Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DOUGLAS HEWSON CHRISTIE / Part 194 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

He is the Baynes' Lawyer.

Doug Christie may appear enigmatic with his western hat and boots and long tailed coat and upturned shirt collar, but he is not an enigma. Far from mysterious, if you spend even a brief time with him you will hear what he thinks. He speaks his mind and in that sense is transparent. He is articulate, astute, conceptually adroit. He like to listen and he wants to be heard. Inherent to his personal, philosophical and professional DNA is a commitment to freedom of speech.

Recently, on April 8, 2010, Christie was invited to speak about free speech at the University of Ottawa. Here is some of what he said (all of it is on his blog called Authenticity.)

“I have learned to talk about free speech but never practice it.”
- “I have to even be careful how I speak about Freedom of Speech.”
- “So let me just speak about freedom of speech. I have come here to praise freedom of speech, not to bury it. I do not want to be cynical or bitter. But since 1984 when I took up the cause of freedom, I have become aware of the price to be paid for this precious legacy of freedom.”
- “My office has been vandalized, repeatedly; my name has been defamed in the press; I have been the target of spurious complaints to law societies, I haven been banned from the precincts of parliament.”
- “The Roman maxim: “Audi Alteram Partem” was over the door of the law library at McGill University where I once spoke. I entered through that doorway to face a hostile screaming mob, much like Ann Coulter faced. They had never met me. They could never hear me. Why did they reject me before hearing me? Why not hear both sides? Sometimes all sides need to be heard. Until they are, how can you really form an intelligent and informed opinion?”


He was born April 1946 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Douglas Hewson Christie, Jr. and is known as Doug Christie, and he is a Canadian lawyer and far-right political activist based in Victoria, British Columbia. He graduated from the law school of the University of British Columbia in 1970. He is best known for defending individuals accused of Nazi war crimes or racist, anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi activity, persons such as James Keegstra, Ernst Z√ľndel, Terry Long, former leader of the Aryan Nations in Canada; Malcolm Ross of New Brunswick who, like Keegstra, was a teacher fired for anti-Semitic activity; three alleged leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Manitoba; Rudy Stanko of the World Church of the Creator; Tony McAleer after he was charged with broadcasting hate speech over the phone and online; John Ross Taylor of the Western Guard Party and Aryan Nations; Imre Finta who was alleged to be a Nazi war criminal and collaborator (see R. v. Finta); Doug Collins, a late newspaper columnist brought before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission for antisemitic and racist comments; Paul Fromm, head of the far-right "Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform" and "Canadians for Freedom of Expression", and participant in neo-Nazi and racist gatherings, who was fired from his job as a teacher for his political activity; Lady Jane Birdwood, a British follower of Oswald Mosley and distributor of hate propaganda; Wolfgang Droege of the Heritage Front; David Ahenakew, who has acknowledged making antisemitic comments in a 2002 interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

You make a mistake to assume that Christie must share the opinions of all these clients or he would not represent them. You don't understand the man. Another quote from his speech to the University of Ottawa will help to define his motivation.
We have inherent rights to survive as a free people only to the extent we articulate, manifest with rigorous debate, and listen to, all opinion with an enlightened and critical mind. Let us not presume we are possessed of all knowledge before the discussion starts, and set a limited agenda for social and acceptable speech.”

Christie is general counsel for an organization called the Canadian Free Speech League (CFSL). You will have to ask him why he took on the Bayne case against the Ministry of Children. I can only surmise that as he learned that their protestations of innocence were not even being heard by a Ministry that took their three children yet there was no supporting evidence that they had actually harmed one of the children whom they brought to the hospital for care, his fairness alarm was set off. RCMP gave up their investigation of the Baynes almost routinely back in October 2007 but the Ministry has presumed risk if not guilt for two and one half years because one doctor rendered an understandable but contestable opinion that the child had been shaken. And the Fraser Region of the Ministry has not been interested in the opinions of a dozen medical experts whose assessment of the same medical evidence disputes the foundation of the Ministry case that seeks not to unite but to prevent the Bayne family.

20 comments:

  1. He sounds like such an interesting man! I sincerely wish him and the Baynes all the best. This is such an injustice that needs to be corrected asap...

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  2. A great man. I sure wish more lawyers would step up to the plate and thereby lend more honour to their profession. Men like Mr. Christie are all that stand between us and complete tyranny.

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  3. Even for one as experienced as Mr. Christie, watching the proceedings makes it clear this is an uphill battle.

    I imagine MCFD's lawyer Mr. Finn Jensen has been given instructions to drag out this matter for as long as possible in order to take Mr. Christie away from his other obligations, hoping that he quits!

    I would sincerely hope this long drawn out case is added on to the list of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafonde's list of cases to review. If this case is representative of what goes on with respect to circumstancial evidence-based removals, I would want to know how often this happens and what sort of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on such exercises.

    I wish the best for Mr. Christie's success in rectifying the damage MCFD is doing to the Baynes children and their parents.

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  4. Mr. Christie is an incredible man! I applaud him for standing up for what is right,...not popular.
    His stand for the freedom of the individual is very evident when you hear him speak in a court room.

    People should be concerned that as the "state" becomes stronger, our individual rights diminish.

    Mr. Christie spends a LOT of time defending our rights!

    Thank you Mr. Christie!

    MaryEllen Kragh

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  5. I have a few comments:

    1 - Where did the initial information come from (aka, collateral info) suggesting Shaken-Baby Syndrome?
    2 - Why has the judge not found "lack of evidence" in MCFD's case?
    3 - In the end it is the judges decision to return the children or not, not MCFD's decision to keep the children.
    4 - Shaken Baby must require a doctors order that it is "possible" or to have confirmed it did occur. Was there an original assessment done by a physician to confirm the possibility of SBS? I did see there was apparently one doctor who said it wasn't supported medically (was the first, only, or second physician to examine the baby?).

    Its extremely unfair to lump all social workers in one group as uncaring, and without compassion. Even the social worker who removed the children surely has great compassion. Having compassion for parents is not necessarily in best interests of children.

    The above is a devils advocate position and not a reflection of my feelings for or against.

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  6. To the Seven o'clock Anonymous a couple of answers...
    1.One medical doctor made the original SBS diagnosis and followed proper hospital protocol and subsequently the MCFD was notified. Any supporting opinion came well after that original diagnosis.
    2.The judge is being careful not to allow MCFD any fuel for an appeal and so he has not prematurely ruled on what serves as credible or non credible evidence or who testimonies actually will be considered as valid evidentiary material.
    3.You comment is correct because in actuality, the MCFD has filed for an order to keep the three children permanently and asked a judge to rule on that.
    4.The original attending physician/paediatrician made the diagnosis. No confirmation was required for MCFD to take action although the Dr. forwarded data to one or two other experts for later opinion. The parents who were deemed a risk were the ones who over many months secured opinions from a dozen experts to whom they forwarded the medical data to which they had access. All experts contradicted the original diagnosis.

    Anon., during the writing of my posts, I have made a point of acknowledging the sincerity and effectiveness of social workers and foster parents. One brush does not capture true likenesses of every person. I agree with you. The social workers at the start were justified and dutiful in removing the children from the Bayne home pending investigation. While I support your statement that the best interests of some children is to remove them from the caregivers, in the Bayne case, once RCMP abandoned the case for lack of evidence, that should have been a clear indicator that serious reconsideration and then enablement of these parents to resume parenting, albeit with supervision if necessary.

    I appreciated your comments.

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  7. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Ron. I just wonder why the children were not returned at the TCO hearing when the judge should have been told about the 2nd, and 3rd physicians (who the original consulted) who appear to have stated SBS is not "likely" - I am guessing they would not rule it out without seeing the child themselves?

    Re: #1 - I wonder if the original physician should not have consulted another senior physician immediately on his/her diagnosis of SBS before or during the time the report to MCFD was made originally? In light of that not happening, I'd think the original reason for removal was a sensible one. Somewhat surprised the SW did not order a second assessment at BC Childrens and Womens immediately.

    I will keep reading and following this story with interest.

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  8. It was a very sensible reason for removing. There is a family history of suspected abuse, not just on the youngest child, a little girl who is now 2 and a half but broken bones that had weak explanations on the middle son who was born very premature and did get a diagnosis of Osteopoenia (which the Dr who diagnosed him wanted to change later) and stories from family and friends of the children not presenting in a healthy way in public. They were pale, underweight and lethargic which concerned people that saw them in Church etc. So they were removed based on all of that.The infant suspected of being shaken was in very bad shape upon being removed. She had a shunt placed in her head to drain fluid off her brain, she was very underweight and blind for the first 3 months of being in care. She did heal and regain her vision but most of her first and into her second year struggled with vision issues. She has now been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which sometimes is a result of SBS. All 3 children suffer delays in some ways.
    This blog seems intended for the parents, and the parents supporters. I guess its good, everyone needs support. I just feel the other side, the Social Workers, former and present foster families involved and the childrens therapists (there are many) all deserve a bit of a say. We work with these children everday and we see the effects on these children to be damaged, to be being raised in care instead of with their birth family and the stress both sides feel as court dates are hard to get so this can be resolved. It will be 3 years in October since the children were removed and I think everyone on both sides will agree that is way too long to be unresolved. Our court system also needs help!

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  9. How the intial TCO came about sounds like a whole different subject that may be the basis of a future blog article.

    The system would rightly collapse if it were discovered social workers and doctors were arranging and fabricating evidence in order to architect the removal of children for the primary purpose of fleecing the taxpayer and are actually doing more harm to children than any good.

    As I have watched the proceedings, I personally no longer believe medical information was gathered in good faith. The doctor who authored the report has instead been overly vigourous and far too self-invested in defending herself and her recommendations and rejecting other opinions and sources of information.

    While ignoring RCMP's declination to file charges on Baynes in light of this "evidence," MCFD Legal counsel continues to use this medical documentation as a battering ram to cause and maintain suspicion, not to clarify or recommend services children would benefit from. Mr. Christie has pointed this out numerable times.

    The social workers and witnesses such as the Hoffman's and anonymous collatorals, have clearly collectively gone out of their way to villify the Baynes in areas that have nothing to do with child safety.

    Out of seven social workers I've encountered over the past ten years, one embodied what I considered to be the correct use of their skills, but she quit after 9 months of employment with MCFD. These are not the best odds for anyone seeking to win my vote as to the value and importance of social workers who work for MCFD.

    The government is actively participating in misusing taxpayer dollars to relentlessy pursue the Baynes, and this is where Mr. Christie has stepped in, on this David and Goliath battle.

    That judge must award a temporary custody order for MCFD, especially if there is a difference of evidence, which is what this case embodies. No judge wants to later find out a child that was removed and they they ordered returned to the parents was injured.

    The presentation hearing where a temporary custody order is granted (with a 98% success rate in MCFD's favour - see www.pa-pa.ca) is not the place to fully examine and test evidence, but it is the crucial point at which children are ordered to be kept in care until this order is rescinded. TCO's do not have applied for renewal, so years can pass, as has happened with this case, before a protection hearing begins.

    Few of us would argue that such a "temporary" removal until the true facts are ascertained is a wise precaution. It is when the definition of "temporary" somehow turns into years, and children are involved. Irreparable and unrecoverable lifelong damage to bonding and attachment occurs as a result.

    The magnitude of this injustice is why I believe is why Mr. Christie is involved. Keeping three children in care and shuffling them about between four different foster homes for 2-/2 years is cruel and unusual punishment to both the children and parents, and he wishes to help rectify this. In doing so, perhaps other parents can be spared this horror.

    I have children, and hearing that throughout this time social workers continue to decide to allow only 6-hours a week enduring supervised access in a cramped windowless building when there is no justification for this, I would like these people to publicly explain their decision, if they expect me as a member of the taxpaying who pays their wages can satisified me they are doing the right thing.

    If one child is injured, and the siblings are also removed by association, I would use the same logic in that if one social permits an injustice to occur and stands silent, all are guilty and I will view them accordingly.

    When watching the trial and interim hearings, I see no less than three highly-paid social workers in the tiny town of Chilliwack watching the proceedings, I then wonder exactly what shortage of manpower for serving families these front line workers are referring to.

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  10. Thank you to anonymous 9am and anonymous 10:49 am I am anonymous 7pm and again 6am.

    To 9am - I had wondered about past MCFD or other child abuse allegations against these parents. I had wondered about the state of the children. I had wondered about collaterals discussing potential for signs of emotional abuse/neglect etc. Irregardless of SBS accusation, why was the 2 month old left on the floor when older brothers were playing nearby? 4 and 5 year olds are known to get carried away in their play after all. Not a reason for removal, I'd say, but neglectful as they weren't "protecting from harm" I'd say.

    This blog is in support of the parents and yes, they need it. Maybe in ways those who are supporting them are not full aware. An example being, someone I know once told me "My friends child was removed because they told their kid to shut up." Obviously my friend was not told the entire story as no child has ever been removed for such a reason - no matter the conspiracy theories out there. It took me about 2 minutes to de-bunk my friend, by simply showing them the CFCSA.

    To 10:49 - C'mon! Doctors and SW's fabricating information? You don't honestly believe doctors and SW's want children to be separated from their parents and siblings do you? Your second mistake was quoting pa-pa; based solely on the MCFD surveillance section alone that web site loses all credibility.

    Collaterals, and concerned citizens (ie, callers, ie, initial reporters) must remain anonymous otherwise people will stop reporting genuine child protection concerns for fear of reprisal from the parents.

    RCMP dropping their charges or not even having any charges is much different than a CFCSA section 13 child protection concern. RCMP can not charge criminally without very specific information. re: a section 30 removal based on section 13 concern, If there is no evidence, a judge can return the children to parents immediately. Evidence can be, medical/psychological, visually observed, or verbally reported by a child/parent.

    Having three SW's present will surely be so they can support each other, which is an indication of just how difficult and gut-wrenching such actions are for SW's. It takes one very little time to identify the staff shortage SW's experience ALL over the world.



    Ron - Thanks for allowing this comment section to run - it'd take me an extremely long time to read through each and every post.

    But those questions about past abuse/neglect concerns should not be ignored. Something a medical professional (psychiatry or physician) should answer is if the delays the children currently have were preventable and if so, were the children in the parents care when the delays began to develop and were thus neglected.

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  11. Social workers and some others keep saying how most social workers are just great, and it's a few bad apples who spoil it. But from all I've seen and read, it's more than a few bad apples. Much, much more. Same goes for foster parents. I'm sure there are SOME good social workers, and SOME good foster parents, but there is obviously enough bad ones to be a problem.

    And for a social worker or a foster parent to complain because WE complain about the people who are making life and death decisions which profoundly affect children and families is just incredible.

    I do agree that the Ministry is trying to drag this out, in order to wear down the parents, Mr. Christie, and any supporters. This is a tactic which child protection agencies all over the world use.

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  12. Thanks anonymous 1:05! I will remain anonymous but will admit I did work extensively with this family. Its my opinion the delays these children suffer started when they were very young and still in the care of their parents. They were very sheltered and treated as infants even at the ages of 3 and 4. Perfectly manicured and not allowed to get dirty etc. Both boys were terrified to have a bath, terrified of anything new, a park and playground they just stood and stared too scared to run and play like a normal healthy child would. The first time on the swings they gasped and panicked in fear and had to be taken off. Both boys were very picky eaters. They refused most food especially anything healthy, fruit and veggies and any meat. Lots of kids are picky but this went over and beyond that. They didnt know what alot of food was and would ask and when told would say they didnt like it. So not alot of exposure to eating a variety of healthy food. The parents were adament about what they were to eat and the Foster Family would try to abide by their wishes only to find out later that they had "hotdogs and chips" at their visit that day!
    Both little boys were behind physically and mentally upon entering care. Neither little boy knew numbers, ABC's, nursery rhymes even simple ones, or could recognize their written names. They tired easily and could not keep up with other children their ages, they also did not know how to play with other children (again, no exposure) and would wander around after the other kids or hit them to get attention. Neither boy was toilet trained when entering care. One was 4 and the other 3 years old. And also the part about Baby B being left on the floor and having her brother who was a teeny little preemie guy fall on her head to head is a far fetch! I cant even believe how people dont see through that. Plus the story changed since the kids were first removed a few times. All blaming the then 2 and a half year old preemie guy who likely weighed a whopping 20 pounds if that! And yes, What was that baby doing on the floor with 2 little rambunctious boys running around??
    Anyway the kids are doing great in care, not the best remedy I agree but they are healthier, active and progressing forward in all areas of their development.

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  13. To CPS destroys Families:

    Anyone who has dealt with child protection service before will not find it hard to believe that delay tactics are often used. Of course, the typical bureaucratic plea is to blame the court for the delay while MCFD's lawyers use every means available to delay the trial, especially when they have a weak case.

    Hear what Professor Stephen Baskerville said in a debate with another bleed of worker at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CFT1sM5mA0

    The presence of some good SW or foster parents, if they exist, is insufficient to stop this structural corruption.

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  14. As this part of the blog was regarding the Bayne's attorney, Doug Christie, I'll just restrict my comments to him.

    I had never met Doug Christie or heard of him prior to the court proceedings. I've been present at court as often as possible and I've been able to chat with him several times. My observations are that I'm thoroughly impressed with his demeanour and wisdom. He addresses each witness with courtesy and respect. He is humble and unassuming and yet very articulate and knows how to get his point across. The fact that he is committed to truth and true freedom of speech is evident and speaks volumes about his character. If I were ever falsely accused of a crime, this is a person I would want in my corner.

    I am grateful for the Baynes that they have found an attorney who is genuinely concerned and outraged for them, and willing to help them in their battle.

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  15. For Anonymous 9 AM MAY 20TH

    YOU WROTE: It was a very sensible reason for removing (the children). There is a family history of suspected abuse, not just on the youngest child, a little girl who is now 2 and a half but broken bones that had weak explanations on the middle son who was born very premature and did get a diagnosis of Osteopoenia (which the Dr who diagnosed him wanted to change later)
    A REPLY: I want to underscore your appropriate use of the word 'suspected' and inappropriate use of the word 'history.' It may be semantical but it speaks to the kind of information gathered against the Baynes. “Suspected' abuse infers never proved or supported with convincing evidence. That surely cannot be categorized as family history. I have access to the blood work and report for Baden done by the doctor attending to him, as well as access to the Neonatal specialists' report. See any website for information on Osteopenia of prematurity.

    YOU WROTE: and stories from family and friends of the children not presenting in a healthy way in public. They were pale, underweight and lethargic which concerned people that saw them in Church etc. So they were removed based on all of that.
    A REPLY: The children were seen by the family doctor as well as by Dr. Korn. Both medical professionals stated that there was no cause for concern. Moreover, although the children were small or pale, it seems illogical to assume this points to abuse or neglect. Four collateral witnesses expressed the observations you have made but that will not be regarded as evidence in court of neglect or abuse or deficiency in parenting.

    YOU WROTE: The infant suspected of being shaken was in very bad shape upon being removed. She had a shunt placed in her head to drain fluid off her brain, she was very underweight and blind for the first 3 months of being in care. She did heal and regain her vision but most of her first and into her second year struggled with vision issues.
    A REPLY: I won't contend the child's visual challenges with you. What I will say is that I have access to videos that show this child visually tracking during the first three months of her life. Further, I would like an explanation as to why a social worker at one point informed the Baynes that this child was blind and when they asked to take their child to a specialist of their choice, the social workers came to their home to tell them that the child was fine and would not require corrective lenses. Such discrepancies bother me.

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  16. For Anonymous 9 AM May 2oth continued...

    YOU WROTE: She (the child) has now been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which sometimes is a result of SBS.
    A REPLY: Cerebral Palsy is also a symptom with Glutaric challenges.

    YOU WROTE: All 3 children suffer delays in some ways.
    A REPLY: I think that none of us, social workers and foster caregivers and biological parents are well enough informed about the developmental risks of preemies. It is possible that we have accepted the myth that preemies "catch up" developmentally at least by their third year. Research suggests that they often do not, at least not without intervention. Brain scans show key areas of preemies brains appear to be less developed than non-preemies. The earlier the preemie, the less developed these key brain areas appeared to be. 1. Children born about 3 months prematurely are 3 to 4 times more likely to struggle in school than children born full term. 2. Some studies have estimated that as many as 40 to 50% of children born prematurely will have some sort of learning disability. 3. Almost half of children who survive extremely preterm birth have neurological and developmental disabilities. 4. Brain scans of children born prematurely show key areas of the brain are much smaller than those of children born at full term. 5. Children born extremely prematurely, weighing 2 lbs or less at birth, experience significant learning disabilities that persist into their teenage years. 6. The outlook for children born extremely prematurely is precarious at best. Many parents do not know what to expect and their doctors do not know what to tell them. 7. A study measuring the emotional and behavioral development of prematurely born children found that premature children had higher levels of anxiety, depression and aggression than full term children, and that they had a lower self concept.

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  17. I agree with most of it, but I am not the only one that thinks that there are just too many negative factors leading up to the removal of these kids. Too many discrepancies in so many areas. Parents that claim innocence but the stories changing too many times, children that have so many issues and not just one child but all of them!
    The Social workers cant win no matter what they do,if they remove they are doing something wrong, if they dont and something terrible happens then they are in trouble again. Foster Parents are stuck in the middle wanting only to do their job and care for the kids that were placed with them, and all the therapists that see the damage done to these kids have their own opinions of the reasons for the delays, vision issues, cerebral palsy etc
    To clarify Baby B's vision issue. Because of the bleeding behind her eyes and the damage done to the left side of her brain she was blind upon entering care. She did not track for quite some time. I also have video showing this. She was diagnosed by Dr Matsuba at BCCH as having a right field deficit. Which meant she could not see out of the right side of either eye. At that time the foster family was told she was considered legally blind and that she likely would never drive. Thank God as time went on she did regain her vision slowly. But she had many appointments and vision therapists to aid in this.
    You can pick it apart to favor the Bayne Family if you want, its your blog after all.
    I know what I know. I just hope for a quick resolution to something that should have been over with a long time ago. And most importantly I hope for the best possible outcome for the kids.

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  18. Okay, Anon 7:11 PM May 21
    Thanks for the civil manner with which you discuss our information issues. Clearly you have familiarity with details of this case. For the time present we wait for a Justice to do justice for the children, each of us with a different outcome in view.

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  19. I am writing in response to Anonymous who stated that the children were not potty trained at 3 and 4 years old.
    If you have never raised a child that has developmental delays then you can only count on what others tell you. I have a daughter who is now 15 and doing very well in grade 9, who was not potty trained until she was nearly 4 years old. This was not because I was a neglectful parent that avoided doing the training. She was diagnosed with a developmental delay that I won't go into. She has a cousin who is 5 and not potty trained...also with a developmental problem....does this make us bad parents?? My daughter was also not talking when she started kindergarten! Thank God that under normal circumstances this does not mean that the children are neglected and sheltered from other children etc and used as evidence of bad/neglectful parenting! My daughter was/is very socialized and still had problems. You try experiencing life with special needs children of your own and you might not be so quick to judge!

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  20. Don't believe the horribly defamatory comments of anonymous. Not for one second. This is the MCFD or one of their agents trying to do damange control.

    How horribly hurtful to people like the Baynes and to Heather K, and good, loving parents everywhere, working hard to do all they can for their children, with little or no help from a government that just seems to take, take, take.

    The tone of the comments of Anonymous is very disturbing. Cruel is the term that comes to mind, though they pretend to present them to be helpful.

    Are these the foster parents who are trying to bolster their image? Whoever it is, they are making themselves look very bad by saying such horrible things about such good people. This is how many in child protection operate; as soon as there is any criticism of their actions, they start slinging mud at the victims.

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