Monday, November 30, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 46 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." NIV Matthew 5:4

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 45 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Just Suppose, and Then ... Realize It's Really True

Of the 168 hours in each week, Paul and Zabeth Bayne are permitted to visit with their three children for six hours, which is three hours on each of two afternoons per week from 12 noon until 3 pm. Does that seem reasonable? It doesn’t have to be reasonable when it is what the Ministry permits.

Get serious about this please readers. If you have children and you love them, does six hours per week do it for you? If you have children and you take parenting seriously, can you affect your purposes in six hours? If you have children and you also possess moral, ethical and spiritual life values you wish to instill in your children, can you accomplish this in six hours? Well, no, but you are going to realize you have no alternative and you will give it a good try won’t you?

Suppose that during every visitation that you have with your children a social worker is sitting as an audience of one, taking note of all that you do and that you say with your children. Well then suppose that a social worker takes you aside one day and tells you that you are not permitted to speak to your children about the past, their past with you, their lives as a family in which you are involved. Suppose that you are told that you may not speak to your children about the future – that is, you are not permitted to convey any hope that you will be a family together one day again. You are not allowed to give them that hope even though the child says, “I want to come home.” A child that has not been ‘home’ for two years. Suppose that you are told that such information about the past or the future only confuses the child’s loyalties and they should become loyal to the foster parent(s). Suppose that you are told that you cannot send a love note or card to your child without first sending it to the Ministry for approval. Suppose that you are told you may not help your children eat their food when you are visiting them. They are supposed to help themselves and suppose that two of your children are 4 yrs and 2 yrs of age and further suppose that your children weigh less now than they did when the Ministry took them from you. Suppose you are forbidden to assist your children to go to the bathroom during your visit. They are supposed to manage these personal tasks on their own, to care for and to clean themselves. Keep on supposing that it is explained to you that failure to comply with these instructions will be noted in the social worker’s journal and this non compliance may mean forfeiture of visitation privileges and will further impair any possibility of regaining custody of your children. Suppose that the social worker is merely doing the assigned job that is an agreed upon method of operation. Suppose that you asked that you might have a printed copy of these stipulations or even the copy from which the social worker just read to you but that you are denied. And now suppose that you make a moral decision that you will not stop telling your children that you love them regardless of what a Ministry threatens to do.

And now, don’t suppose any longer, but realize that this is what Paul and Zabeth Bayne have reported as their experience. And MCFD employees and social workers, I ask you to imagine yourselves as parents in whose lives this present child protection system has become involved in the ways that I have "merely supposed." You know that there is a better way. There is a way to be discerning between lousy parents who do require imposed controls and good parents for whom such impositions are scandalous.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 44 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice


I have been an organizational CEO. I know the stimulus of a high purpose. I thrived on the motivation of providing services that improve something for someone else. I know what it is like to have a roomy office and the electronics that empower me through connection and information. I know the satisfaction of having executive and administrative assistants outside my door efficiently completing tasks to which I assigned them or exercising initiatives as part of the team. I know the sense of pleasure that accompanies good performance reviews. I know the exhilaration of travel, of seeing new places and faces, of being recognized and called to speak to captive audiences. I know the autonomy of leaving the work day and ignoring all attempts to draw my attention away from personal relaxation.

So I know why the executive leaders of the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Victoria do not relate to the predicament of one British Columbia family. Responsibilities for MCFD are delegated down a lengthy chain of command. When the primary players at MCFD come to the office each day they focus on big picture policy matters and reports and speech writing and perhaps photo opps rather than individual family cases. That’s understandable. Those details belong to others down the command line.

However, when networks like CBC and Global TV air news hour segments that call a specific case into question with respect to MCFD conduct, evidence and decisions, then you would think that those occupying the high chairs in Victoria would think they should review the case files. Such a news story broke last spring with respect to Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their contest with MCFD. MCFD has had custody of their three children for two years. MCFD should have resolved this within three months. MCFD will say this long delay is entirely the Bayne’s fault. MCFD will say that the Baynes have failed to cooperate. That failure consists of not admitting to shaking their infant daughter which is something of which they were not guilty. RCMP after arresting and interrogating dropped all charges of wrongdoing against the Baynes.

In Spring 2009 then Minister of MCFD Tom Christensen as well as Premier Campbell were briefly interviewed and both said they would give it some attention. Perhaps they did.
Perhaps Christensen’s successor Mary Polak has read the file documents too. Perhaps the Deputy Minister Dutoit has as well. If that has not prompted an internal QUIZ SHOW then that is what I don’t understand. The MCFD position birthed and sustained by the Fraser Valley chapter of this frequently criticized Ministry should be causing the chief honchos in Victoria to sweat. This entire case against a loving family is founded on ethereal arguments based on suspicion and a need of evidence. I don’t understand that.

This MCFD wrong-headedness has injured this BC family in so many ways, caused children to question their parents’ love for them because of the separation; compelled them to hire solicitors whose fees have devoured their asset in a home; required a visitation schedule that has compromised the Baynes’ day jobs; caused them to focus all their energy into recovering a family they should never have lost.

It is time to fix this. I understand this. Strong leadership can do this.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 43 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Life is too precious.

My own life is almost spent. Sure I may have many years to live. Yet my energetic working years are done. The strong blond man of my high school and college years lives only in pictures seldom viewed by anyone. My children now in their own mid years don’t remember me in my youth. In their minds they have only grown accustomed to the ‘me’ with escalating limitations. Their children will always know me ‘old.’ Grandpa I am.

I am not complaining. This is life. It’s good. There are large measures of joy and satisfaction attached to this personal definition of life in Canada.

That’s why the wounded lives of Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their children Kent, Baden and Bethany trouble me so much.

My life came this far without the incidence of anything disruptive either when I was a single man or during my married life. My children have grown through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood within the comforting environs of dependable harmony, supply and possibilities. Through all the years, for most of our family peer group this was normality. Do I think every family should have the same experience? It’s not reasonable. But I can tell you unequivocally that I don’t believe the Baynes should be enduring the broken family unit, the financial ruin, the daily tears, the eyes of three children filled with worry and doubt about so many things that should not harass a child in Canada.

Justice needs to be served on a silver platter to this family so that what remains of three children’s formative years will be spent in the affectionate and daily embrace of parents who love them so tenaciously that they will plead ardently until the custody of their children is restored to them. They will also unceasingly declare their innocence. They will never admit to a guilt that is implied by a two year old medical diagnosis of baby Bethany which has not be confirmed and which a long list of medical professionals dispute.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 42 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Mind Your Mouth
Every parent to whom I have spoken since I began my journal Bayne Campaign for Justice has said that if their children were taken by the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Children’s Aid Society or something comparable, they would be camping night and day in front of the Premier’s or Minister’s office or home and otherwise making their case known. That is the predictable, even expected desperation response of good parents who are having their families and lives not just interrupted but ruptured. Anger spills over almost immediately and it may win over sympathetic friends but apparently it works against parents as far as the courts are concerned. Isolated parents feel helpless and do not know which way to turn.

Consider this. The advice of solicitors and lawyers experienced with the court in cases of parents against MCFD or CAS or anything comparable is MIND YOUR MOUTH.

I came upon the website for Pearce, Ducharme and Associates, a Windsor based law firm, that has assisted parents in Children’s Aid cases for over 30 years. These lawyers have acted in courts throughout Essex, Lambton and Kent Counties.

The website begins with FIGHT CAS, meaning Children’s Aid Society – Get your Kids Back!
Then upon scrolling down, the site provides pages of practical counsel for parents who are being investigated by CAS or whose children have been removed by CAS. Granted CAS is an Ontario private organizaton as opposed to the MCFD government operated program yet the advice offered at the site is transferable to any province in Canada because of its practicality and the universality of the comprehensive power of child protection services within our country.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 41 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

I shared the following thoughts recently with someone whom I respect and admire, who is multi-gifted, generous to a fault, intelligent and creative and driven and goal oriented and loves God.

Quite a special person you are thinking. I would agree. I wrote to him because he has large dreams and they often involve people and I felt people were disappointing him.

From Micah 6:8 the familiar sound of “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? The question mark at the end of the sentence in the English version suggests that the entire statement is the question rather than the last part being a statement. It’s a virtual “how did you miss this – you already know the answer.” So from my perspective, in light of the scathing indictment in the previous verses, directed at God’s people who seem to have lost sight of who God is and all that He has the capacity to accomplish, comes the only conclusion at which one can arrive when God is omni-everything. And what does the LORD require of you O man, surely not something outstanding and attention grabbing, but rather what you already know. Isn’t it to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God? Hint, hint!!! That is Micah’s emphatic question.

Essentially what I was saying is that each of us, while disappointed by others, is responsible to God for ourselves. I am very sure that the decisions that should return Paul’s and Zabeth’s children to them could be made this afternoon when the people who must make them are exercising justice, cherishing kindness and above all walking humbly with God. I also know that in our law oriented and litigious culture, the decision makers can, well almost predictably default to the court to make the decisions for them. That is disappointing. It preserves the tension between the parents and the caregiving protection agency for which we should be thankful. So Paul and Zabeth will have to wait for that court date. In the meantime, they themselves will have to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. If you are someone who has found yourself sympathetic to the Baynes and what is to you convincingly an injustice then you are disappointed too for their sakes. Don’t forget what God expects of you, of us. This ministry has it on paper that it is interested in returning children to their parents, and this is one couple whose life demonstration emphatically demands that these three precious children be permitted to live happily ever after with their mom and dad who have never done anything but to love and to protect them from the moment of their births. So burn brightly everyone! Let your light shine!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 40 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice


I have just finished reading an article called Prayer: The Court of Last Resort. It was written in the summer 2009 publication of Kindred Spirit by Michael Justice.

What he writes about is crucial to the Bayne family case. I will tell you why. I acknowledge that not everyone who is sympathetic and supportive of the Baynes is a Christian or a person of faith in a supreme being. This is a no fault statement. To express compassion and human kindness does not require faith. If a ‘no faith’ or a ‘not yet persuaded’ position characterizes you, no problem but will you indulge me as I speak to those who are people of faith for a moment? You see I think some of us have a problem.

For far too many people with faith, despite all we have been taught, prayer becomes our last resort. It’s the old “If all else fails” syndrome. A crisis between what is espoused and what is practiced. Sometimes those of us who believe we have a relationship with the omnipotent Creator live with a disconnect between our confidence and our reality. Michael Justice spoke to that for me.

Michael lost his sight years ago. One of his friends, Dennis Dordigan suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for more than twenty-eight years. Dennis had been involved in Christian work. In discussion one day Michael stumbled into sympathy for Dennis that he could no longer preach, teach, and write as he had done before. Dennis rebuked him with, “Mike! I still pray!” In his barely audible voice he told Michael that he must not think much of the ministry of prayer. It had become a last resort for Mike whereas for Dennis, lives and situations were positively changed through the hours he spent communicating with his heavenly Father.

Here’s a thought. Perhaps this anecdote puts Zabeth’s and Paul’s and their children’s dilemma into a fresh perspective. I can write and we can make others aware and we can write letters of appeal to government officers and we can encourage media to get on this case yet all we do requires something very special in order to be effective. The research, the preparation and the delivery of the case that will eventually be taken by the Bayne’s legal representative to Court, will be convincingly effective if those of us who pray will not treat this communication as the court of last resort but first appeal.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 39 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Man found not guilty of shaking his baby.

In this case the baby died. Twenty-seven year old Miles Lee Fergusan of Portsmouth Ohio was on trial for murdering his 5 week old infant daughter Mylee. For the past three years he has lived through a nightmare of stress and fears that he would be ruled guilty of something of which he was innocent and that he would spend years in prison.

On November 19, 2009 a jury found him not guilty. Defendant Miles Ferguson began sobbing when the court clerk read the verdict. Through his tears he mouthed "thank you" to the jury several times.

He wept uncontrollably and repeated, “Praise the Lord.” He hugged his wife Ashlee, and his lawyer Morgan Martin and his friends and family. The trial began on the 9th of November. When Mylee was admitted to hospital, Ferguson had been originally charged with assault and battery with the intent to kill and when the girl died of a closed head injury the grand jury indicted him on a count of homicide by child abuse. It was not an uncomplicated case or a straightforward verdict because Miles acknowledged that in an effort to revive an unresponsive baby he had indeed shaken her but as he claimed, to revive her not to kill her. On the other hand, Karen Sims of the Department of Social Services in Charleston received a call in reference to what appeared to be a shaken baby syndrome case and she said she responded by assuming that the child was shaken by somebody. In 2007, the 27-year-old Portsmouth resident had been vacationing in Myrtle Beach with his family, when suddenly his daughter Mylee stopped breathing and fell unconscious. Miles, who was trying to change her diaper, noticed this and patted her on the back, and even blew air into her mouth. He then called emergency services who took the child to the Grand Stand Regional Hospital.

The baby failed to live, succumbing two days later at the Medical University of South Carolina. The workers at the hospital claimed that they had noticed marks on the body of Mylee which are prominent with being shaken up. Police, charged and arrested Fergusan with a count of homicide by child abuse. The defense attorney presented a number of medical experts who testified in favor of Ferguson and said that Mylee had a head injury at birth which started bleeding again five weeks later due to a head infection. This was proved to be the likely cause behind the death of the baby. The diagnosis is so fragile. Read more:

Some adults unthinkingly do not understand what the mildest shaking may do to harm a small child. Adults frustrated with a noisy baby, who shake a baby to quiet or to get attention or to punish, are mindless and culpable of criminal brutality. I believe that this man is fortunate to have been acquitted. Defense Attorney Martin had told the jury before they deliberated for four hours, “this isn’t an ‘I think he might have done it … this isn’t a he probably done it … this isn’t a sure don’t look good case. This is a 'beyond each and every reasonable doubt'case and if there is a real possibility that this young man is not guilty then it’s your obligation to acquit him.” They did.
TV video journalistic post trial discussion

In the case of Paul and Janice Bayne and their baby Bethany, it did not go that far. But far enough. They said they didn't shake Bethany. They said one child fell on the other. Two years ago police reported there was insufficient evidence to pursue a case against the Baynes. Still today, their family endures a sentence of separation. Three children removed from their family home. Two years of that. Parents under suspicion. An opinion no longer justified. They are exemplary parents. Please, Minister, Deputy Minister, Prime Minister, Director, Case Worker please re-examine this.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 38 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense

I am absolutely confident that the Ministry of Children and Family Development have over the course of years, prevented children from being seriously injured 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.

However, how prolific must misdiagnoses be in North America that innocent people and advocates for innocent people create an entire defence program and a website to assist one another to overcome the assaults of government children’s agencies that ostensibly protect children but in more cases than any of us desire to know, destroy entire families and squander children’s futures.

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 require 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.

That is precisely what happened in the Bethany Bayne household family accident in which a tiny brother stumbled and fell on his infant sister and mommy and daddy reported this to medical professionals when they delivered Bethany for examination following her worrying post accident symptoms. Their story was discounted and they were charged, interrogated, cleared, charges dropped, record expunged BUT,BUT, BUT, the Fraser regional division of MCFD still doubted the integrity of their story and the decision was made to retain custody of Bethany Bayne. Over the convoluted incidents of time, two years, all three children of Paul and Zabeth Bayne have been taken into the care system of the state.

Do you want to see this fractured family reunited? Pray! Write to MCFD! Sign this Petition. Do not make an ONLINE DONATION at this petition site. Once you sign, exit the site.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 37 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Five Years Ago - The Hughes Inquiry into MCFD Performance

There were grave concerns about the management of the Ministry of Children and Family Development when in November 2005 a Panel was named to review B.C.’s Child Protection System.

A Vancouver Sun article of December 29, 2005 was titled ‘BC Foster Children at Risk.’ That piece mentioned that the beleaguered MCFD was undergoing a sweeping review by Judge Hughes following the recent deaths of two children in care and the mishandling of child death reviews. There was an alarming shortage of foster homes. MCFD was acquiring more children than it had foster parents and homes. The Liberal government had restructured MCFD and the number of foster homes was reduced further. To its credit the Liberal regime sought other alternatives like mediation to allow children to remain with parents or relatives or be adopted. Nevertheless, overcrowding in some foster homes resulted. While so many foster parents regard their roles as a responsible trust, it is not reckless to imagine that recruitment standards for foster parents became relaxed in face of the need. Hence the title of the Vancouver Sun article and the suggestion of risk to children in foster care.

The panel’s mandate was to independently examine B.C.’s system of oversight, public reporting and advocacy with respect to the protection of children and youth.
Panel members were:
• Ted Hughes Q.C. (Chair)
• Grand Chief Ed John, former B.C. Minister for Children and Families and former law professor
• Jane Morley Q.C., lawyer and mediator, Child and Youth Officer
• Terry Smith, Chief Coroner, served with the RCMP for 35 years
• Joyce Preston, former Child and Youth Advocate, former director of social planning for Vancouver
• Ms. Maureen Nicholls, former commissioner of the Public Service Employee Relations Commission
• Thomas Gove, a provincial court judge who was commissioner of the Gove Inquiry into Child Protection 10 years ago, was available to engage in discussions with the panel if requested to do so by the panel.

A compelling term of reference was the review of deaths of children. The panel reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Child and Youth Officer, the Chief Coroner, the Ombudsman, the Public Guardian and Trustee as they related to advocacy for children and youth and to monitoring and public reporting on the government’s performance in protecting and providing services.
It is the public reporting that chiefly interests me. That honesty and sincerity is essential to increasing trust and reducing fear. It appears that another review is required. Perhaps Mary Polak can generate that internally. I am sure she will want to as she acquits her responsibility to the best of her ability.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 36 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Doug Christie is representing them and he stands for truth, freedom and justice.

He is not the conventional lawyer. He has a nation wide reputation. Mr. Doug Christie has come alongside this troubled couple when all their resources were consumed and they were left without legal representation in contesting for custody of their own three children. His involvement makes this story take on a new and hopeful dimension.

Mr. Christie has many critics, understandably because he has chosen to defend some of the most controversial defendants in Canadian history. Because he specializes in cases where the issues are freedom of speech and individual rights about which Christie is passionate, he has represented James Keegstra, Ernst Zundel, John Ross Taylor and Malcolm Ross before the Supreme Court of Canada, David Ahenakew before the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench and the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, and Lady Jane Birdwood before the Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal in London, England. Mr. Christie also draws fire because respecting his personal liberty and his own right to free speech; he speaks against big government, and speaks for an independent western Canada and speaks against Ottawa deciding unsuitable immigration, two official languages, banking, international trade and unpatriotic foreign policy. Sure he sounds like a separatist. He views himself as a reformer for whom a new nation of Western Canada is the only option. His website Western Canada Concept details these views. He founded the Western Block Party in 2002.
He writes a blog called Authenticity
This is one of many YouTube videos he produces and this one is called 'Overcoming Threats to Freedom' Once on that YouTube site, you will find a list of his online commentaries.

So why should the Baynes be comfortable with this renowned lawyer given the publicity he has garnered to himself? He has answered his critics with comments on his website. Here is a sample of the thinking that inspires hope that he will do his utmost to assist his clients.

“I know defending Dr. Ahenakew, Mr. Keegstra, Mr. Zundel and others has made me a target for my enemies. It is a lever to trick people into condemning me. But I reasoned that if I did not have the courage to defend the unpopular, free speech would die and Western Canada would be as corrupt and shallow as Canada has become.”

“I find bullies repulsive and gang violence most offensive. The one thing I find in common among the thousands of people I've defended in the past 35 years as a lawyer, was the fact they needed a defender because they were weak. I became their defender so they would not stand alone against the mob.”

In reference to the challenges he has faced he writes.
“After the many clients I have represented, I have been perceived as a right-wing extremist, Nazi, or anti-Semite. These smear words are inaccurate, unfair and obscure in their meaning. That's how smear words work. …I am an individualist. I assert my right to be measured as an individual and I recognize every other person's right to be so assessed, as well. “

“My major challenge is to have myself and my thoughts and words assessed on their individual merits, rather than being stereotyped, slandered and written-off as most people in the media have already done. I am not in fact as I am represented by my enemies. I am a complex person with an essentially altruistic, generous, intelligent nature, upon which is superimposed a genuine desire to be a follower and servant of Jesus Christ.” … “I seek to build a better world for my people (Western Canadians) and all mankind. My major challenge in brief is to be taken seriously after what has been said about me.”

“It has liberated me from fear of what others think. I know the truth and the truth knows me. I serve the God of Truth. The opinions of men are sadly and perpetually misinformed in this world and there is little or nothing I can do about it.”

So come what may, I will stand for truth, freedom and justice. These three are really one, combined like the Holy Trinity. PLEASE SIGN FOR THE BAYNE FAMILY!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 35 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Bethany is a little older than two years of age. Bethany Bayne was born August 3, 2007. She was a few weeks old when she was removed from her mother’s and father’s home and she has not been back since then. She has been in the custody of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and in the care of foster parents within a childcare system that does not require all foster parents to be licensed or registered.

Bethany was born prematurely. At the time of the accident that her parents reported in late September 2007, Bethany’s tiny body was dealing with the rigors of this early introduction to the world. She was anemic at birth and had milk intolerance like her two brothers when they were born. Bethany’s slow progress was interrupted by a head trauma caused by the accidental tumble of her small brother as he came around a corner into the room in which Bethany was lying on a blanket on the floor. Zabeth witnessed this mishap. Of course the incident was alarming and Paul and Zabeth delivered CPR as they rushed her to emergency at Fraser Valley Hospital in Hope. At the hospital she was unable to breathe and unresponsive after vomiting and she was hooked to oxygen and monitors. The hospital was unequipped for infants so she was sent home after a one hour observation. Some hours later her parents returned her to Fraser Valley Hospital because she was not moving her limbs, was not feeding or crying. She was transferred to (MSA) Matsqui Sumas Abbotsford Hospital where an examination failed to find anything wrong with her and she was released next day. Three days later she was taken back to Fraser Valley Hospital because she was vomiting and not crying and she was diagnosed with constipation and released. She was still in trouble.

In early October Zabeth and Paul took their baby to Chilliwack Hospital where she was given a bowel x-ray which was inconclusive. She was transferred to MSC Hospital where from October 6th to the 9th her increased head circumference was noted and a CT scan considered but not done. Her monitors indicated breathing stoppage a couple of times. She was checked, stabilized and was sent home. Then on the 13th of October the Ministry of Children (MCFD) now instructed Zabeth and Paul together with their doctor to take all three children to the Apple Clinic. Of all things, a neighbour, concerned about the children’s physical sizes, had reported that the children were malnourished and neglected. Their family doctor later termed this citizen’s call as malicious. The stresses continued. Three days later mom and dad took Bethany to the Hope Clinic which then ordered a CT scan which was accomplished at Chilliwack Hospital. The scan results were sent to Sick Children’s and finally after all that had preceded, the scan results were reviewed by two doctors, one of whom delivered the life changing diagnosis.

This doctor was knowledgeable with Shaken Baby Syndrome Research. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is, in essence, a medical diagnosis based on the presence of a diagnostic triad: retinal bleeding, bleeding in the protective layer of the brain, and brain swelling. Bethany had all three. She was a sick baby girl. A well informed doctor when faced with an injured child with no evidence of physical abuse other than the triad of SBS symptoms will consider it his/her duty to be cautious for the sake of both the child and the parents. This respected physician diagnosed Bethany as, what else, a Shaken Baby. A Shaken Baby has to have a Shaker, and who would be the most likely Shaker? One or both of the parents.

The consequence was the removal of all three children from the Bayne home, a harrowing arrest of Paul and Zabeth, resultant charges of aggravated assault on both of them; the unpleasant interrogations that insinuated that they, loving parents of two little sons, chose to maliciously shake up a baby daughter who was two months old. No wonder Zabeth went into alarming shock and a brief hospitalization.

What was learned only later was that Bethany had osteopenia of prematurity. Osteopenia is a decrease in the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the bone. This can cause bones to be weak and brittle, and increases the risk for broken bones. While in the womb, fetal activity increases during the last 3 months of pregnancy. This activity is thought to be important for bone development. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, large amounts of calcium and phosphorus are transferred from the mother to the baby so that the baby's bones will grow. A premature infant may not receive the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus needed to form strong bones. Most very premature infants have limited physical activity, which may also contribute to weak bones. There may be an increased risk for fractures throughout the first year of life for very premature infants with osteopenia of prematurity. As for prognosis, fractures will usually heal well on their own with gentle handling, and increased dietary intakes of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. However, Bethany was also lactose intolerant (couldn’t digest milk product) and therefore lacking in vitamin D. Lactose intolerance is sometimes seen in premature babies whereas children who are born at full term generally do not show signs of lactose intolerance until they are at least 3 years old.

Today Bethany is doing well. The shunt was removed several months ago. Her vision which was an earlier concern is normal according to a disclosure report. Perhaps due to her premature birth she is developmentally average. At her age she is using a fork and spoon and cup. She is understanding of most conversation but her speech is below average and includes only a few words like “Daddy” “Mommy” “doggy” “milk” “cookie” “amen” “bumpa” for Grandpa and “Gammy” for Grandma.

Finally after two years Bethany is with her two brothers. Bethany was moved recently into the same care home as her two brothers Kent and Baden. That's a good thing relationally. She knows them because of occasional family visits together but it is uncertain that she understands that they are family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 34 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

I interact via email each day with Zabeth and Paul. On Monday I wrote to her and didn't hear back until evening. I was gripped by what she wrote to me privately and asked for her permission to share these thoughts. This is what it feels like to be them.

"We didn't get to see our children on Sunday, but did see them today from 1:00 until 4:00. We are emotionally drained before and afterwards as it is so traumatic for all of us to meet under supervision and then have no choice but "walk away". Our children don't understand and we shudder to think of the possible damage to them emotionally with their stability, security and the feelings of being wanted by their parents. It is barbaric to continually withhold a family's God ordained privilege to be together.

All of our hearts weep silently during the visit as we all try to relish the moments we have together. After we leave, the tears freely flow as they are now when I write. It is helpful to share with you, as you understand the joy we had when we had our children with us and how we treasured every moment. We kept daily diaries on our little ones and what may have seemed unremarkable to an observer was a miracle to us as they grew. Now after hearing our story and reading what is in our hearts, I know you understand a little of the pain that is embedded in our hearts, but not without hope.

Like Abraham laid Isaac on the altar we have had to lay our children before our Lord to protect and care for and as we do we anticipate His intervening hand to walk all of us down that mountain again."

Zabeth's reference to Abraham and his son Isaac is an allusion to the sacrifice God called Abraham to make as he tested Abraham's faith. The story is a classic, because Abraham's obedient faith empowers him to do the unthinkable, offer his own son as an actual sacrifice in Old Testament style. It's horrific in the extreme. It's unimaginable. It's a poignant story because Isaac is the offspring from whom God's promises to Abraham concerning a family and a future should come. Abraham realized that if God demanded this, He could also raise Isaac to life again if necessary to affect the promises. God keeps his promises. There on that distant mountain top, God stopped Abraham an instant before the act was accomplished and provided for the father and the son, a ram to be presented as the needed offering.

We don't present such offerings any more. Christ became that for us, is the Christian belief. The Heavenly Father making the same sacrifice of his own Son. Christians like Zabeth and Paul offer themselves as a daily living sacrifice so they can honour God by their living. That's commendable isn't it? Clearly Zabeth and Paul draw strength from the application of this ancient text to their own present hardship - knowing that God can supply what their children need and what they themselves need right now, and ultimately redeem this situation and give them back their family. God has given them you and other advocates, and a sympathetic lawyer and other supportive resource people, and medical professionals, and His own deep abiding presence.

Please sign the petition and pass it on. It's free, no donation required, just do it!
"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 33 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice


I have just read the submission of the BC Association of Social Workers to the BC Liberal Government with respect to the Budget 2010. The Association does not merely request - it reprimands.

When serious criticism of the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development comes from an entire association of people inside the Ministry establishment, it is very significant. I am aware that their frustration and concern stems from the shortcomings they see, the reduced funding, the increased workloads and the suffering reputation of child care services generally. Yet the expressions of dismay in this presentation resemble the faults that generate heartache for people like Paul and Zabeth Bayne. At the same time the concerns you read here help to explain why the Baynes have still not been united with their three children. The declarations are disturbing.

You can read the entire submission at this title, THE HIGH COST OF NOT CARING Submission to the 2010 BC Budget Consultation. I am giving you some excerpts that stand out to me.

“We have witnessed the rapid erosion and dismantling of the child welfare and child and family serving systems and its toll on our most vulnerable people in BC.

“Since 2001, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has been reeling chaotically, confused, and stumbling in the dark. The child protection, childcare and child and family supporting systems have been cut to the bone. The entire system of care for BC’s children and families is inadequately funded. We have seen many tragic examples of how MCFD is failing to meet its basic child protection mandate through systemic inadequacy.”

“The Representative for Children and Youth reported the following in her recently released Annual Report: ‘In 2008/09 in BC, approximately 14,500 children and youth lived outside their parental home. About 60 per cent of those were in care and more than half were Aboriginal children and youth. In addition, nearly 4,400 children and youth lived out of parental placements in the home of a relative, over 600 were on youth agreements and 188 were in kith and kin arrangements. In some instances, government takes on full parental roles for these children and youth. In others it is not so clear where responsibility and accountability rests for the day-to-day care of children, their guardianship or their well-being. Many of these children are in limbo and my Office continues to advocate for a stronger system of supports for them, with proper guardianship.’” (p.5)

“MCFD consistently fails to respond to independent reports regarding child safety, well being and monitoring, such as the many reports released by the Representative for Children and Youth.”

“The four most cited reasons for (social workers) leaving MCFD’s child protection front lines include “unmanageable caseloads, a lack of confidence in all levels of leadership and management, high stress levels, and a lack of preventative and supportive resources for children and families.”

“There is internal organizational chaos and confusion as people bump from regions and teams are reconfigured. With the loss of auxiliary social workers, children at-risk and families needing support are pushed to the side for more “restructuring.” Caseloads are not theoretical; they are children at risk of being abused and neglected, and in many areas around BC the state is neither monitoring nor supporting them, except for emergency triaging and reactive, crisis-based band aid work until their files can be closed.”

“We ask the BC government to dedicate the 2010 budget to the interests of dignity, human rights and respect for all our citizens.”

To encourage MCFD to return three children to their parents, perhaps you will sign a petition at
If you yourself have not yet read or signed this petition please take a brief moment now.
"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 32 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Perhaps you can join me in making a difference by encouraging the Bayne family and exposing this case to the public. If you have a business network or a church network or a neighbourhood network of friends to whom you feel comfortable sending this note, please use it. Please feel free to cut and to paste it or modify the words to suit your circumstance.
”I have wanted to share this burden with you. I am being drawn in by sorrow and becoming an advocate for Paul and Zabeth Bayne. In 2007 a routine hospital visit became a nightmare from which the family has not awoken. They have three children, two boys and the youngest, a daughter. At two months of age Bethany was lying on a blanket on the floor when one of her brothers accidentally fell on her. There was swelling of her head. At the hospital the immediate suspicion was Baby Shaking which was reported. As a protection for the children, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development removed their children on October 22, 2007. The children have still not been returned. The bureaucratic and legal entanglements and delays would mystify you. The couple has contacted every possible source of help without success. They have sold their home and her grand piano to pay for legal fees. They have given up day jobs to work as night janitors so they can visit the children briefly during day hours. Their story was aired on CBC and Global but got nowhere. A new high profile lawyer, Doug Christie is volunteering time and we have hope that this family can be reunited. Thank you”
You can read this story at
Perhaps you would sign a petition at

If you yourself have not yet read or signed this petition please take a brief moment now.
"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. No donation required. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 31 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

Such an Easy Resolution is Such a Leap of Faith for MCFD

Never have Paul or Zabeth said they do not want the responsibility of raising their three children.
Never has Zabeth regretted giving birth to her children.
Never has Paul wished that he didn’t have children.
Never have they expressed that they are glad that the children are not in their home.

On the contrary, for two years all that Paul and Zabeth have thought about and all they have lived for was their children, seeing them on visitation days and attempting to do all within their power to persuade the Ministry of Children and Family Development that does have the custody of the Bayne children, that they, the birth parents, are capable, responsible and loving parents with whom these three children will be completely safe and happy.

But a handful of MCFD staff has not been convinced. They have not been persuaded that the medical evidence of Shaken Baby is not conclusive in Bethany’s case. They have not been won over by alternate explanations for the head trauma. After two years of observation of parental faithfulness in difficult conditions, they cannot let go of their concern that these parents are a threat to their children. This is in spite of all assessment and investigatory reports that maintain no evidence exists that the boys were ever harmed or that they might be harmed by these parents.

I still believe that with a fresh and unbiased examination of all the Bayne file information, these officials will make the decision to authorize the return not only of Paul and Zabeth’s two sons but their little daughter. Two year old Bethany must be allowed to go home. She will be secure and happy and loved in the care and custody of her parents who have loved her before she even entered this world.

Please Don't Hesitate to Sign this Petition. Click the Link below..

"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 30 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

A Guilty Bystander

I did not want to be a ‘guilty bystander’ - a Thomas Merton expression from the title of one of his books, 'Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander.' I could easily be that - a guilty bystander. I am sure there have been other occasions in life when I have stood by and done nothing to assist or aid. This time however, the dilemma of a young family caught in the grip of a regulatory system for which time and emotion seems unimportant, demanded my attention.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne have been living a nightmare for two years. John Grisham could script a narration like this. That’s what this is. A work of fiction based on real life. The fiction consists of what was alleged about the Baynes. Real life unfolded this way.

Two small boys are playing in the house. An infant daughter lies quietly on a blanket on the floor. Suddenly a burst of energy around a corner and one boy tumbling uncontrolled, falls on the baby girl. The baby settles down. Only after some time do symptoms appear in the baby's behaviour that concern the parents. Over a period of several days, the baby is taken to several hospitals because of inconclusive examinations. At the last hospital a diagnosis is rendered – Shaken Baby Syndrome – the opinion of one doctor. Someone shook the baby. The wheels of Child Protection are set into motion. Reps from the Ministry of Children appear at the Bayne household and take custody of the three children. Their mother and father with tearful and terrified alarm are arrested on the charge of aggravated assault and are individually interrogated. She is briefly hospitalized because of the trauma of the ordeal. The police conclude there is no evidence to proceed with this charge. It is dropped, and their arrest record expunged. There is even a police apology. However, the Ministry of Children has the Bayne children. Regardless of the police judgment, Paul and Zabeth are still considered a danger to their children in the minds of the district child protection group. Their story of the accidental collision of one child on top of another is discounted in favour of the one doctor’s Shaken Baby diagnosis. Even though Child Protection espouses the objective of returning children to parents when it seems wise and proper, the proverbial wheels of the Child Protection agency turn slowly, very slowly. The boys are permitted by the Ministry to live with the grandparents. One entire year passes during which time, Paul and Zabeth have been compelled to acquire legal help. Lawyers cost money – lots of money. The legal efforts prove futile and eventually the Bayne home has liens put against it to pay for legal fees. The Ministry learns that another medical assessment of the baby girl suggests she suffers from a rare metabolic condition known as Glutaric Aciduria which resembles shaken baby syndrome. This revelation could absolve the parents of suspicion. The parents are not informed of this condition nor does the Ministry proactively provide medical treatment for this condition. Someone in control of the case either doubts the alternate option or does not care enough to press for truth. The parents learn about it from a caregiver privy to the information. More time passes. Now it is the spring and 18 months have passed when Paul and Zabeth are also allowed to live in the grandparents' home under supervised arrangement. The Ministry has received numerous letters of personal support and character commendation for the Baynes. Regularly for months a protest group holds placards outside the premier’s downtown office to ask for the return of the children without apparent success. The Bayne’s tortuous story gains public attention and television journalists clamour for their chronicle but after the news is aired, without announcing their arrival, the Ministry people accompanied by police, interrupt one of the small boy’s birthday party in the Grandparents’ home. They seize the Bayne boys and once again have custody of all three. The Ministry justifies this action on the basis that the parents contravened an agreement that curtailed media contact. Little attention is paid to the fact that the interview was agreed to and videod days before the Baynes learned that they could live in the same house as the boys. The Network scheduled the airing time which happened to be after the custody arrangement. After some time even the Ministry's lawyer says there is no ground for holding the boys and advises the Ministry to return the sons. The Ministry disregards the advice. The Ministry is moving this to court, but again slowly, very slowly. Unable to afford any more lawyers the Baynes are met by a high profile Canadian lawyer who expresses willingness to represent them. It is now over two years that the Ministry in apparent violation of its own governing ACT and without an updated court authorization beyond the initial order has held three children from their parents.

That is not the end of the story. It is still being written. You have only finished half of this narrative “The Bayne Campaign for Justice.” You are going to help to write the conclusion.
Today, please go to the petition page to sign for them, and send this link to your friends.
Please Don't Hesitate to Sign this Petition. Click this Link or the one below..

"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 29 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice


I have told you before that Paul and Zabeth are people with a personal faith in God and are committed Christians. Faith plays a role in coping with heartache as great as theirs has been and still is. In fact they would say that without a belief that Someone beyond this realm is looking after their life and their interests, they would despair. Almost everyone in an elected or hired position of authority that might influence this case and to whom they have appealed, has declined, or not answered, or found a conflict of commitments or protocol. But they truly believe that God has introduced into their lives some people who are vitally interested in helping them and who can speak for them to present a reasonable claim for the return of their children. Further, they believe that this agony has extended this long for purposes not yet revealed but that far exceed the expectations of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

They say that they must purposely entrust their children to God’s care each day and they are comforted in knowing that so many people are praying for them and their children. If not for this comfort they would be overcome with worry not only for the children’s present emotional and physical well being but for the ultimate outcome of this hard passage in their lives. They admit to losing hope or composure at times when they have to say goodbye yet again or they pass a room where the children might be.

They have told me. “We have made each visit with our children one that contains Bible story time, prayer before snacks, prayer before we part, encouraging them to talk to Jesus when they are afraid, lonely, wanting to come home, etc. Time is so short and we do see evidence of the foster homes set of ethics and values. What we had wanted for our children in training as well as in preserving their innocence and growth feels so threatened, but again we have given our children to the Lord to care for and He does watch over them. We will continue to do all we can to foster their love for Jesus and their trust in Him to bring them home.”
While you sip your coffee today, please go to the petition page to sign for them, and send this link to your friends.
Please Don't Hesitate to Sign this Petition. Click the Link below..

"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 28 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

As I write, 302 people have signed the online petition. At the petition page you will read the following text. If you haven’t yet signed, please consider doing so. I desire 1,000 signatures before December 1st. Send this link to your interested friends.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne need our help. Their three children were removed from their home on October 22, 2007. It is difficult to define justice but reasonable people always know when justice is missing. It is missing in their case.

If you are unfamiliar with all the details of their story my brief synopsis of their despair will introduce you. Your interest may translate into justice for them.

Paul and Zabeth have three children, Kent, born October 18, 2004; Baden, born June 12, 2005; and Bethany, born August 3, 2007. Bethany and her brothers were taken from the Bayne’s home by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development on October 22, 2007. Bethany was two months old at that time and she has not been home since then. She is two years old now and those years have been spent in foster care homes.

This child was seized when the concerned parents took their struggling two month old daughter to the hospital following what Zabeth reported as an accident in which one of the small boys fell on the infant’s head. Bethany became ill and was taken to various hospitals and finally to Vancouver’s Sick Children’s Hospital in the ensuing days. 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 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.

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. RCMP investigated their case and cleared them of liability in Bethany’s condition. The MCFD has maintained its position based on an unsubstantiated presumption of non accidental injury and parental guilt and risk to the children. The tale is tangled and does not reflect well on the Ministry at the moment.

Today the Bayne family desperately needs someone with your objectivity to become interested enough to help them recover their family.

I am asking you to consider signing this petition so we can ascertain the level of support for the Baynes that may influence our BC Ministry of Children to return the children to their birth parents. Please inform yourself by reading some of the blog posts at
We should sign with full names rather than the anonymous option if possible.
Please Don't Hesitate to Sign this Petition. Click the Link below..

"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 27 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice

This is Remembrance Day in Canada. Each November 11th, my countrymen mark the day with a moment of silence to remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. More than 100,000 have died in order to preserve our peace. By remembering everyone who has served we honour them for enduring hardships, fears, losses so that we may enjoy our freedoms.

We too often take for granted our freedom, values and opportunities and the right to elect the government of our choice. I remember the Queen’s father King George VI who in 1939 said, "Without freedom there can be no enduring peace and without peace no enduring freedom."

From the Vets website I quote this paragraph. “By remembering their service and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve. They believed that their actions in the present would make a significant difference for the future, but it is up to us to ensure that their dream of peace is realized.”
It is because of my father, and perhaps yours and others and our brothers, sisters and mothers that I have the freedom to ask on a different day, that the Ministry of Children and Family Development reconsider the information that led to their decisions regarding Kent, Baden and Bethany Bayne – decisions that have kept them from their mom and dad ostensibly to protect them. In an effort to responsibly shield these children, MCFD employees in a lengthy and complex series of actions and choices have deprived these children and their parents of a freedom they have a right to enjoy in Canada. In a land of freedom, this family deserves the freedom to live as a family.

I also have freedom to ask you to sign the petition you will read on this linked page.

Please Don't Hesitate to Sign this Petition. Click the Link below..

"Bayne Campaign for Justice Petition"
Join the growing number of people who are signing a petition to have the children returned to Paul and Zabeth. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time. Please sign your full name, even though the anonymous option is offered. The name counts.