The media has begun to take up this touching story. CBC Canada Now stated that Social Services kept the children apart "for their own good." The StarPhoenix ran a story without using the names of anyone involved in the original 1991 "Scandal of the Century", even though Kathy, Michelle, Michael and Richard Klassen have given full permission for their names to be used. It is absurdly paternalistic that the Rosses, who have all attained the age of consent and are considered adults before the law should have their names withheld when they clearly want to go public.
The "for their own good" angle is troubling. Certainly Saskatchewan Social Services would seem to have been acting in the best interests of the children when they removed them from their birth parents in 1987. But from the moment that they became aware of the incestuous activity among them, they should have moved swiftly and compassionately to stop it. The girls were five and Michael was seven. At that time they kept them together because they didn't want to break up the family. That makes sense.
When Dale and Anita insisted that Michael be removed, Social Services did the right thing by removing him, although the manner in which they did it remains suspicious. The Thompsons were not qualified to deal with any child with the severity of problems which Michael had. It is very clear to us that when they moved Michelle and Kathy back to Michael, Social Services lost any shred of reasonableness they might have had. That was 1989. That was when Michael began abusing his sisters in earnest. And it went on for 43 months until they finally shipped Michael off to Ranch Ehrlo. (The StarPhoenix also got it wrong when it claimed that Michael stopped abusing his sisters two years before he was removed. Michelle has stated outright that she was raped by Michael two weeks before he was removed.)
But to manufacture a case against innocent people using the children's lies made no sense at all. It is pretty clear that when they finally separated the three, they had changed their tune entirely regarding the importance of keeping siblings together. They separated them for no other reason than to protect the lying testimony from the harsh light of truth.
The media continues to handle Social Services with extreme deference. We wish they would stop apologizing for them and start investigating them. If Social Services will not return phone calls, go and camp on their doorsteps. The Rosses are not the only foster children who have been used by the system. There are dozens of "throw away" foster kids on Saskatoon streets who have truthful stories to tell about lies they have been told.
Diane Ens told Kathy that her twin sister was a prostitute. That was not and is not true. But Diane Ens also knows very well that many street kids turn the occasional trick or get into the life on a regular basis because it is impossible to live on the pittance welfare doles out to them. They also get into petty thievery and con games. They squander money on fast food, drugs and alcohol, not to mention Bingo and lottery tickets. That is how street people survive so perhaps Diane Ens was simply assuming Michelle was playing out the script that Social Services had written for her.
inJusticebusters have heard loose talk that Kathy surfaced only because she "smells money". Indeed, they all smell what they deserve. All poor people have dreams of escaping poverty. The system -- in this case Social Services -- has created a whole underclass of damaged young people who are growing into adulthood who cannot possibly survive with the resources that have been doled out to them. What inJusticebusters smell is the stench of a corrupt government.
New Kathy page
Feb. 2, 2001, SASKATOON: Kathy Ross will be reunited with her twin sister, Michelle and her brother Michael after having been kept from them for more than four years. Kathy has also been kept from the website and has not yet seen the Fifth Estate program.
Ross has told inJusticebusters that she travelled to Saskatoon from B. C. Dec. 22 with the hopes of spending Christmas with her twin sister, brother and parents. Saskatoon Social Services worker Diane Ens met her at the bus and told her that she thought Michael was in jail, Michelle was in a small town, her mother had run off with a boyfriend and her father's whereabouts was unknown. So Kathy spent a week in Saskatoon with friends and Diane Ens put her back on the bus Dec. 29 with a $20 bill.
Things fell apart in her foster home when Ross returned to B.C. Ross, who is almost 19, wanted to spend more time with her boy friend and after a dispute the foster mother had the police remove Kathy Ross from the home. The police did not hold her and she stayed with friends. Shortly afterwards Social Services cut off funding to her. They allege she is "violent" and that she has broken a contract she has with Social Services. In fact, she did damage a telephone, but she has not been charged for that. She has committed no crimes, and has no criminal record.
Last night she spent several hours reviewing the website.
All three of Superintendent Dueck's former child witnesses, Kathy, Michelle and Michael will talk to reporters Monday.