Board quits en masse over volunteer convicted for sexual exploitation

[Ms. Tetley told me that she'd been informed an article about my book was about to appear in The Post; I said a few things to her describing its contents. Go to the first highlighted passage below.] ------>#

Deborah Tetley. Calgary Herald. Apr 1, 2001. pg. C.2


A Calgary parents' rights group is distancing itself from its Edmonton counterpart after that board refused to dismiss a board member convicted of sexually exploiting a minor.


Calgary's eight-member Equitable Child Maintenance and Access Society board resigned en masse last week after demanding the Edmonton group sever ties with [Tim] Adams, who was arrested in 1996 after he approached one of his clients, a 16-year-old prostitute, for sex. The practising lawyer pleaded guilty, received a 15-month conditional sentence and was disbarred in 1998.


ECMAS is Alberta's largest non-custodial parents' lobby group. Founded in Edmonton in 1994, the group provides support to divorced parents who have been denied access to their children, ordered to pay unreasonable amounts of child support or falsely accused of sexual abuse.


Marina Forbister, a founding member of the Calgary chapter, said the group will change its name and create a new identity because members no longer want to be associated with the organization.


The Calgary board wrote a letter to the Edmonton group demanding it dissociate itself from Adams.


"We have some dirty linen here and we need to clean it," she said. "We just don't feel (Adams') membership is appropriate given that we're representing families and in particular families with children," said Forbister. "I'm disappointed. He should have stepped back for the good of the organization."


The controversy only surfaced last month after political infighting erupted following a board of directors vote in Edmonton.


President Bob Bouvier of the Edmonton chapter said Adams, who has volunteered with the group for about two years, was elected vice- president at its annual general meeting March 12. Adams resigned his post two weekends ago and a motion to suspend him as a member was defeated by a "clear majority."


Bouvier said Adams, who will not be working with children, has been a tremendous asset to the group and doesn't feel it was in the group's best interest to disallow him from helping out in support groups.


"It's an incident that happened five years ago and he's been quite open about the fact he's had this problem," he said. "We feel that he's suffered, admitted his wrong and we just don't know that we should be disallowing him from trying to do good."


The Herald could not reach Adams for comment.


The Calgary chapter has also raised concerns about an Edmonton volunteer, Ferrel Christensen, who wrote a book in 1990 entitled Pornography: The Other Side.


"It is our understanding that some of his views are not in line with what we are trying to promote," said Forbister, adding that she had not read the book.


She said Christensen should have stepped aside while the issue was examined. [We'll see that this is not what her group said--like the Post reporter, they demanded expulsion with no talk of investigation.] [Next]




A motion last week to suspend Christensen for three months was denied, said Bouvier.


"Generally no one thought what was written in his book applied to what he was doing," he said. "We don't suspend first and find out later. [This article was published 2 weeks before the Post one about me] [Back]