By SARAH DEETH , EXAMINER STAFF WRITER
A rally taking aim at the practices and accountability of the Children’s Aid Society takes place Thursday and features Brenda Waudby as a guest speaker.
The protest runs from noon to 3 p.m. outside the Kawartha- Haliburton Children’s Aid Society’s office on Chemong Rd.
Waudby was wrongly charged with murdering her 21-month-old daughter Jenna in 1999.
That charge was dropped, shortly after Waudby pleaded guilty to a charge of child abuse.
She’s now fighting to appeal that conviction. Her application, filed with the court, takes issue with the practices of the CAS and its heavy involvement in the police investigation against her.
Neil Haskett, one of the rally’s organizers, said similar events are taking place Thursday across Ontario.
Part of the goal is alert the public to the lack of accountability within the CAS, he said.
Too often innocent people are charged or face legal challenges through the CAS, he said, and there’s virtually no way for parents to fight back.
"It’s a systematic issue with all Children’s Aid Societies," he said.
Though many similar protests have taken place across Ontario in the past, this is the first one to be held in Peterborough.
Haskett said the goal isn’t to shut down the CAS.
But many aren’t aware that Ontario is the only province that doesn’t allow its Ombudsman to investigate complaints brought against the CAS, he said.
In addition to Waudby’s speech, organizers will hand out information and speak to anyone who wants to listen, he said.
Haskett said hundreds of people stopped by for information at a similar rally in Sudbury.