Monday, May 26, 2014

Ottawa woman part of proposed class-action on foster home abuse

OTTAWA - At five years old, Carole Chretien-Rankin was taken from her family in Lowertown -- she's never known why, she says -- and simply vanished.

Soon after she was taken to the Orléans home with a brood of biological and foster kids, her foster mother threw out her favourite dress, cropped her long, dark hair and gave her a different name.

Then, she alleges, she was pushed, slapped, punched and spat on, strapped until she couldn't sit down and molested by a foster brother, lured with the promise of pizza - an unheard-of treat.

Told she was so worthless even her own parents didn't want her, she was forced to cook and clean instead of playing like other kids, Chretien-Rankin charges.

"I was a slave in that home," she said.

At 53, she doesn't even know how she looked as a little girl.

"I have no pictures of myself when I was young - they never took them," she said. "I have no memories - it's devastating. ... It's like I never existed."

But now Chretien-Rankin wants to be seen and and heard.

She is one of 350 people who've come forward to join a proposed $110-million class action lawsuit alleging that Ontario systematically failed to protect the legal rights of children who became Crown wards starting in 1966.  (more...)

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