Frank Sampson was at CBC Studio on Alexander Street in Sydney on Thursday, May 27 talking to radio broadcaster Ian MacNeil. Earl Gallant, an electronic technician with the CBC for 30 years and grandfather of Emma, asked him why he had falsified documents saying he (Earl) was a drunk and took his granddaughter away. Ian MacNeil told Earl not to be bothering his guest and an hour later, Earl received a fax from Moncton telling him his superiors would be in the office June 9 to talk to him about this occurance. CBC knows the truth about this case but it has done nothing. It is time CBC and other media stopped acting as press agents for CAS and did some investigative reporting!
Is Sampson still whining about her parents and inJusticebusters "releasing" Emma's name? Is he miffed because the McCarthys have obtained disclosure which proved that he conspired with Anne Marie MacInnes and others to steal Emma Gallant McCarthy?
Return Emma to Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy, Sampson. You are a liar and a bully!
The Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton is threatening to sue a Sydney, N.S., family, and even press criminal charges, after the husband and wife distributed pamphlets accusing the agency of abducting their daughter.
The society's lawyer sent the couple a letter on New Year's Eve, warning of legal action if the family continues distributing pamphlets in the city and posting them on the Internet.
George Khattar, a Sydney lawyer, says that what the family is alleging about the CAS is not only slanderous, it's also endangering the lives of child welfare workers. "Our people are concerned that they're becoming public targets," says Mr. Khattar.
"The picture of one of the executive directors was posted on the pamphlets and on the Internet, along with accusations that said he lied and abused the process, and stole the child."
But Lisa and Bernard McCarthy say they will continue their public campaign against the CAS."We hit a nerve," says Mrs. McCarthy. "Hundreds more pamphlets will be going out soon."
The couple are in the midst of a two-year feud with the agency. It began in 1996 when the agency removed Mrs. McCarthy's daughter, now four years old, from her care. The couple has spent the past year fighting for custody of the little girl in Nova Scotia courts. On Christmas Eve, they were called and told that the girl had been adopted by another family, says Mrs. McCarthy.
On Dec. 28, the McCarthys took to the streets of Sydney, armed with 250 homemade pamphlets titled "Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton Abducts Child."
They stuck the pamphlets on car windshields and handed them out to shoppers in search of bargains at Sydney's Mayflower Mall.
They also passed pamphlets out to employees at the Sydney courthouse and the city's government office buildings.
They posted their allegations on a handful of Internet pages, including injusticebusters.com, a Web site privately run by a woman in Saskatchewan, that publicizes problems individuals have encountered in dealing with governments.
Mrs. McCarthy says the CAS first began monitoring her several years ago, partly because of her problems with alcohol. CAS officials refuse to discuss her case publicly.
As Mrs. McCarthy tells it, the agency has overzealously pursued her family for years. Mrs. McCarthy had legal custody of her daughter when she and her husband, a U.S. citizen, lived in Florida in 1996.
Mrs. McCarthy alleges that Canadian officials took the girl that year, claiming the toddler had been abused by Mr. McCarthy. The McCarthys allege that the CAS later admitted the child had never been abused by her parents. The child was flown back to Sydney and placed in foster care.
Since that time the McCarthys have returned to Cape Breton, where today they have custody of their second, younger child.
"We went through two court hearings in the past year fighting this," says Mrs. McCarthy.
"We've filed complaints with the RCMP, with Cape Breton police. We've written complaints to Nova Scotia Community Services in Halifax."
The McCarthys are also trying to sue the CAS, for the wrongful removal of their daughter.
"We love our daughter very much, and we're good parents," Mrs. McCarthy says. "The only thing we can do now is to let the public know what's going on."
Mr. Khattar says he isn't sure how easily he can fight what the public reads on the Internet. But he's sure a local court would stop the distribution of pamphlets in Sydney.
And if he can convince the police that those pamphlets pose a danger to CAS employees, then "we will be looking at whether what these people have done is criminal."
A protracted and bitter legal dispute between the Cape Breton Children's Aid Society (CAS) and a North Sydney couple could make legal history in Nova Scotia.
Lisa and Bernard McCarthy are claiming the CAS illegally removed their child from their care and placed the child for adoption which became final Christmas Eve.
The couple is linked to a web site outlining their allegations against the agency and over the Christmas holidays blitzed local malls and other locations with pamphlets accusing the agency of abducting their child and a number of other wrongdoings.
CAS executive director Frank Sampson said the agency is not impressed with the actions of the McCarthys and plan on having them charged under the provincial Children's and Family Services Act.
"We have never done anything like this before. In fact, I don't think that it's been done within the child welfare system," said Sampson. "The integrity of the child welfare system is really being attacked at this point. It undermines what I believe to be the growing confidence in the community in what the agency is prepared to provide - protecting the interests of children and their welfare."
CAS lawyer George Khattar, who was not available for comment Wednesday, is working on the case against the McCarthy's and served notice to the family of pending legal action News Year's Eve seven days after the McCarthy child was adopted.
The McCarthys aren't intimidated by the agency's move.
Lisa McCarthy said she is pleased CAS is attempting to have charges filed against the couple.
"We want the agency to come after us because what we're saying is true and we can prove every bit of it."
McCarthy said the family never had the opportunity to state their side or have a fair trial or hearing.
"We want them to take us to court so we can get our evidence out. There is so much to this case."
CAS wants the couple charged for violating Section 94 of the act which prohibits identifying children involved in Family Court disputes.
Meanwhile, both sides are already involved in a court battle.
The McCarthy's filed a civil suit in January, 1998, claiming a whopping $5 million in damages.
The suit alleges the agency was negligent, malicious, abused its position and process in dealing wiht the couple.
Also, the McCarthy's claim CAS presented false and malicious information in Family Court leading to the child being placed in permanent care of the agency.
Further, the couple alleges CAS supplied false information to the courts and other agencies concerning alleged abuse.
Sampson said a routine internal review was made concerning the allegations but concluded there was no evidence to support such claims.
The case is continuing to wind its way through the courts.
The two-year-old child was taken from the family in October, 1996 while the family was living in Florida. The couple returned to Cape Breton soon after. The father has not seen the child since the apprehension and the mother last saw her offspring in May 1998. The couple has three other children who remain in their care including a son born April 10, 1998.
A North Sydney couple has dropped a $5 million lawsuit launched against the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton in a move they say should free society officials to talk publicly about their case.
But Frank Sampson, executive director of the society, said while he welcome's news of the suit being abandoned, his officials are still not at liberty to discuss details of the case. Also, he said, the society is continuing with its bid to have the couple charged for violating the privacy of their own daughter.
Lisa McCarthy said Friday she hopes the society does press ahead with having her and husband, Bernard, charged because it will shed public light on the society's misdeeds.
Sampson said the society will likely remain tight-lipped about the case because they still have an ethical responsibility to not release any information concerning the case.
As for the society's legal moves, he said, they have been in contact with both the RCMP and Cape Breton Regional Police concerning possible criminal charges for breaching the Family and Children's Services Act.
The society is angered at information circulated by the McCarthys in the Sydney area over the Christmas holidays. The couple blitzed local mall parking lots, papering vehicles with pamphlets outlining their claim of an illegal apprehension by the society.
In addition they have created a website which also outlines their grievances -- www.injusticebusters.com
"All we want are some answers," said McCarthy.
The couple's lawsuit, filed in January, 1998, alleged the agency was negligent, malicious, abused its position and process in dealing with the family.
Also, the McCarthy's claim CAS presented false and malicious information in Family Court leading to the child being placed in permanent care of the agency.
The two-year-old child was apprehended from the family in October, 1996, while the family was living in Florida and the family returned to Cape Breton soon after. The couple have three other children who remain in their care including a son born April 10, 1998.
A North Sydney couple battling with Cape Breton Children's Aid Society (CAS) since 1996 are hoping their case will be open to the public after authorising information be released about their family.
Lisa and Bernard McCarthy dropped off signed authorization forms to the Cape Breton Post stating they give full authorization for the Department of Community Services and the CAS to release any and all information concerning the family.
They are claiming the CAS illegally removed one of their children from their care. The child was subsequently adopted Christmas Eve.
The couple is linked to a web site outlining their allegations against the agency and during the Christmas holidays blitzed local malls and other locations with pamphlets accusing the agency of abducting their child and a number of other wrongdoings.
The CAS could not be reached for comment.
Lisa and Bernard McCarthy filed their appeal against Emma's adoption today and withdrew their civil action against the CAS.
As reported in the National Post and the Cape Breton Post last week, the Cape Breton CAS would not discuss the case giving the civil action as the reason. In Emma's best interest, her parents have now removed this obstacle in the hope that the media can now get the story.
The grounds for the appeal are:
1. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson held the Appellants to the same standards as he would a qualified legal practitioner in understanding what applications to put before the courts and how to do those applications;
2. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson accepted by consent of the Defendant that there was no dispute in the time frames in making the application to terminate and in his decision disallowed the Appellants based on the noncompliance to the time frames;
3. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson conducted two hearings on the matter of termination of permanent care and access, one on September 3, 1998 and another on October 1, 1998 and no objection was made in regard to the time frames not being adhered to and both applications were allowed to go forward;
4. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson was aware of the filing date of the application for access and termination of permanent care dated July 29, 1998 then was made aware that the child was placed for adoption against the existing legislation [CSFA] sec. 76(3) on November 3, 1998 two days before the hearing;
5. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson was provided evidence as to the correct interpretation of section 76(3) of the CSFA by counsel for the Appellants given by Mr. Rollie Thompson one of the proponents of the drafting of the Act and chose not to accept that interpretation;
6. The learned Judge erred in law in that Chief Judge Robert Ferguson failed to recognize the most crucial section of the CSFA that works hand in hand with the rest of the Act and complements the Act, being all decisions made in relation to a child is done adhering to both the preamble and section 2 of the CSFA;
5. And such other grounds as may appear in the course of the hearings.
After the shock of hearing a 7 year old boy spent last Monday in a car outside a Mississauga Ont. mall the skeptics among us were left with the foregone conclusion that his current safety is only temporary. We shook our heads and resigned ourselves to the inevitability he'll eventually be returned to his 31 year old mother. The same woman who after being arrested for shoplifting neglected to tell police or her legal aid lawyer she left the child in the car Miraculously he didn't freeze to death in -13 degrees temp. The boy and three siblings who were later found at home were placed in the custody of Children's Aid Society. Our disdain for the CAS comes from all too frequent news reports of it's tendency to reunite negligent and utterly unworthy parents with their children. I don't believe the Ont. woman deserves a second chance. This incident doesn't qualify as a mistake. It demonstrates her incredibly flawed and irreparable character.
How bad does a parent have to be before his or her rights are permanently revoked? Unfortunately we've already discovered the answer lies in the death of two severely neglected New Brunswick children -- The two year old girl who died of dehydration in 1996 and the 3 year old boy who was starved to death in 1994.
The sickening facts of these cases are still relatively fresh in my mind. So my disgust turned to curiousity Wednesday when a different brand of CAS criticism emerged. Lisa and Bernard McCarthy of North Sydney recently distributed disturbing pamphlets alleging the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton abducted their daughter while they were living in Florida. The couple claim they fought a two year legal battle but lost their daughter to adoption on Christmas eve.
They have also taken their plight to the internet. A website called injusticebusters.com contains the couples' grandiose accusations against officials of tampering with court files, tapes, documentation and transcripts as well as committing perjury and apparently international child abduction is a booming business in our welfare system.
Can you say conspiracy theory?
Most of us would naturally wonder why the McCarthys lost their daughter in the first place. Children's Aid can't discuss the case but a CAS lawyer said the allegations are slanderous and could bring criminal charges. For now however the CAS is only planning to charge the McCarthy's with identifying a child involved in a family court dispute.
Since cases often show the CAS tends to err on the side of the side of parental right, occasionally to the demise of the child, I have to question how bad a home environment would be for staff to tackle international laws, remove a 2 year old from a foreign country bring her back to Nova Scotia and put her up for adoption.
Lisa McCarthy told the National Post the family's involvement with CAS began several years ago, partly because of her problems with alcohol. The CAS later claim that the girl had been abused by the father, McCarthy said.
But according to the website, which McCarthy told me is accurate, she was the source of the original complaint. The allegations of sexual abuse she made against her husband have since been redirected -- the couple claim abuse occurred after the child was placed in fostercare.
But what earned their case national headlines is the fact a government department plans to fight back against criticism.
I'll leave others to pontificate the implications for free speech. I just wanted to take a closer look at the couple's claims before the McCarthys are canonized as victims of the system.
There it is. . .
In this story a mother who turned viciously on her husband received a very different treatment from Lisa and Bernard McCarthy. The parts of the mandate about protecting children and keeping families together? A cruel joke on children and families.
We want to point out that as horrible and extreme as the Emma McCarthy case is, it is not isolated case. What distinguishes this case from many other stories is the McCarthys tenacity in fighting a huge bureaucracy.