From The Gazette

Dorval

Batshaw youth centre comes up against new hurdle in Dorval

Batshaw Youth and Family Service’s 10-year-long effort to expand its youth-centre services on the West Island has hit against another obstacle.

A Quebec Court of Appeal ruled August 24 that Batshaw has the right to go-ahead with its plan to replace its existing 40-bed, open-door youth centre in Dorval with a larger “closed” or locked-door facility at the same location on Dawson Ave. near Dorval Avenue.

But now the city of Dorval has announced it will do what it can to overturn that Quebec court decision and, it has petitioned the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case.

“We don’t want a closed unit in the core of our city,” Edgar Rouleau, the mayor of Dorval said, on Tuesday. He added it’s a quality of life issue.

“Citizens who live around the Batshaw premises are afraid of what will happen if the centre is built. They feel threatened,” the mayor stated. “The people who are there have been found guilty in court of major things, not shoplifting.”

Dorval residents who support the municipality’s plan to challenge the Quebec court decision, are being urged to sign a petition before October 20.

The petition, which has already amassed close to 4,000 signatures, is being made available at Dorval city hall, the public library on Lakeshore Drive, the Surrey Aquatic and Community Centre and the Sarto-Desnoyers Community Centre.

Rouleau said Dorval officials understand that Batshaw needs to expand its facilities on the West Island and, it offered to rezone property in one of the city’s industrial park for a closed unit. But “the closed unit is really a prison.”

Batshaw officials were quick to respond to the court challenge being mounted by Dorval.

“It’s a very, very sad statement,” said Margaret Douek, the agency’s executive director. “The message is one of exclusion and NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) and, it’s directed at children from the (West Island) community,”

A larger centre in Dorval, which would provide both open and closed facilities is required because the agency’s 60-bed closed facility in Prevost, 70 kms. north of Montreal, is out-of-date, she said.

She added its location in the Laurentians also makes it difficult to meet current treatment models that attempt to help reintegrate youth in the communities from which they come through family, social services, schools and jobs.

Throughout the province, Douek said, there are 16 youth centres offering the same continuum of services to the same clientele, age infants to 18 as would be made available at the new Batshaw centre in Dorval.

She said these centres have been accepted in their respective communities.

Dorval’s characterization of the Batshaw Centre as a “prison” for criminal youths, under 18 years of age, is instilling undue fear in the minds of residents, Douek said.

Batshaw’s clients are children and youth, often times victims themselves of neglect and trauma and, they primarily come from the West Island and west part of the city of Montreal.

Now, the Dorval expansion is back on hold, said Pascale Berardino, Batshaw’s coordinator of legal services.

Berardino said it often takes about six months before the Supreme Court decides whether to accept or deny the city Dorval’s request to be heard.

ccornacchia@montrealgazette.com

Twitter:@cornacchiaGAZ

4 comments

  1. By Mark simpson

    When will this end! 2 courts and still taxpayers money is used due to misguided opinions and political agendas. Fear and ignorance of the truth is not reason to ignore the needs of families and teenagers from our communities. These adolescents are already living in the community! Every block & school has troubled kids. Having them in a SECURE setting in their own community near their families is certainly no more a risk to anybody. I guess the “it takes a village to raise a child” dogma doesn’t apply to Dorval.

  2. By frustrated resident

    As a resident of Dorval for over 30 years, i believe I have the right to state that I do not want this facility in our community. It has nothing to do with the children themselves either. I have seen with my own eyes the amount of drug-dealing and promiscuis activity that happens directly behind that facilty as it stands now. Can you only imagine what kind of criminal element will be drawn to the area, with a larger pool of potential clients and or victims to chose from? I understand the need to have these facilities, and appreciate the need to have them closer to the west island. But would putting the new facility further into the industrial area not relieve the issue of having this on our doorstep, yet still fulfill the mandate of BATSHAW?

  3. By Dorval Resident

    This is hardly about the kids. This is clearly about an agency called BATSHAW – which in my opinion – has proven itself to be completely “out of touch with reality”, this when it comes to “protecting / caring for children…”.

    This agency is ultra secretive about everything that they do (claiming that they NEED TO PROTECT a child’s best interests and confidentiality rights (so they operate in secrecy).

    What do we know about this agency to date? What facts do we have about this agency which wants to build a CLOSED facility “CHILDRENS PRISON” right here in Dorval, Quebec, Canada? How do we know what they do to the kids behind closed doors? Are they treating them humanely? We do know that Batshaw Youth and Family Centers is legally mandated to provide AID, ASSISTANCE and COUNSELING to all the children and parents who they provide services to, right? Supposedly so – yes! So, given that Batshaw is so secretive about their operations, namely HOW THEY TREAT CHILDREN UNDER THEIR CARE …….. what do we know about how they actually provide these services to kids? Well, please sit down for a moment and breathe very carefully. I as a citizen here who is profoundly concerned about my children and all other children – need to share a very critical piece of information with you which will answer all your questions about who Batshaw is and what they do. Simply click on the following link and you’ll be be brought to CBC SPECIAL REPORTING on “just how our children are being AIDED, ASSISTED and COUNSELED by this famous agency Batshaw”. Now remember…. if this report was a report about any other agency (except the ONLY agency in Quebec – whose business it is – IS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM HARM AND ABUSE) ….. then I would understand. But such is NOT the case. This report is about HOW the very AGENCY which is LAWFULLY MANDATE TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM HARM AND ABUSE is clearly and definitely VIOLATING THE VERY HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE CHILDREN WHICH THEY ARE MANDATED TO PROTECT!

    THIS IS VERY SERIOUS – AND AS MUCH AS MARGARET DOUEK (Batshaw Youth and Family Centers Executive Director) COULD TAKE THE OPTION OF IGNORING THE REALITY OF THINGS…….. we – , as responsible, honorable and loyal citizens of Quebec, Canada – SIMPLY CANNOT IGNORE THE TRUTH OF THE SITUATION AND PERMIT THIS INSANITY TO CONTINUE ON HERE IN “OUR OWN BACK YARD”

    …… watch the following report and you decide for yourself.. . . . . . and for the love of God and the children….. do not let anyone blind you with FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT HOW THIS CENTER NEEDS TO BE BUILT “FOR THE CHILDREN”.

    WE CAN BUILD HUNDREDS OF FACILITIES – CALIMING THAT ALL OF THEM ARE NEEDED TO ASSIST CHILDREN…,

    …. BUT IF THE PEOPLE RUNNING SAID FACILITY DO NOT RESPECT A CHILD’S HUMAN RIGHTS …….. then what?

    WOULD YOU TRUST A BABY SITTER TO CARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN IF YOU HAD REASONABLE INFORMATION LEADING YOU TO BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE “NOT RESPECTING YOUR CHILD” IN YOUR ABSENCE? of course not!

    http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/quebec-foster-care-concerns/16az61g1n

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