Friday, August 14, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...The MCFD Double Down.


With their own 'investigation' in place (which has, essentially, shut down Child and Youth Advocate Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond's ability to do anything), the Clarklandians are doubling-down and going back to court.

And according to Ian Mulgrew, who has, by far, done the best job of covering this story in the VSun, they're going after the Mom.

Here is his lede (but go read the entire piece):

The B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development has all but declared war on the mom at the centre of scathing court rulings hammering social workers.

The provincial government wants to prevent a cost award in the scandalous six-year-old case until it has a chance to impugn the judge’s fact-finding and reasoning.

While Minister Stephanie Cadieux maintains the family isn’t the focus of her damage control, the mom was told in a letter sent Wednesday that pretty well everything Justice Paul Walker said in his blistering decisions will be disputed.

“I expect there will be grounds of appeal that put in issue the factual and legal foundation of Justice Walker’s liability findings, including bad faith, breach of fiduciary duty, special costs, etc.,” wrote government lawyer Karen Horsman in correspondence provided to The Sun...

Here's the real question...

No matter the specific details, or even the shades of grey (which, based on what we know so far, do not seem to even exist), how can a government, a government acting in our name, be so heartless?

The details of how Mr. Plecas' appointment has been used to neutralize Ms. Turpel-Lafond, the INDEPENDENT children's advocate, are also in Mr. Mulgrew's piece....Man, I hope Mulgrew talks to Ted Hughes about this.



Anonymous said...

I read somewhere (was it here?) that Mr Plecas's daughter works in the Premier's office (who had been working in another ministry but was moved to CC's office right after Mr Plecas's was put in charge of review), and the fact it wasn't even mentioned in the Sun article speaks volumes on the ethics of the media in this province, and the journalist involved. How can anyone writing about this case and not mention that Mr Plecas's daughter works in the Premier's office? Mr Mulgrew? Anything to say about you glaring omission?

RossK said...


You are correct.

And it was noted here recently, based on information in a recent unbylined report in the VTC.

However, it was NVG, over at Merv Adey's place who first raised the issue. Interestingly, Merv also walked things back a little and noted, based on the sidebar to a 2013 Bob Mackin piece in the Tyee, that Ms. Plecas, while working in the the Community Services Ministry, did a little Email collecting during the Quick Wins 'investigation' run by the good Mr. Dyble of the Premier's office...Of course, that investigation was carried out in early 2013 but the documents it collected were not released until 60 days later (i.e. two weeks AFTER the May 2013 election)...Imagine that, eh?


Unlike, say, the VSun's star columnist, I do not fault Mr. Mulgrew in any way for his work on this case. It has been he, and he alone, who has ignored the evils of insider accessism and instead has attacked the government spin machine head on based on what it has done.


Anonymous said...

With "families first ",BC liberal slogan, who needs enemies?

G West said...

This is very funny stuff Ross - I'll try to make some sense of it and get back to you. On the face of it Horsman seems to be indicating that the client ministry (ie the Crown) is waiving solicitor client privilege. The 'I expect' phrase in her letter seems very strange and unusual as well but I'd like to see the whole letter.
There also appears to be something odd about Plecas's reference to the 'court of Appeal and the Province' since the 'appeal' hasn't been heard yet and the 'three year old decision' on the 'facts' is old news. What isn't old news is the implication from the more recent 'liability' hearing which awarded damages and may (which I suspect is what all the fuss is about) be in danger of establishing a precedent that has costly implications for the ministry in all kinds of other liability issues and cases.... Plecas suggestion that he can limit the powers of Turpel-Lafond seems absurd - particularly given the fact he's not (having been appointed as a 'director' of the ministry) exactly independent while she is (come hell or high water) an independent officer of the legislature.

RossK said...



Looking forward to reading your more detailed analysis.

As for all that independent/not-independent stuff...That's why I'd like to hear from Mr. Hughes who has already demonstrated that he is an honest broker (to say the least) on this matter, particularly as it pertains to this specific ministry.