Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zabeth and Paul Bayne – Part 74 – The Bayne Campaign for Justice


I wouldn't call it a thriller but Paul and Zabeth Bayne have been living a nightmare for two years that could easily pass as a dramatic novel manuscript. The problem is that this is not fiction but real life, and the life of the Bayne family needs a happy ending unless this is a Stephen King product.

I am calling this story, A STATE OF EMERGENCY

Here is the plot line. Picture two small boys, two and four years of age playing in their family home. Their baby sister is lying quietly and contentedly on a blanket placed in the living room floor. The children's father prepares a family dinner. Their mother leaves the living room momentarily to express milk for her infant daughter. Upon returning to the room fifteen minutes later she sees one of her sons running through a doorway and stumbling and falling upon the infant girl. The initial concern dissipates as the baby stops crying and settles down. Later however, the mother and father become concerned about the baby girl's behaviour. They take their child for examination in several local hospitals and these prove inconclusive. Unsatisfied, they at last take their daughter to a city Children's hospital. There, a physician renders a Shaken Baby diagnosis. The parents are immediately suspected. Child Protection personnel come to the family home and take the children away. The parents are subsequently arrested for aggravated assault on their own child, separately interrogated. The mom is traumatized by these events and is briefly hospitalized until she is stabilized. Then they learn that the police have determined there is insufficient evidence to proceed with charges. The charges are dropped and their case record expunged. In fact the police issue an apology to the parents for wrongfully taking fingerprints and photos and then they wish the Baynes the best of luck. The government's Child Protection agency nonetheless refuses to believe the parents' version of what happened. The agency is convinced that this was non accidental and therefore the parents are under suspicion and considered a potential risk to their children. Months pass as the parents try to assert their character credibility and to retrieve their children but all their efforts are unsuccessful and in the process their legal expenses require them to forfeit their new family home and to sell the mother's grand piano which is her livelihood as a teacher and concert pianist. During all of this time, the young parents are living with the young woman’s parents because it shortens the distance of their weekly visitations to the children and it provides some mutual moral reinforcement. The boys are permitted by Child Protection to live with the parents in the supervised arrangement of their maternal grandparents’ home. They are still without their tiny daughter.

The Bayne’s tortuous story gains public attention and television journalists clamour for their narrative. They agree to a televised interview which is recorded for later showing. Between the day of the recording and the date of the airing of the segment, a mediation arrangement is introduced by the Child Protection agency by which the parents are promised that the two boys may live with the parents wherever they choose to live. This is permanent and it is wonderful news. Then the TV segment airs. Without announcing their arrival, the Ministry people accompanied by police, interrupt the birthday of one of the small boys in the Grandparents’ home. They seize the Bayne boys amid the screams and cries of children and adults and once again have custody of all three. The Ministry justifies this action on the basis that the parents contravened the agreement that curtailed media contact. Little attention is paid to the fact that the interview was agreed to and videoed days before the Baynes learned that they could have full custody of their boys again.

This is a devastating occurrence for the family and for their friends. The parents are known and respected by a vast friendship network that write countless letters of appeal to the Government and for many months scores of people stand in front of elected officials' constituency offices holding placards of protest and appeal. 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 will put these children up for adoption and is moving this case to court, but again slowly, very slowly. The Baynes are unable to afford any more lawyers. Then remarkably 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 the Baynes contend is a violation of the Ministry's own governing ACT and allegedly 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 subtitled, “The Bayne Campaign for Justice.” This tale could go in several different directions. 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.

And if you wish to attend a piano concert this Sunday Jan 3 2010 in Richmond BC., in which Zabeth will be playing, and funds will go into a trust to allay legal expenses, you must reserve you free admission seat by calling 778-228-4717 or sending an email reservation request to

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