Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 17 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Who is Responsible? Who will be held accountable? Who is it within the system who has a heart for justice?

I know the Baynes. I officiated the wedding of Zabeth and Paul a number of years ago. They were a happy family three years ago. Even happier in summer 2007 when Baby B arrived. Baby B. Bayne was removed from her parents’ home and custody on October 22, 2009. She has not been home since then. She is two years of age now. She was two months old when the B.C. Government service known as the Ministry of Children and Family Development separated her from her mother and father. She was two months old. Think of this. She was a nursing infant. Mother Zabeth and daughter Baby B were newly bonding. Zabeth had anticipated a daughter after giving birth to two sons. She was not unaccustomed to the behaviour and needs of an infant. Everything was as it should be in this happy family living in Hope, B.C.

Today, on the 30th of October 2009, over two years ago since Baby B was last in her parents’ home, Paul and Zabeth are living in hope, not Hope, but clinging to hopefulness. Not that they have reason to hope by virtue of affirming responses from the government unit that seized the child. All their phone calls are dead ended and their letters left unanswered. Rather, their hope is in the Lord, for these parents are people of faith. They are not weird and whacky. They are merely committed believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God their Saviour. All they have ever desired was to nurture their children within a loving environment in which good values and morals would equip their children for life. And they are no longer living in Hope, B.C. any longer because they have lost their house to lawyers’ fees as they have struggled to recover their children and their family. They rent now. They work as night custodians so they can visit their children during day hours.

If you are following this case you know that Zabeth and Paul have not only lost custody of Baby B, but also their two small sons. They were taken as well on October 22, 2007 as the Bayne parents were placed under suspicion and investigation by local MCFD and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A brief recap follows, the details of which are in previous posts.

Zabeth the nursing mother two years ago, found herself with a baby that suddenly wouldn’t nurse, was unresponsive and didn’t cry, following a terribly unfortunate incident in which one of her small boys fell on Baby B as she lay on a blanket on the floor. This accident and her baby’s symptoms concerned her enough that Paul and Zabeth took her to the local hospital. After a series of visits to several hospitals she was brought to Vancouver Sick Children’s Hospital where she received care and assessment. When one doctor concluded that Baby B’s condition was consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome, the saga began.

The RCMP cleared the Baynes and the boys were returned but Baby B was retained. The boys’ were returned, sort of, under a supervision agreement which required Paul and Zabeth to live with their sons in Zabeth’s parents’ home. Is the presumption and gravity of some of these decisions becoming clear? Then in June of 2008 without justification the boys were also removed and they are still gone.

And still, regardless of how many letters the Baynes send, they seldom receive even the courtesy of a response, and never any answers of substance. They are compelled to go to a court of law where the future of their children and their family will be decided. It should break your heart. They cannot afford a lawyer. But when a lawyer takes this case, and one will, the shame and the scandal of the abuses of power that have hurt a family so badly will be exposed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 16 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

This photograph of Bethany's arm was taken by horrified birth parents Zabeth and Paul Bayne during one of their scheduled visits with Bethany when they discovered this bruise on her arm, sustained during the safe and protective care she is supposed to be receiving from foster care givers under the administrative authority of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. It appeared to them to be the print of an adult hand which might only be left by applying undue and unnecessary pressure on a tiny girl's arm. With their concern, Paul and Zabeth appealed to every appropriate government official and not one person provided the courteousy of a response. They even requested that their daughter be moved to another foster home for her protection but this request was not given attention. And if this bruise was not caused by a human hand but rather from a fall or some other incident, wouldn't you think this should find its way into a report?

Don't you think the supervision and accountability grid is missing critical social and people skills and leadership here? I have been a professional service provider and care giver and pastor for over 40 years and I would never treat someone this way. I would never 'not respond.' These are the birth parents and they deserve answers and responses from the servants of the people of this province. There is absolutely no justification for silence in this matter. I appeal to journalists everywhere to jump on this story.

People all over this country are anxious to hear that the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development is doing the right thing. This treatment of the Baynes by a district division of MCFD is outrageous, deplorable and it must be arrested now. We implore the responsible leadership of MCFD to let this child come home to her parents. Let her brothers come home to their parents! Let these children be together in their parents' home where they are safe and loved and secure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 15 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

How on earth has this gone so wrong?
Paul and Zabeth Bayne have been through so much.
I will recount a timeline list of the events that have ripped this family apart and rendered five people, two adults who are husband and wife and parents of three children, each of them bewildered, confused and so lonesome for the other members of the family. If it were not for their faith in God and the community of believers that is now national in scope who encourage them, they would be helpless and hopeless. The events and the times recounted briefly here, are provided by Paul and Zabeth Bayne’s extensive documentation, all of which is similarly contained in the files of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. While I have not cited them here, their files contain the names of all the medical professionals who gave some attention to their child.

* Sept 23 2007 Bethany was resting on a blanket on the Bayne living room floor. One of her brothers running around a corner, stumbled and fell on Bethany’s head.
* On Sept. 26, 2007, because Bethany Bayne had exhibited difficulty with breathing, was vomiting and unresponsive, her parents rushed her to emergency at Fraser Valley Hospital in Hope. En route to the hospital her parents administered CPR. At the hospital Bethany was placed on oxygen, was connected to monitors and she was examined by a doctor. The hospital was not equipped to receive infants and after the examination Bethany was sent home.
* That same day Sept 26, 2007 at 1:00 PM Bethany was returned to Fraser Valley Hospital by her parents because she was not feeding, was unable to move her limbs and was not crying. Bethany was transferred to the MSA Hospital in Abbotsford where the receiving physician examined her, admitted her for the night and sent her home the following morning still exhibiting some signs of distress.
* Four days later on Sept 30, 2007 Bethany was vomiting repeatedly and not crying so Paul and Zabeth took her again to Fraser Valley Hospital Emergency. She was diagnosed with constipation.
* Her condition was deeply worrisome to Paul and Zabeth so on Oct 6 - 9 2007 Bethany was taken and admitted to Chilliwack Hospital where the examining pediatrician had a bowel x-ray done which proved to be inconsequential. She was then transferred to MSA Hospital and this time the attendant physician noted her increasing head circumference and required a CT scan. The necessary technicians were themselves unwell and unable to do the scan. The physician intended to reschedule this CT scan at a later date but this was never arranged. However, during this 3-day stay in hospital when Zabeth noted that Bethany’s monitors indicated a flat line and she stopped breathing, Zabeth ran for medical help. Zabeth claims that there was a lack of medical professional response to this life threatening event. In due course she was sent home.
* On Oct 13, 2007 because a neighbour reported that the Bayne children appeared to be malnourished, the Baynes were required to take all three of their children to the Apple Clinic for examination. The Baynes’ own doctor deduced the neighbour's report was unfounded and an unnecessary gesture since the Bayne children were healthy. Their small frames are due to their premature births. Not satisfied, the Ministry requested an examination by another physician and this was arranged at Vancouver Children's Hospital in Dec. 2007. This doctor’s report stated that the boys were happy and healthy children with no previous or present signs of abuse or neglect. Some time elapsed before the Ministry disclosed this report.
* On Oct 16, 2007 Bethany was taken by Paul and Zabeth to the Hope Clinic where the receiving physician was concerned about the increasing circumference of Bethany’s head. The doctor ordered a CT scan.
* On Oct 18, 2007 Bethany was taken for this CT scan to the Chilliwack Hospital. The Doctor at the Hope Clinic reviewed the scan results and immediately dispatched Paul and Zabeth to Children's Hospital where they met two neurosurgeons who discussed with the Baynes the need for a shunt for Bethany. Another doctor, one who was called to the case as a child protection professional, upon reviewing the CT data made a shaken baby syndrome diagnosis. That decision led to the initial resting of the children from the Bayne couple.
Shaking an infant is an unquestionably dangerous and reprehensible action. All efforts to reduce the risks to children by caregivers who do not know how to understand the baby’s needs or cope with a baby’s cries and behaviour is to be commended and supported. The B.C Ministry of Children and Family Development has recently announced a new program with regard to this issue.

It must be underscored that the RCMP investigation did not result in charges against Paul and Zabeth but a clear dismissal of suspicion. Still the MCFD is handling the Bayne family as though the parents are high risk parents who might endanger their children. Yet for two years these parents have been faithfully showing up for all their visitations with their children, loving these children as much as they can in two hours, and are heartbroken with each goodbye.

Oh please government officers, exercise your influence to reunite this family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 14 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Permit me to tell you more about the Ombudsman’s Office of BC.
The Ombudsman is British Columbia’s Independent Voice for Fairness. The Ombudsman is an independent Officer of the Legislature, appointed pursuant to the Ombudsman Act.

Who and what the Ombudsman can Investigate.
The Ombudsman has jurisdiction over a wide range of public agencies, including:
• provincial government ministries, including complaints regarding income assistance and the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program
• crown corporations such as ICBC and BC Hydro
• government boards such as WCB and the BC Human Rights Tribunal
• hospitals, regional and local health agencies, and health-related government agencies such as Medical Services Plan and Pharmacare
• schools and school districts
• universities and colleges
• municipal and regional governments
• self-regulating professions such as the Law Society, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia

The Ombudsman’s Office exists to uphold the democratic principles of openness, transparency and accountability; to ensure that every person in British Columbia is treated fairly in the provision of public services; to promote and foster fairness in public administration.
The Ombudsman’s Office serves the principle of administrative fairness; the public; and the Legislature of British Columbia.

The Ombudsman’s Assignments are to generally oversee the administrative actions of government authorities; conduct thorough, impartial and independent investigations of complaints; consider possible resolutions of complaints; consult with, provide reasons, and make recommendations to authorities to improve administrative practices; provide reports to the Legislative Assembly and the people of British Columbia about administrative fairness issues and how they can be remedied; respond to inquiries from the public; provide information and advice about administrative fairness.

The Ombudsman’s Staff is committed to
thorough and impartial investigations. To that end they identify issues of administrative unfairness; identify causes of recurring unfairness and advise on how it can be avoided in the future; attempt to resolve complaints through consultation when appropriate; employ an approach that identifies and addresses the underlying causes of complaints; make recommendations and issue reports that are based on sound analysis of the facts, are consistent with their statutory mandate and apply the principles of natural justice and administrative fairness;
As promising as yesterday’s post and this one sound about the possibility of a independent and objective review of the Bayne case by the office of the Ombudsman of BC, as hopeful as this advocate for fairness sounds, the Baynes may be required to go through the court process, and if that is true, then the Ombudsman is powerless because the Court prevails. The Ombudsman may not investigate complaints against court decisions. But an Ombudsman’s report that recommended to the court that the Bayne complaint was valid would bear weight in the court decision. In this there might seem be some hope. Disappointingly, nothing has resulted from Paul's and Zabeth's several filed complaints to the Ombudsman's Office.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 13 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Ombudsman / BC's Independent Voice for Fairness

Our Province has an Ombudsman. With respect the case of Zabeth and Paul Bayne and their three children now in foster care and in custody of the MCFD, I am back to this important matter of fairness. I called it justice in an earlier post. Fairness works for me to. In order to adjudicate fairness, our province wisely, has established a BC Ombudsman’s Office.

Here are the welcoming words on the welcome page of the website. “If you think a provincial government ministry or public agency has treated you unfairly, we may be able to help.
The Office of the Ombudsman receives enquiries and complaints about the practices and services of public agencies within its jurisdiction. Our role is to impartially investigate these complaints to determine whether public agencies have acted fairly and reasonably, and whether their actions and decisions were consistent with relevant legislation, policies and procedures. Our services are provided free of charge.

There are some key words in that paragraph for the Baynes, some being “impartially investigate” and “free of charge.” Baynes are in desperate need of objective eyes committed to reviewing every detail of their family life crisis. Lawyers’ fees to date have consumed their asset in their home and they have nothing left.
If there was ever a hopeful sound for the Baynes it is the following...
The website promises that the B.C. Ombudsman is an officer of the provincial legislature yet independent of government and political parties and is responsible for making sure that the administrative practices and services of public agencies are fair, reasonable, appropriate and equitable.

Kim Carter is Ombudsman for the Province of British Columbia.
Kim Carter is highly qualified for this appointment. I would enjoy meeting her. She sounds like a remarkable and interesting person. Kim Carter has a broad background in criminal, international and administrative law. She has appeared as counsel before the Federal Court of Canada, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada. She has worked in Canada and overseas in many capacities including as leader of the Canadian War Crimes Investigation Team responsible for conducting on-site war crimes investigations in the Former Republics of Yugoslavia for the United Nations Commission of Experts in 1993. She was also a member of the Canadian Delegation during negotiating sessions for the International Criminal Court in New York. She attended Glendon College at York University for an undergraduate degree; received her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1979 and completed her Master’s of Law at the University of Ottawa in 2005. Kim served as a member of the Canadian Forces Reserves from 1975 to 1981 as a logistics officer. After her call to the bar in Ontario she transferred to the regular force as a legal officer. In addition to providing legal advice on a wide range of administrative issues, she acted variously as defence counsel, prosecutor and appellate counsel. She was the Director of International Law for the Canadian Forces from 1991 to 1995 and acted as Senior Canadian Forces Counsel during the Somalia Commission of Inquiry. In 1999 then Colonel Carter was appointed the first independent Director of Military Prosecutions for the Canadian Forces. In 2001 she was appointed by Governor-in-Council as a military judge and in 2002 became Canada’s first female Chief Military Judge until her retirement from the Canadian Forces in 2006. She was appointed Ombudsman for the Province of British Columbia on May 15, 2006 for a six year term.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 12 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

As of today I am changing the subtitle of these posts from the “The Alarming Case of B.C. Government’s Miscarriage of Justice’ to ‘The Bayne Campaign for Justice.’

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 12 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Candidly, while Paul and Zabeth and their three children, Kent, Baden and Bethany continue to suffer as a result of this obstruction of justice, there is every reason to focus less on the way our system has failed all five people, specially Bethany, and focus instead upon the victories that will come out of this debacle. The family members will be restored to one another. Some foster care givers will be dropped from the program, or all foster parents will be required to be registered so there is full accountability. Some within the ranks of MCFD will be reassessed and maybe even reassigned. MCFD reforms already envisioned by Lesley Du Toit and Honourable Mary Polak will be prioritized.

If the MCFD Case on the Bayne Family were a table it would have no legs. You can’t then call this legless thing a platform because no one will want to put his weight on what the MCFD has to say in court to justify why a two month old girl has been withheld from her parents until past her second birthday. MCFD will not be able to answer acceptably why they have insisted upon violating the law for so long, contravening the very ACT with which it seeks to serve children’s welfare. When there was no evidence against the Baynes, when the RCMP stepped away from the case, when CT scans, tests and opinions pointed to accidental injury rather than non accidental injury, the early medical suspicion and caution of infant shaking should have reasonably been set aside in deference to the outstanding characters and reputations of two parents committed to God, to family values, to one another, to their children, to decency. MCFD will be unable to adequately explain why it rejected the counsel of its own lawyer who recommended that there was no injury or harm on the boys and no risk and no cause for holding the boys from their parents and yet they are in custody today as if belonging to the state. And some answers need to be forthcoming as to why adult grip marks on children’s limbs and abrasions and rashes and spankings and cold showers have been the Bayne children’s experience within the protective envelope of MCFD.

In so many ways people within the system have been made to feel they need to protect themselves or their jobs or the program or the agency and consequently good parents have been maligned, misjudged, mistreated. Children have been detached and deprived from parental and family relationships and the extent of the scarring of their spirits and minds is unknown but deplorable to contemplate. While we all value the sincere efforts by good people to protect children, there is a line recognized by most others over which good judgement and a commitment to right choices do not take you when doing your job.

I am not contending that MCFD is broken. Far from it. So many dividends accrue to our communities because of the initiatives and services of MCFD. Yet something within MCFD is broken and that must be identified and fixed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Eleven – The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

I understand that readers may not want to read my sympathetic treatment of the Bayne dilemma without knowing what the Ministry of Children and Family Development has in the Bayne Case File which MCFD is forbidden to make public ostensibly to protect the children. Zabeth and Paul Bayne however are under no such restriction and having gained those MCFD files they have submitted them to the media. Both Kathy Tomlinson from CBC ‘Go Public’ and Robert Freeman of the Chilliwack Progress have seen copies of those files.

Some readers may surmise that although the parents have stated that one of their small sons fell on the baby, we really don’t know what happened to baby Bethany back in September 2007. I answer that with Zabeth’s own testimony that she knows what happened and she has told us that she watched her second child Baden turn a corner running, then stumbling and falling on Bethany. This accident scenario was reported and recorded in all medical records at various hospitals and clinics over three weeks following the accident. A later CT scan of Bethany’s head confirmed internal bruising precisely at the spot on her head which Zabeth had identified as the area of contact between brother and sister. The attendant physician verified that this bruise was consistent with a contusion at that head location. That evidence is in hand and public.

I have earlier stated that Paul and Zabeth Bayne have been given no hearing and that statement has been challenged as inaccurate by someone who knows that BC law requires that when a child is removed from parents, social workers must appear before a judge within 10-12 days to explain why and justify the removal decision. Parents are permitted in the court together with a lawyer of choice or a legal aid lawyer and the assigned Judge determines whether the child or children will remain in Ministry care or be returned to the parents. This is what should ideally occur. In point of fact, after the children were removed on October 22, 2007, a presentation hearing did occur in December 2007 at which their lawyer was present. That is the only court hearing there has been. On that occasion, the MCFD which is required prior to the court date, to provide to parents a written copy of what MCFD intends to present, failed to do so, handing the affidavit to the birth parents as they entered the court, affording them and their legal counsel no time to process it. Moreover, the Baynes were not allowed to present any evidentiary information themselves. On that occasion the judge issued an ‘Interim Order’ because he wanted to first learn the outcome of the police investigation which as it turns out resulted in RCMP dropping all potential charges on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The aforementioned ‘Interim Order’ is what the title implies, a three month interim arrangement after which if the MCFD deems it necessary it can petition the judge for an extension of the ‘Interim Order’ or for a ‘Temporary Order.’ This formal request of which Baynes should certainly have been apprised has never happened although they have been told that MCFD is acting under a ‘Temporary Order.’ The Case files to which Baynes are entitled contain only the ‘Interim Order’ and perhaps more disturbing is the conflicting interaction between Baynes and MCFD representatives who have stated that MCFD is leaping from ‘Interim Order’ to ‘Continuing Order’ by which the children may be adopted out. If there is another order, the parents of these children have never been told. Here is the kicker. The inviolate law is that children under five years of age may not remain in the care of MCFD jurisdiction for a period over twelve months. This law is designed to limit the damage sustained by a child by removal from parents.

Someone has suggested to me that because the Ministry has had the care of the children since 2007 that this is indication it possesses sufficient evidence to convince a judge that the child should remain in care. The truth is MCFD has not been before a judge since December 2007 in order to present such convincing data. At that first presentation hearing MCFD stated it had no concerns and no evidence was presented. In the many months that have followed, MCFD’s own lawyer is on record as having told the Ministry that the Director does not have a compelling case and should at the very least return the boys to the parents. A quotation from a letter written by a community manager to the MCFD lawyer states, "Dr. Korn's medical report of November 2007 completed shortly after the two older children came into care indicates that there was no evidence of harm or injury to the children"… "At this point it is your belief that the Director should consider a return of the two older children to the parents."
Please consider writing a gracious letter to two important people who can make a difference. Forget writing anything inflammatory. A passionate civil letter of appeal is what I am asking.
1) Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Children and Family Development

2) Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Child Care.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne - Part Ten - The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

What follows is a statement by Zabeth Bayne written some time ago as she summarizes the damage sustained by unsupported first medical diagnosis of her daughter and the long term custody maintained by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Zabeth's Statement

During these past sixteen months our family has endured one of the most traumatic experiences as a result of a medical misdiagnosis and the consequent involvement of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. I wish to outline some of the injustices and hardships that have resulted as well as the damage that has been inflicted on our children as a result of this.

Due to the removal process our children have been submitted to experiencing the emotional trauma associated with the invasive and violent manner in which removal occurs. They have had a negative first hand experience with the RCMP and its subjection to the wishes of the Ministry to remove children right in the middle of their birthday party. They have lived through the pain of being separated from their parents and placed in an unfamiliar environment with strangers at a young and vulnerable age. This removal was the first time that our children had witnessed violence and emotional abuse. It was the first time that they experienced their parents unable to protect and assist them as they reached out for help to us.

The RCMP interrogated us an entire day resulting in an ambulance being called to the station to take me to the emergency room for a body that had completely seized from the brutal interrogation that an innocent mother had to endure. The RCMP then informed us that one set of finger prints and photos had gone missing and therefore could not be destroyed.

The Ministry of Children and Family has denied our premature son the needed Infant Development Programs for many months when first in care. This delay will now affect his ability to adjust in school with his peers. The emotional damages also incurred with removal from a safe and loving environment has also caused delay in his development as well as in the development of our other children who were also premature infants.

The Ministry has sought to undermine the bond that we have developed with our children, has verbally admitted this in phone conversations, and now has evidenced this through limiting and cutting back our access times. Our children are suffering as a result from this.

This wrongful removal has resulted in damaging the trust relationship we have had with our children, their sense of security and stability and their ability to form meaningful attachments due to continued bouncing from one foster home to another and then to times of respite in relief homes. Our children instead have been enduring questionable discipline action by the caregivers, evidence of bruising in grip mark patterns that do not occur from normal play on our little baby, interrogations that have left them crying by the social workers and RCMP, forced showering at the age of three as a form of punishment for not eating their dinner and more.

Our family has also suffered financially from this injustice. I had taught piano to children for many years and had to auction off my grand piano to pay for lawyers fees, my husband was laid off one of his positions due to too many missed days for court, visitations and meetings with the Ministry. We had to place a second mortgage on our home to also pay for lawyers fees and medical experts and now have lost our home to bankruptcy because of this. Family and friends have also given much to cover the costs incurred. The expenses now are well over $80,000 to date and the Ministry wishes to draw this over a fifteen to twenty day trial and wish us to fly our experts in for the purpose of cross examination....

The emotional trauma of having your children removed is unspeakable. They have torn our very heart and soul out when they took our treasures. Enduring day after day wondering if they are being cared for properly and knowing they need you and miss you and do not understand. Knowing they think you don’t want them and you have placed them with strangers is another unbearable thought as we had wanted them to know they could rely on us for everything, that they could trust us and they were loved unconditionally. Coming home to empty beds at night brings tears as we go into their rooms and pray for them one by one and blow them a kiss to wherever they are. The pain is unbearable. Putting on a brave smile at the end of a visitation as you wave goodbye to your crying child that is begging you not to leave him is barbaric.

We have been robbed of our parenthood. We have had our children stolen on false allegations and have missed the whole first year and a half of our first little girl. We are enduring what no parent should ever have to.
PLEASE PASS THIS LINK ON TO AS MANY RESPONSIBLE FRIENDS AS YOU CAN BECAUSE THE BAYNE FAMILY NEED OUR SUPPORT IN THIS MATTER OF JUSTICE, FAIRNESS AND FAMILY. Go back to Part 4 to find people to whom you can write requesting that the Bayne children be given back to the birth parents.

Look at Zabeth’s Blog site.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part 9 – The Alarming Case of B.C. Government’s Miscarriage of Justice.

The most difficult thing to do and the right thing to do are very often the same thing.

The most difficult and the right thing for the Ministry of Children and Family Development to do from the top on down with respect to Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their three children, Kent (5), Baden (4) and Bethany (2), is to immediately ask a Judge to rescind the ‘Interim Order’ authorizing custody of the children by MCFD and the Fostering program and to return these children to the birth parents without any further intrusive and insulting supervisory stipulations.

I can tell you now that with the dearth of evidence in the portfolio of the MCFD and the weight of evidence that already supports the indictment of injustice done to these children through Ministry neglect and Fostering failures, if MCFD moves this to trial, this Ministry will be humiliated at so many levels, there will be an unending chain of people rapidly offloading culpability to the person in the office one step higher or lower. You can be sure that Lloyd Robertson will be airing it on the National which is where the story belongs right now.

What has been done to the Bayne family in British Columbia for over two years is a disgrace to all of us who live here. Long after legitimate suspicion of parental abuse by the Baynes was laid to rest by the RCMP, MCFD not only held on to an infant of two months of age until she is now two years old, but has also seized her brothers and been holding them for many months on no supportable grounds whatsoever. I wish I didn’t have to use a generic MCFD attribution for this miscarriage of justice. I would prefer to deposit the responsibility upon the figures who are chiefly responsible but the truth is, elected and commissioned public servants have agreed to be responsible for those employees within their Ministry programs.

You read earlier that the authorization upon which MCFD is working the Bayne case is an ‘Interim Order.’ Guess what the duration of that order is? Did you say three months? That would be correct – not two years. Two years is a violation of the legislation that governs this Ministry. The Bayne children were removed from the Bayne home on October 22, 2007, exactly two years ago as I write these words. No Judge and no court has ever authorized this Ministry in Victoria or its offices anywhere in the Lower Mainland to hold the Bayne children for more than the first three months. Since February 2008 these children have been held by a Ministry without regard to the very ACT that is designed to protect the children. And while these children have been in other people’s custody they have sometimes been subjected to pitiless disciplines and indifferent treatment of illnesses and rashes and infections, and inexcusable child rearing practices and sometimes unclean living conditions. All of these conditions have been lodged as concerns and complaints by Paul and Zabeth which is their right to do and invariably there is no response or an unsatisfactory response. And still the mocking overriding premise upon which this torture of a family continues is that the children are better off away from innocent parents who have now spent over $80,000 on legal and medical opinion fees and had lawyers place liens against their home, and resorted to night work as custodians so they have day hours to visit their children. Innocent people do not give up.

Now listen as HONOURABLE MARY POLAK very shortly holds a press conference to announce some fresh initiatives and services to BC parents and caregivers to increase prevention of baby shaking or extreme disciplines that border on or become abuse, and also to emphasized that caregivers down the chain are going to be held very responsible for the care of the children in their charge. The Bayne case is one of those unfortunate families with whom the correct actions are missed or not taken in the busyness of a large portfolio. The most difficult thing to do and the right thing to do are very often the same thing. This time the right and infinitely difficult thing to do is to put an addendum on the press conference to announce that in the Bayne case, all three children are being restored to their birth parents immediately.

Why not write a gracious letter to her asking her to do the right thing.
VICTORIA BC V8W 9E2 Cut this address and paste it into your email address line


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne - Part Eight - The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense

I am confident that intervention by Ministry of Children and Family Development has over the course of years, prevented some children from being seriously injured by abusive parents and even saved their lives. Many of those children I am sure found homes with foster and adoptive parents where they experienced loving nurture and a level of committed care they didn’t know existed. That is one side of this proverbial two sided coin.

However, here is another side. How prolific must misdiagnoses be in North America that innocent people and advocates for innocent people feel compelled to create an entire defence program and a website to assist one another to overcome invasive assaults by government children’s’ agencies. While ostensibly created to protect children, in more cases than any of us desire to know, such agencies through ill advised decisions have destroyed entire families and squander children’s’ futures because the right decisions were not made.

Here is a website called Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense. It wouldn’t exist apart from the appalling quantity of parents and caregivers who have been suspected, charged, convicted and sentenced wrongfully for shaking a baby, when in fact the physical symptoms being flagged have been misdiagnosed.

Presently, reporting regulations requires that when retinal hemorrhages and subdural hematomas are discovered in a child, the child is immediately referred to protective services. A mitigating factor must be a believable story from the parent or care giver. If that story doesn’t sell, then the SBS diagnosis is applied and the caregiver is put under suspicion and possibly charged. Charges will not be laid if the story is supported by a credible witness or two. However, if the story cannot be corroborated and if it is merely a story about a household mishap rather than a motor vehicle accident or something traumatically awful, SBS is the fall back assessment. The child will not receive further testing for alternative causes.

The goal of this online Defense provider is to supply a defense attorney, a medical expert, a concerned family member or someone who is falsely accused, with user-friendly information concerning diagnosis and prosecution of Shaken Bay Syndrome cases. This website seeks to send out information that busts the myths concerning childhood head trauma. It cites a list of five erroneous assumptions about non-accidental trauma and the Shaken Baby Syndrome Theory.

1. Subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhages can only be caused by shaking, even in the absence of other injuries.
2. Short distance falls can not kill infants or toddlers.
3. Chronic subdural hematomas cannot rebleed with lesser degrees of trauma.
4. All subdural hematomas will be immediately symptomatic.
5. Retinal hemorrhages can only occur in cases of no accidental trauma.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Seven – The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

Secrecy helps trample parents' rights

The title I have taken directly from the article to which I am referring you today. It was printed in the Times Colonist on June 21, 2009. As you read the piece you will detect that Mr. Ferris is alluding to the Bayne case and is keenly dignostic about the treatment given to Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their children these past two plus years by case workers and superiors within the Ministry of Children and Family Development and consequent Foster Care programmers. I pay attention to his disapproval because Mr. Ferris worked as a social worker and supervisor for more than 30 years and since his retirement in 1988 he has been an advocate and an author. He has written a textbook on child protection. From his well written article I have quoted a large portion of the document that you can read in its entirety at this Canada Court Watch site.
“When young children enter care, early planning is essential so that stable life plans can be ensured. In contested cases, it is important to have good factual evidence. This means direct eyewitness evidence and not the opinion and hearsay evidence so often presented. Parents have rights to due process. They have a right to clear statements about what evidence will be offered and a right to competent legal representation.

On the surface, the Child Family and Community Services Act seems to support these principles. Hearings must be within 45 days and temporary orders no more than one year. The child's best interests are paramount and include stability, continuity of care and kinship contact. Timeliness is essential. In practice, the principles are ignored and regularly derailed. The long, complicated act seems designed as a source of revenue for lawyers. When first enacted, it ground the family courts almost to a halt for over a year. Children's best interests depend on opinion, and ministry bureaucrats think only their opinion counts. Family court becomes as adversarial as criminal court, while child welfare gets lost in legal bickering. Neither the courts, the Ministry of Children and Family Development directors nor defence counsels monitor timelines. Cases get bounced from judge to judge. Any piece of social legislation can be used as a tool or a weapon. The choice lies with those in authority. Legislators little realized that they offered as many weapons as tools, but the resolutely adversarial Children's Ministry quickly found them. A recent Times Colonist editorial showed how the ministry behaves as if a child's right to privacy is a paramount right, which can trump all the other rights in the act. They cloak everything in secrecy and withhold information that people have a right to know. A typical case recently covered by the CBC illustrates these matters. A couple had three children, the younger ones born 14 weeks and six weeks prematurely. Such children can be very fragile. When the parents took the six-week-old to hospital, a doctor reported that the child's condition was due to abuse. At first, the ministry's director acted reasonably and took charge of the child, who stayed in hospital. With only inferred evidence on the older children, they took them into care, placing them with relatives. Then the evidence wilted. Other doctors strongly disagreed with the first diagnosis. Courts had previously declared the type of evidence unreliable. A police investigation found no evidence. After seven months the parents had spent $60,000 on lawyers with no progress, and in despair they went to the media. Following Global TV coverage, the director promptly removed the children from relative care with armed police, apparently just to assert his authority. They have since been moved three times. Last July, the director's lawyer told him the case was weak and he should return the children. In spite of this, the director is pursuing the case aggressively and seeks a continuing care order. A hearing will not take place until March 2010, and the parents -- already heavily in legal debt -- cannot raise the $100,000 needed for defence. Blameless or not, they stand no chance of getting back their children.

Clearly, Ferris says this because he believes the ACT is flawed and more effective staffing is required and parents need to be better represented. Compassion, discernment, altruistic spirit do exist in our larger community and since this article appeared in June 2009, lawyer Doug Christie has accepted to represent the Baynes. Together with knowledgable advocates like Mr. Ferris and respected legal representation, and morale boosters like all of us, we can witness a salvation of a family and deny Ferris' ominous final statement above written in June 2009 before Mr. Christie came alongside..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne - Part 6 - The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

Here is a sample letter with content that you can make your own if you share the convictions. Address it to the official of your choice among those I cited in Posting Part 4 on October 18th 2009.


I am writing to ask you to examine and to intervene in the case of two parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne. Sometimes with the best of intentions, mistakes of judgment can be made. Paul and Zabeth Bayne brought their infant daughter to a local hospital in 2007 as a precaution when according to them one of their young sons fell on their two month old infant daughter. Medical professionals reported to the Ministry of Children and Family Development the possibility that the baby might have been shaken. On the basis of this hypothesis, action was begun that resulted in all three children being removed from their home on October 22, 2007. Numerous events have transpired since then but today, all three children remain in foster care in spite of the Baynes’ daily efforts through phone calls, letters, and public protests to obtain an audience with someone who will reasonably hear them and deliver justice. I am urging you to do what you can to correct this wrong.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne have insisted upon their innocence from the start. Their two year old girl has been removed from the Bayne home since she was two months old. Shaken Baby Syndrome as a presenting cause is a questionable diagnosis. The Ministry itself has on file the opinion report by one of its own medical advisors suggesting that the girl suffers from a rare metabolic condition known as Glutaric Aciduria which resembles shaken baby syndrome. Fundamentally, no actual evidence exists to justify this continued separation of these children from their loving parents. Certainly there is no justifiable reason for placing their two sons in foster care all of this time. Hundreds of people will attest to the incontestably fine character of both Paul and Zabeth. To think that one of our Ministries can sustain this injustice with a view to putting these three children up for adoption is a reprehensible and frightening prospect for the rest of our community.

These children have suffered the loss of the full-time nurture and care of their birth parents long enough. Paul and Zabeth have endured the agony and the stigma long enough, all without any formal hearing. This must be corrected immediately.

I am urging you to become involved in reversing an injustice and restoring this family by returning the children to the custody of their birth parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne.

Sincerely Yours,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Five – the Alarming Case of BC Government’s Miscarriage of Justice.

Information Capsule:
1. Two month old Bethany was injured at home. Paul and Zabeth believed one of their young sons accidentally fell on the infant and that was their story.
2. Paul and Zabeth took the baby to the hospital where a conclusion was drawn that the baby’s difficulties were consistent with being shaken. Paul and Zabeth became suspected child abusers.
3. On October 22, 2007 all three of their children were removed from their home in Hope, British Columbia.
4. While their infant daughter remained in Ministry care (MCFD), the two sons were permitted to live with their grandparents (Zabeth’s mother and father).
5. In November 2007 Paul and Zabeth were permitted to live in the grandparents home with their two sons, provided the grandparents were always present ('a supervised living arrangement', meaning Baynes did not have custody of their boys. MCFD did.).
6. On May 16, 2008 the Ministry (MCFD) returned the two boys directly into the care of Paul and Zabeth under what was termed a ‘supervision order,’ which meant the boys were now in the Bayne’s custody yet MCFD could pay unannounced visits and there were other provisos as well.
7. Following the airing of a Global TV interview with Paul and Zabeth which in a desperate appeal for help, had been recorded prior to them knowing the boys would be returned, the MCFD cancelled the ‘return under supervision’ authorization and reverted to the earlier ‘supervised living’ arrangement in the grandparents’ home.
8. Then, on June 12, 2008 MCFD came unannounced to the grandparents’ home with two RCMP officers to remove the two boys, and this was done, and it is now October 19, 2009 and Baynes have had no recourse, and no hearing, and no communication from MCFD and no children in their home.

I have asked you to become an advocate for Paul and Zabeth by writing on their behalf urging the MCFD to consider diligently reviewing this case and he principals, Zabeth and Paul, because they have surely assessed them incorrectly. If for any reasons this agency will not respond with some grace, then ask that a Minister or even the Premier will look exhaustively at this case, listen to this couple or their representatives and change a course of action that is ruining the lives of these three children whom MCFD is designed to protect. Surely the Baynes do not have to confess to something for which they were not responsible in order to have their children, I underscore their children, returned to them. It is time that the MCFD which seeks to deal wisely in all of these cases, steps away from this case and returns the children to their birth mother and birth father without further conditions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Four – The Alarming Case of B.C. Government's Miscarriage of Justice

I am urging you to write a letter or two. I believe that a posted letter gains the greatest attention and there is an immediate hard copy record to file. Email works and conveys a message as well, but it may be best to follow it with the posted mail.

I am asking you to correspond with the following responsible government officials. Lesly Du Toit and Mary Polak have been conscientiously working to revise and refine the MCFD. Premier Campbell pays attention to the voice messaging and e-messages of these civic servants.

1) Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Children and Family Development



2) Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Child Care.


3) Vancouver Constituency Office ( you can direct it to Gordon Campbell)

3615 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6R 1P2
Phone: 604-660-3202
Fax: 604-660-5488


If you care to convey these same sentiments to the media you will find a sympathetic response from the following journalists who have sought to tell this story.

Kathy Tomlinson with CBC Go Public -

Robert Freeman, Reporter for the Chilliwack Progress -

Perhaps it assists you if I suggest some points your letters might contain:

1) The MCFD appears to be in violation of the Child, Family and Community Services Act which stipulates that no child under five years of age is to be kept in care for over twelve months and Bethany has been held since Oct 22, 2007 and the boys since June 12, 2008 but before that as well.
2) The MCFD has not presented publicly or to the parents evidence that justifies removing the boys from the Bayne home and placing the boys in foster care and in fact MCFD has followed its own legal counsel’s June 2008 written recommendation for the return of the boys.
3) The MCFD appears to be continuing to pursue the allegation of shaken baby syndrome which is a highly questionable diagnosis in the medical community.
4) Further, the Baynes are convinced that MCFD communication to them is evidence that it seeking to remove the children permanently and this is very distressing to them.
5) The MCFD insists that the Baynes have offered no alternate explanation for their daughter’s injury when in fact they have made it clear that they have a minimum of ten well regarded medical experts willing to testify that Shaken Baby Syndrome is a misdiagnosis of Bethany’s condition.
6) The MCFD received a medical opinion that Bethany was suffering from a rare metabolic condition known as Glutaric Aciduria which resembles shaken baby syndrome but MCFD has so far failed to reveal this or acknowledge the possibility.
7) The parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, have expressed to authorities their concerns about neglect and even abuse of the children while in the care of MCFD and have received no encouraging response.

Review my previous posts for further information.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Three - the Alarming Case of BC Government’s Miscarriage of Justice.

It is difficult to define justice but reasonable people always know when justice is missing.

Justice is presently absent from the way in which the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development is handling the case of the Bayne family. Government becomes so large and predictably bureaucratic at times that even good-spirited people become mired within a complex system of protocols and legalities. Even our premier whose life is full of important decisions must courteously and vaguely promise to look into a specific case when in fact he has ministers and departments who will first filter and report and recommend and take action. I have seen him respond to this particular Bayne appeal.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne have not had their now two year old daughter living with them since she was two months old. She knows Zabeth as this loving and kind woman who visits often each week. Can you appreciate how this stabs into the heart of a mother?

Injustice is the lack of justice. At times injustice is opposition to justice. The more I learn about this case the more convinced I become that both senses are true in the Bayne case. A justice system is installed within a society like ours to insure justice is not misused, abused or neglected. Injustice simply put is manifest unfairness.

Here is the way either the already printed facts or undisclosed facts seem to me:
• MCFD seems to have contravened the Family and Community Services Act which stipulates that children under five years of age must not be kept from family for a period exceeding twelve months. It has now been two years.
• MCFD has not disclosed publicly or to the parents any conclusive evidence to warrant keeping these children from Zabeth and Paul.
• MCFD pursues an unsubstantiated allegation that Baynes have shaken their baby girl.
• MCFD certainly has no evidence that justifies holding the two boys from their parents.
• MCFD’s own legal counsel in June 2008 recommended to MCFD to send the boys home.
• MCFD’s medical professional's conclusion of baby shaking is challenged by ten prominent medical experts who have communicated with the Baynes.
• MCFD treatment of Paul and Zabeth appears to demonstrate an intention to permanently remove the Bayne children from their birth parents.
• The validity of SBS Shaken Baby Syndrome is being questioned in courts internationally.
• SBS is unproven among biomechanic specialists and pathologists as a valid scientific finding.
• Some courts are banning the use of SBS as a prosecutorial cause and are overturning previous convictions.
• It appears that without further disclosure by MCFD, there are no other grounds for MCFD to hold the Bayne children and disrupt this family any longer.
• MCFD has not publicly or to the parets acknowledged that Glutaric Aciduria may explain the child’s injury, though the suggestion was raised by a medical professonal of MCFD's choice.
• The Baynes have an avalanche of supporters speaking to their character and reliability.
• The Baynes know credible medical professionals that contradict the MCFD opinion.
• The Baynes believe that their children have been left in inappropriate care environments, exposed to television shows and movies of which Paul and Zabeth would not themselves approve, have been subjected to discipline, neglect and even abuse and while lodging concerns they have not received any responses form MCFD.
• The Baynes have been denied protocol hearings that are mandatory for such cases to listen to birth parent concerns.
• The Baynes have been afforded no opportunity in the past two years to present their case and their evidence.

Justice to be real must be more than a concept but even as a concept it speaks to that which is morally right in the realm of law, ethics, fairness.

Paul and Zabeth would hold day jobs but have now employed themselves as night janitors so they can be free in the day hours to visit their children which is the window allotted by the MCFD. They have in every way possible outside the actual daily physical care of their children demonstrated a genuine love and responsibility for their children whom they regard as gifts from God.

Our government whom we elected must be urged to do the right thing, now. Get ready to write. I will tell you how tomorrow.

April 3 2009 News Video

Photo credit: CBC

Friday, October 16, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part Two of the Alarming Case of BC Government’s Miscarriage of Justice.

I'm afraid you will need another full cup as you read. Take it black.

Paul and Zabeth’s three children are Kent, born October 18, 2004 (soon to have his fifth birthday); Baden, born June 12, 2005 and Bethany, born August 3, 2007.

Bethany and her brothers were taken from the Baynes home by the BC Government Ministry on October 22, 2007. Bethany was two months old at that time and she has not been home since then. She has never been returned to her mother and father.

This child was seized when the concerned parents took their struggling newborn daughter to the hospital following what they believed might have been an accident in which one of the small boys may have fallen on the infant’s head. She was not well and they did not know why. On the one hand medical professionals are to be commended for doing their job and flagging what might have potentially been parental abuse. But careful analysis and courtesies and common sense and wisdom were surrendered to the easy and horrible suspicion that one of these parents had shaken this baby causing the head injury. The children were taken from the parents in order to protect the children. That was then. In the weeks and months that followed, the Ministry of Children and Family Development(MCFD)was inundated with letters speaking to the parents’ character, integrity and reliability. There was nothing to suggest their guilt other than an unexplained head trauma. Time passed and the situation got worse, so much worse.

Paul and Zabeth had themselves never heard of Glutaric Aciduria yet in internal documents of the Ministry (MCFD)to which they were alerted, they learned that their daughter, who had been examined by doctors assigned by MCFD, may be suffering from Glutaric Aciduria, which interestingly is a condition often mistaken for shaken baby syndrome, or child abuse. Note that this was a Ministry report on file yet unprioritized in order to prefer the unsubstantiated conclusion that the baby had been shaken. Glutaric aciduria is a genetic disorder with varied symptoms, sometimes including bleeding and swelling of the brain. Doctors told CBC News investigators that the disorder has been mistaken for child abuse in other cases, and children suffering from it can die. This of course, while serving to speak to their innocence, also caused these parents grave concern because if the child were in their own care they would have wasted no time in having her assessed and treated.

Global television became interested in this news story and in their continuing agony, the Baynes agreed to an interview. That interview was recorded on the 15th of May 2008 but it was not shown until May 19th and 20th 2008. That timing it turned out was perilous for Paul and Zabeth and their small children. With the explanation that there was no evidence of abuse or neglect to the boys by the parents and their return to the parents posed no risk to the children, the Ministry (MCFD) indicated on May 16, 2008 that Bethany’s two brothers would be returned to the parents. That was the short-lived good news. On May 16th the Baynes signed an agreement with numerous stipulations in preparation for the boys’ return. One aspect of this mediation agreement was that the boys could only live with Paul and Zabeth within the supervised living arrangement in Zabeth's parents' lower mainland home rather than in Baynes' own new home in Hope, BC. A spark of hope ignited and a measure of happiness returned to this troubled family. But still they were without their daughter. She remained in foster care. Then on May 21st, one day after the Global television show that aired on May 19th and 20th 2008, the Ministry, expressing indignation over the telecast claiming it represented a breach of the signed agreement, announced that the boys would be removed again. Remember, that the Baynes in desperation had agreed to the interview and recorded it at a date prior to their knowledge that the boys would be returned by the ministry. There clearly had been no contravention of the agreement.

This is unspeakably horrible.
That seizure of these two small children, terrified by the arrival of two police officers, the Director for the Ministry of Children and Family and a social worker took place on June 12, 2008 which was Baden’s third birthday. In the midst of the happy birthday celebrations the invaders callously confiscated two boys from their loving family amid screams and tears. And of course, everyone is only doing his or her job - following orders you might say.

Watch the CBC news clip
CBC public news photo above
Look at Zabeth’s Blog site.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paul and Zabeth Bayne – Part One - An Alarming Case of BC Government’s Miscarriage of Justice.

Sit down with your coffee cup. This won’t be a pleasant read. An occasional sip of something hot may be needed.

On June 3 2001, I officiated the wedding ceremony of Paul and Zabeth Bayne. Among the words in my concluding prayer was this excerpt. “Now Lord God, would you allocate to them according to Your will, those assignments which will bless them and augment their characters as they walk together. Give them only enough tears to keep them tender, enough wounds to remind them they are human, enough failure to keep their hands tightly clenched in Yours, and enough success to convince them that they are walking by faith with You.”

They could never have anticipated that six years later in 2007 a nightmare of such ferocity would begin that would challenge their sanity not to mention their faith. But the two of them have remained sane and deeply committed to God. The government of British Columbia has taken their children and is not giving them back. Sane yes, but the Baynes are deeply wounded and the agony is not over. As I tell you their story over the next several days, I urge you to engage the question, “What would I do if I were in their shoes?” I believe that they are doing all that they can and they should not have to be doing this at all. Their children should not be enduring this separation from their parents any longer. This should be concluded now.

Because our paths in life diverged several years ago I was not aware of this dilemma until reading about it on Facebook one day recently. Now I have educated myself about it and I believe that something that is terribly wrong needs to be made right.

I urge you as a reader not to dismiss the case prematurely. None other than noted lawyer Doug Christie has involved himself in their cause to have their children returned to them. I am trusting that I can convince you with some information so that you will make the contribution of a letter to the proper authorities. I will direct you.

Here are the essential details of this troublesome case. Zabeth and Paul have three children, two sons ages five (on Oct 18) and four and a two year old daughter. These children were apprehended on October 22, 2007 because the couple was suspected of shaking the small girl causing her a head injury. This was an understandable precaution taken by the Ministry at the time. The Baynes had stated that one of their sons had fallen on the baby but they were not believed. Shaken Baby Syndrome has now become a suspect diagnosis because of wrongful accusations that result from this rush to judgment without a more aggressive medical investigation.

Here are some YouTube posted videos.
This one will break your heart. A CBC reporter interviews and investigates.
This one is disturbing as it discloses the childrens’ experiences while in government childcare.

Look at Zabeth’s Blog site.
I will give you increasingly more information in the next few postings. Then, I will be urging you to write a letter requesting the return of the children to Paul and Zabeth, and I will give you specifics to whom you should direct these communications.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Neale and Thanksgiving Monday

It is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada. This is my brother Neale’s birthday. Today I express my gratitude to God for Neale. He is the younger of my two brothers and he is eleven years younger than I am. It must be a rarity to have a father Edward who was six years younger than his middle brother Harry and eleven years younger than his eldest brother Neale (Cornelius). Then to have those same age intervals in the second generation of boys as well is an oddity that I have taken some pleasure in reciting occasionally. My brother was named after our Uncle Neale.

My brother was entering his teen years when I married Christine. On a Thanksgiving weekend when I first brought Christine home to meet my family over four decades ago, I received Neale’s approval of her. He liked her a lot and that served as solid validation to me. Neale was one of my groomsmen.

Neale has loved and lived for God since he was a young boy. He enrolled in a Bible College. He has a lovely tenor voice and did solo work for years. He began to sing with a travelling male trio singing Christian music and testifying to the value of a relationship with Jesus Christ. For a couple of years he and my brother Murray were together in the Messengers Quartet travelling across Canada and into the United States. I always envied their experience together. I was already engaged in pastoral work by that time and I was establishing a family as well as establishing myself as a preacher and local newspaper religion columnist. Neale and married Kathy. They were then and have always been, just right for one another. For several years he directed ministries of a Canadian international mission organization headquartered in Dorchester Ontario. Both and Neale and Kathy were needlework hobbyists doing beautiful work and following the conclusion of his mission involvement he and Kathy opened their own needlework retail outlet called Thread & Eye in London Ontario which they continue to operate. Located in London, Ontario, Thread & Eye is a treasure for those who love cross stitch, traditional needlepoint, hardanger, huck or swedish weaving and all the threads, beads, fabric, buttons and patterns that needleworkers are looking for. Neale took a picture framing course and for years now has operated framing facility in conjunction with the needlecraft. Just minutes from highway 401 midway between Toronto and Windsor, you'll find a warm and welcoming atmosphere. They have one lovely daughter named Amy who has gone Hollywood, that is, she married a man named Chris Hollywood. You will find Neale and Kathy's Thread & Eye website well maintained, easy to use and tremendously informative.

Neale reminds me of our father. He is a good and reliable man, with a servant spirit and a gentle manner. When Christine and I made our cross Canada relocation to work in B.C. we gave up so much in terms of family connection, and I miss proximity to my brothers very much.

Happy Birthday Neale.
Thread & Eye
699 Wilkins St
London, Ontario N6C 5C8
(519) 685-1444
(800) 608-7380 (for outside the local London area)
Hours of business:
Tuesday-Wednesday 10 am - 5 pm
Thursday-Friday 10 am - 6 pm
Saturday 10 am - 4 pm

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanksgiving – Reminders from Scripture

Thanksgiving – Reminders from Scripture

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. My brothers and I and our families are taking time to express the things for which we are grateful to God. We are motivated to do this by the sounds of these verses of scripture.

Oh give thank to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -Psalms 105:1

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. -Psalms 100:4

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. -Philippians 4:6

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night... For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the work of Thy hands. How great are Thy works, O Lord! -Psalm 92:1, 4-5

Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father... -Ephesians 5:19-20

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. -Psalm 103:1-5

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama and Nobel

Obama and Nobel

Almost no one outside the Committee itself was linking the two names before Friday morning.

Universal surprise best expresses the world’s reaction to the news that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Barak Obama, eight months into his first term as president of the United States of America.

I am weary already of mean spirited people poking at Barak Obama, but…. As much as I applaud the good intentions and some values of this president, I too believe that the prize was not deserved, just yet. The truth is the award this time appears to have been bestowed as an encouragement for intentions rather than as a reward for achievement. This distinction according to Alfred Nobel himself should be conferred on "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." And get this. The deadline for nominations for the prize was February 1st 2009 and Obama had just been inaugurated two weeks earlier. What presumptive group of strategists thought this nomination would be more than a joke when it nominated him so long ago. Obama was compelled to produce something resembling an international peace initiative. So he has reached out to adversaries, particularly Iran and with mixed results. He also delivered a commendable speech in Cairo in which he called for "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." Further, he has called for a world without nuclear weapons. But all this is mere ambition and hope and aspiration yet the Nobel awards Committee maintains that Obama’s contribution this year is more worthy of its honour than 204 other nominations for this year's peace prize. Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Chinese dissident Hu Jia were among the favourites. In fact the Nobel Committee’s choice of Obama was for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples." It also stated, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." Further, "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve."

Obama in his statement sees the prize to him for what it is by saying the he would accept the prize as a "call to action".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Buckley’s Medicines

I know, I know. My blog postings are all over the thematic spectrum. One day it’s theology, the next painting, and another day, today, it’s Buckley’s.

I am 67 years of age and until this week I had never tasted the medicine that advertises that it tastes terrible but it works. I suppose that the ads convinced me. But this week I became congested and Christine who had a bit of a cold starting last week purchased a bottle of Buckley’s and was soon over the cold symptoms. Of course she willingly ingests awful tasting stuff, such as liquid oil of Oregano for a sore throat. Then conversations with her for the rest of the day invoke memories of turkey stuffing. I still can’t do that but I did try Buckley’s.

Well I tried Buckley’s and true to the company word, I shuddered and shook when I swallowed it. Fortunately, Christine had a chaser of orange juice for me to wash down the lingering aftertaste. If you smell it first it will turn you off. Buckley’s website answers the question for us. What makes it taste so bad? It’s a blend of unique herbal ingredients. I recall my mother rubbing camphor on my chest as a child. That’s in there. Camphor is a mild expectorant and respiratory stimulant with some mild anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It contains Menthol which decreases nasal congestion through local anesthetic action and stimulation of cold receptors with resultant relief of symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and nasal congestion. It has Balsam, yes liquid oleoresin from Abies Balsamea, a plant found in Canada and Northern U.S. from Virginia to Minnesota. Balsams have traditionally been used as an expectorant for coughs and sore throats. Then there is Pine Needle Oil. Who would have thunk it? It has historically been used as an expectorant for the treatment of coughs and chronic bronchitis. Finally Tincture of Capsicum which has been traditionally used as a counter-irritant to soothe conditions of the throat.
And that’s it. And Buckley’s have rubs and meds for kids as well.

By the end of the first day, Buckley’s not only removed the symptoms but I fully improved by mid second day. I love this stuff and it’s no sugar, no caffeine, no anything bad. It’s all good, and it tastes horrible. Get well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do we change the Gospel Model to Reach Newer Generations?

People who are stanch advocates of the veracity of the Christian Gospel will find it difficult to entertain the notion that a modified gospel may be necessary to reach different generations. After all, the celebrated good news is only ‘good’ because it remedies something so horribly ‘bad.’ Allow me to describe first the conventional understanding of the Gospel, and then suggest a conversation point.

Here is an abbreviated gospel summary. God is holy and created the first human creatures with the capacity to obey or defy God’s command. Although the consequence of disobedience was unambiguous, the insubordination of early humans infected all humanity subjecting it to God’s wrath and the punishment of death and hell after physical death. The good news comes because God’s mercy provided His divine Son Jesus Christ as a stand-in to experience God’s punishment and all who with simple trust in Christ as God’s Son and personal Saviour are exempted from this punishment because they are adjudicated as righteous now.

That’s the model with which the Christian Church has developed. What if the newest generations, like the iGens do not identify with the presenting issues that compel people to respond to God’s grace? What if iGens do not possess a sense of morality, which is a robust sense of right and wrong? That is the premise of Alan Mann’s book, Atonement for a Sinless Society. If you are going to stake you eternal hope of Jesus based on a sense that without him we are wrong and sinful and condemned, Mann argues that the iGen doesn’t feel that need. He believes that iGens do not feel guilt for sin as much as they feel ashamed when they don’t achieve something they should accomplish.

So the notion then develops that a different model of the gospel and of evangelism is required to reach these generations. Instead of heaping on the guilt, inundate them with the life of Jesus. Teach the life of Jesus, live out the life of Jesus and ultimately make him real. This is Jesus as seen in the lives of people genuinely filled with compassion rather than Jesus as revealed by institutional religion. They will like Jesus but perhaps not the church. The church may be too political, judgmental, organized, fundamentalist and chauvinistic whereas Jesus is obvious and real in the lives of believers who listen, help, serve, and heal.

Alan Mann, Atonement for a Sinless Society
Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations. Kimball on Youtube
Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet
Images of Jesus personality profile designed by North England Institute for Christian Education

Read Scot McKnight’s article The Gospel for iGens in the summer issue of Leadership Journal at

What are the real lessons here? I am pretty sure I don't have to answer this for you. I have to pull up my socks.