Wednesday, June 9, 2010

THIS CASE IS A LAND MARK / Part 214 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Wednesday Entry Part 1
The court case proper has not been concluded, yet the Judge permitted this attendant item to be presented and ruled upon independent of the final case outcome.

More time with their children.
Time without supervisors hovering, watching, taking notes.

Founded on the premise of the best interests of the children, yesterday, Tuesday June 8th, Paul and Zabeth laid out facts to the Court to support their request for more visitation time and unsupervised visits. Their lawyer Doug Christie presented their concisely written affidavit and refutation of the Ministry affidavit.

Yesterday Judge Crabtree listened and spoke. I want you to understand what he heard and saw in that court room. He saw an in demand Victoria based lawyer supportive of a young couple without financial assets to pay him, make the trip from the Island to be in court to represent them on this supplemental matter. In that act he observed the commitment of a legal counsel who is convinced that the Ministry has done a disservice to this family which needs to be rectified. Judge Crabtree also saw five salaried Ministry employees (paid for by you) in attendance in court, sitting on their hands. He discerned how nervous the Ministry is about the publicity and the outcomes of this entire case, of which this present application is an indicator. Five people present was not a strategic sign of solidarity. It was imprudent.

Judge Crabtree listened as in their presentation the Baynes stated that they dearly love their children and they long to have their children in their parental care once again. They stated that they have demonstrated this by attending every visitation opportunity permitted to them for two and one half years and have frequently requested that the Director grant more time to them. Any visitation is at the discretion of the Director. All visitation has been strictly supervised . Gestures and words by children or parents being monitored and recorded. When anything deviated from the stringent guidelines prescribed to them, the supervisor remonstrated the parents even using threats of cancelled visitation privilege. Such demanding and restricted scrutiny inhibited natural loving parental/child interaction. The best interests of these children has not been the motivation behind this rigorous supervision.

This is merely the beginning of this recounting of the affidavit adventure. Expect another episode later today.
Yesterday's Conclusion: At the end of the day, Judge Crabtree ordered access consistent with the request of Paul and Zabeth that the children attend a Birthday Party for one of the children to be held soon at a place of their choice and supervision was at the discretion of the Ministry. The children would also be permitted to attend an anniversary party at another date. Most importantly Justice Crabtree has called everyone back to the court next Monday when he will deliver a written ruling on the matter of unsupervised visitation.


  1. I pray these excellent parents get unsupervised access. They are fighting so hard for their children; they obviously care for them and love them deeply.

  2. They must be so happy!

    But Ron..."Five people present was not a strategic sign of solidarity." How do you know? did you ask? You can also clarify if there were others matters for which the SW's could have been at court that day. If it was for solidarity and support....5 would be too many!

  3. Admittedly CW, my remark was a personal assessment rather than an interview substantiated statement. In light of the frequently stated concerns about large case loads and shortage of social workers, I was deliberately pointing out the bad optics of five SWs sitting in on the same case.

  4. Ron:

    I am happy to see that you begin to see the light. When SW is on the verge of losing an application, especially high profile case like this, they always show solidarity. This is also a subtle signal to the judge that the Ministry pays special attention to this case.

    CW, I have seen SW unrelated to a case sitting in courtroom (where there was only 1 case heard) whole day showing solidarity. They were not there on other matters. Try argue that they may be on training, on vacation but chose to be there, ... etc. I look forward to hearing your creative thinking to cast doubt.

    Ron, if you are observant (I am sure you are), you will also see how sharply special interests fight back, misconstruing information and arguments to their advantage, casting doubt, when their positions are challenged.

    Your observation that 5 SW show up is a total waste of tax dollars. That's how they create jobs for themselves, waste time on non-productive (or worse counter-productive at times) matters and claim a heavy case load. The Auditor General should run a full scale audit on MCFD's operation. Their findings may be more earth shaking than that in the e-Health scandal in Ontario.

    Your comments on what families must suffer during supervised visits are just a fragment of the whole picture. I have seen access privilege (I call this a privilege, subject to the discretion of the Ministry, because it is not a right in reality) removed because parents spoke their own language to their children during visits, parents searched before and after, SW smirked when parents and children cried before separation in visits.

    Keep an open mind when seeking answers of implausible suggestions and absurd observations. Being implausible on the surface does not necessarily mean that it is not true.

  5. CW, this is further to your note above concerning my comment that five MCFD employees attending the hearing seemed excessive .... There were five significant MCFD persons there, Sid Fensome (Bruce McNeill's practical analyst / office advisor) who does not customarily attend court activities, came from the Surrey office on behalf of Bruce. Also there were Berhe Gulbot, Loren Humeny, Kimberly Grey, and legal counsel Finn Jensen. Loren Humeny is always in attendance to this case court proceedings and Mr. Gulbot sometimes. Kimberly Grey never but this time her name was associated with the affidavit. As for other ministry related reasons for any of them being in the courthouse that day, the Ministry's Court day is not Tuesday but Wednesday each week and on this particular Tuesday there were not other cases but Baynes, and the Ministry party arrived at the start of this case and left promptly when it concluded.

  6. Ron and Anon - they sound like pretty reasonable folks to have at the court proceedings then, do they not?

    Anon - like I said...if 5 sw's were there for solidarity purposes alone that is too many.

  7. CW - I don't have an axe to grind here. I think that likely two of them need not have been there because reports could have been provided by the remaining three, Humeny to both Gulbot and McNeill and/or Humeny or Jensen to McNeill. Yet it could be viewed as each having a practical and defensible reason for being there. This is not a sticking point with me.


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