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Controversial CAS director halts Holiday Heroes

We the North
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TORONTO, CNW – Collette Prévost, CEO of York Region Children's Aid Society (CAS), has cancelled Holiday Heroes, a program that benefits youth and families in need during the holiday season.

Prévost made headlines earlier this month in the wake of Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk's annual report. As executive director of the Sudbury Children's Aid Society, Prévost racked up thousands of dollars in questionable expenses, including a $90,000 hotel tab. She has headed York Region CAS since the spring.

Ontario Public Services Employees Union Local 304 President Andrew Harrigan says that his request to have the program reinstated has been denied. They are confused and angered by their new CEO's decree.

"Last December, 140 youth and 400 families had gifts to open and a meal to celebrate the holidays because of the generous support of community partners. Virtually all the legwork was done by volunteers. We're deeply concerned about the message this sends. This is mean spirited and goes completely contrary to what we are about as a community agency."

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was outraged by Prévost's actions. "At least the Grinch didn't live in five-star hotels and charge it to the Whos. Prévost wants to help ensure there's nothing under the tree in hundreds of households but has no qualms at stuffing her own stocking. I recommend she have a change of heart – before this children's aid society changes its CEO."

OPSEU represents approximately 270 child protection workers and administrative staff at the York Region CAS.

For further information:

Rick Janson, OPSEU Staff Representative, 416-525-3324