We are almost done, that is, done with 2010. Some ground was gained for the Bayne family, but so much has already been lost. Three hundred and fifty six more days passed with the children not overnighting, not living in the Bayne family home. 356 days added to the previous two years during which these children have been physically separated from their mommy and daddy unless in the company of a government ministry supervisor. Over the course of 2010, the Baynes were at least permitted their days in court to defend themselves against the allegations of the Ministry of Children. The judge who heard the case ruled an increase in visitation time for the parents, as well as granting visitation in the family home and very soon he will render his ruling on the all important matter of permanent custody.
I hope the journalists and cameras are on hand when the announced ruling is delivered early in January 2011. That ruling is expected not later than January 19th. When the Judge returns these three children to Paul and Zabeth there should be horn blowing and celebration. What I hope for is a repudiation of the regional office of the Ministry of Children and Family Development that has managed this case. More than that, I wish for a climate change within MCFD, that Ministry leadership will listen to the heart-cries of the people whom the Ministry is commissioned to help. Maybe this ruling against the Fraser Valley Regional MCF can be a teachable moment for MCFD.
Parents who have experienced or are experiencing what the Baynes have endured this long, are filled with anger and rage. No one can blame them. They feel ambushed. Their lives have been invaded and interrupted and overwhelmed. In some of these cases, the continued involvement of the Ministry is technically defensible based upon the Child and Family Community Services Act, but is not justified based upon actual evidence. It is then that the Ministry's engagement feels like harassment and molestation.
I do not even want to consider the other possible outcome of the Judge's analysis of twenty-two days of court presentations. It would be outrageous to grant the CCO in this case, to remove the children permanently from their parents. I genuinely believe that outcome is improbable. Goodbye 2010 and the past, and hello 2011 and the future. The Baynes, a united family, free from surveillance, free to live and grow together.