to it. 

Inquisition - An official investigation, especially one of a political, religious nature or other special interest groups, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel judgements.

Ontario's anti-SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) law came into force in 2015. The law is intended to discourage lawsuits aimed at the right of citizens to express themselves freely on matters of public interest without facing the threat of proceedings intended primarily to silence them.Nov 8, 2016.


Broadly speaking, documenting the facts is not a crime... Canadians can legally record their own conversations with other people, but not other people's' conversations that they are not involved in.

183.1 Where a private communication is originated by more than one person or is intended by the originator thereof to be received by more than one person, a consent to the interception thereof by any one of those persons is sufficient consent for the purposes of any provision of this Part. [1993, c.40, s.2.]

The Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 [Criminal Code] imposes a general prohibition on interception (recording) of private communications, but then provides an exception where one of the parties to the private communication consents to the interception of that communication. Thus, broadly speaking, Canadians can legally record their own conversations with other people, but not other people's' conversations that they are not involved in.

Other legislation in Canada protects various privacy rights, but does not prevent Canadians from recording their own conversations with others.

"If you leave your kids alone, it’s not predatory strangers who are a risk."

A California study found it’s moralizing do-gooders who are most likely to make mischief.

Take what happened to Julie Koehler: she left her three daughters, ages 8, 5 and 4, watching a video in the minivan while she went into an Evanston, Illinois, Starbucks for three minutes. When she saw a police officer talking to the girls through the open windows, she thought nothing of it, until he returned and her 8-year-old started crying. She rushed out of the store, and the situation deteriorated from there.

Koehler is a public defender in the homicide division. She knew she hadn’t broken any laws and she had two lawyers, her husband and mother, to call to the scene.

She wasn’t arrested, but the state nonetheless initiated a child-abuse investigation.

Officials interrogated the kids, required a pediatrician’s exam, demanded that Koehler supply two references, and questioned them and her about her mental health, including whether she was on any medications.

“What if I was taking an antidepressant? Would that have affected the outcome of the case?” she asks.



About The Author