..…Against ONTARIO, The Only Defendant. CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY Organizations Responsible For Placing And Supervising Crown Wards, And With Authority To Begin Claims On Their Behalf, Is Not A Defendant. Neither Are Individual Abusers.
A Lesson In How To Seed Criminality Through Abuse And Neglect.
Koskie Minsky LLP filed a statement of claim on January 22, 2014, alleging that Ontario owed Crown Wards who were abused a duty to advise of rights to civil claims (lawsuits) and administrative remedies (the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board). Ontario is also accused of failing its duty to facilitate and pursue those claims for Crown Wards, when appropriate.
The Superior Court of Justice certified the class action on March 30, 2017, a class that included all persons who became Crown Wards in Ontario between January 1, 1966, and March 30, 2017.
A proposed settlement was reached and dated January 29, 2021. Brennan Guigue submitted his claim on April 13, 2021. With his permission and encouragement, this is his complaint, his written responses to 11 questions on the claim form.
D.O.B.: June 10, 1970
I wanted to point out that while specific dates, names, and addresses may be difficult to recall, the abuses suffered are quite real and vivid in my recollection. As for certain details of where and when, I’m sure the Children’s Aid Society of Canada must have records that could be researched for verification of Wardship.
Date of Wardship: I cannot remember exactly, but if I had to give an approximate timeline, it would be some time in the early to mid-70s…..1974, 75, 76.
I know I was young because I remember my mother tried to prevent a court order to surrender custody of us by putting us, my brother Jerry and sister Amber, into the care of her best friend Sue Dietrich (Aunt Suzie), and then boarding us onto a train out to British Columbia.
I remember that night very clearly because my hand got accidently slammed in the cab door by and absent minded taxi driver.
It must have been early because the Hamilton train depot on James Street North was still a main hub as the train we boarded took us all the way out west without having to transfer trains.
Why was I taken from family home? My mother was a drug addict with all the ugly and unfortunate attributes that come along with that. Neglect, physical and emotional abuse, etc. My father, Barry Griffith, was a drug dealer, pimp, and all around p.o.s., a real great guy.
Crown Ward history (where did I live & when): Upon our arrival in Coquitlam, B.C., we were dropped in the custody of our Aunt Dena (Guigue). She immediately began to beat us whenever the mood suited her. Later, we were passed on to our grandfather, Edward Guigue, who also lived in Coquitlam. Life got a little better in that he did not beat us or abuse us in any way. In fact, he didn’t bother with us at all. He concerned himself with attempts to ‘feel up’ Aunt Suzie as a means of a morning wake-up call. She was around 19 or 20 something at the time.
Eventually CAS of Canada caught up to us when my brother was hit by a car and the hospital notified all the people hospitals are required by law to notify. We were taken into custody.
Once the three of us were apprehended we were immediately separated and placed in different ‘homes’ to await extradition back to Ontario.
The ‘home’ I was place into is where I heard the word “nigger” for the first time in my life.
It was also the first place I ever took a shower with a grown man; after all “how else was I ever gonna learn how to wash myself it not from another man?”
I was only tall enough to be just about waist high. How old could I have been? Not 10 years. Certainly, too young to be washing a grown man, no?
Next…1982? Linden, Ontario.
Description of abuse or neglect: British Columbia – From what I can recall from my time at the ‘home’ in B.C., the ‘caretakers’ consisted of a youngish middle-aged (30-40ish) married couple, at least one bio-child (maybe an infant also), an older woman (perhaps a mother-in-law). She was the mean one. I think there was one other ward-child in the home besides me, but I cannot be sure.
It’s funny because I don’t really remember the ‘house mother’ or the husband’s faces. I only recall the male as a wet body in a cramped shower. Well, there’s the erections of course, but other than that, and the memories are quite vivid, almost lucid, I couldn’t tell you what he looked like.
I remember the old woman as skinny with a weathered face, and a heavy accent, German or eastern European perhaps.
All I know for sure is that she whipped me for the slightest things (she liked to use one of those woman’s dress belts, real skinny, made of leather.)
Boy, did it sting!
I remember the Ice Capades came to town and the whole bunch of us went to see them perform. Well, I guess I had shown too much excitement, and she took me into the bathroom stall and whipped my ass for laughing too hard!
Who does that!!!
Her favourite name for me was Black Bastard. She also beat it into my head that I was “black like shit and your garbage mother doesn’t even want you.” Like I said before, she was the first person to ever call me a nigger.
Note: What happened there made it easier for my biological father to molest and sodomize me a few years (2 or 3) later back in Hamilton about age 9 or so.
The home in Linden, Ontario is where I experienced real despair.
I only got beat once there by the ‘house father,’ but it was a bad beating whereas I was slammed into the floor (he straddled me) several times. It was so bad that I now recognize the symptoms suffered afterwards were that of a concussion. There I, as well as the other 2 Wards, were locked out in the cold until 7pm at night. We were starved for food constantly.
It was so bad that I began digging through the lunchroom garbage at school and eating unfinished lunches thrown out by other kids.
Me? I’m a survivor.
I remember there was a young girl there, about 9 years old, and the “family’s” 18-year-old son used to trade food for sex regularly.
When I discovered it happening and told the ‘house mother,’ I was told to mind my own business. When I threatened to tell my CAS worker…that’s when I was beaten dizzy.
I eventually ran away. When my worker…..Mary?….found me at my own home, I told her what was happening in Linden. My own mother threatened legal action and so ‘Mary’ left me at home, and it was never mentioned again.
Report the Abuse? See above.
Action Taken? Not that I’m aware of.
Charges Laid? Not that I am aware of.
Advised of Right to Litigate? Nope.
Advised of my right to pursue monies from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board? Nope. Why would I have been? Nobody paid any attention to me unless they were taking something from me or denying something to me.
Did I receive any counselling for my abuse or neglect? No. If I had been treated of a sick child rather than a bad kid, then, ABSOLUTELY 100%, I would not have lived the life of shame, self-loathing, and drug addiction that I did. Nor would I have ended up where I am today.
I believe this with all of my being.
I have been clinically diagnosed as having:-
Borderline Personality Disorder
Complex PTSD (childhood trauma)
At least two suicide attempts documented. Revived.
Anti-Social Personality Disorder
You name it. Take your pick of one, or all of them if you like.
The Children’s Aid Society of Canada did NOT aid me in any way whatsoever.
I aged out of CAS control in 1988 when I turned 18.
The Court denied approval of the settlement on May 27, 2021, as several class members objected to the amount of the settlement. The claim was for over $100 million initially, but the proposal before the Court was for $10 million, and Koskie Minsky’s share would come from that. A leave to appeal the decision was dismissed on September 21, 2021.
The case is still active.
There’s nothing more to add, is there.