Tuesday, June 8, 2010

UNSUPERVISED VISITATION REQUEST / Part 213 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Today, the Baynes face yet another day in court. Although their current court case is scheduled for August 9-13th , they are asking for unsupervised visitation in their children's best interests. Once again lawyer Finn Jensen has prepared a copious rebuttal. This is a challenge to which good parents should never be subjected.
Let's examine the preferred development of a case like this. First principle: When social workers remove a child from what appears to be apparent danger, that is only the beginning of the social workers' responsibilities. Then a thorough assessment must be conducted and written. Such a fact-finding process should be undertaken with an open mind. The social worker/investigator must probe for both positives and negatives, affirming and damaging facts. If social workers have committed themselves to working with people, this can only be accomplished by focusing upon strengths and favourable factors. Even when a life or family situation is bleak and unpromising initially, with some closer examination, the hopefulness and promise in a situation may become obvious. What should certainly not occur is the construction of an assessment with as much smear and tarnish as the investigator(s) can accumulate to support an early preconception.

Second principle: Assessing the cause of an injury is not to be regarded as a medical determination but rather a legal one. That has been the error in this case with the Baynes. Examination of the injured child in 2007 and consequent medical evidence was necessary and important and even compelling. However, it cannot be assumed within the purview of the medical examiner's qualifications to determine the cause and then that such testimony is regarded as expert testimony upon which social workers rest their case for child removal and in this case going so far as to propose to take away the children from the parents forever. This leads injustice inherent to the system built on the existing flawed Act. To build an accurate and trustworthy assessment the social worker must take into account both medical and social evidence. A thorough social profile will provide a responsible guide for the social worker to assess likelihood of deliberate injury. Of the many child injuries presented at hospitals each day, most are accidental. That means that an assumption of deliberate injury should never be automatic. Certainly, accidents can be attributed to carelessness by the caregiver yet this still does not adjudge the parent to be unfit to parent or a guaranteed risk to be careless a second time. In the Bayne case, the doctor made the assumption of non accidental injury albeit based upon accepted prescripts in her department of her hospital yet she made this diagnostic choice even when accidental injury was the parents' explanation and a valid alternative explanation as other experts later attested. While one can argue that the social workers are not to be faulted for accepting the doctor's report, had they done an unbiased and more scrupulous profiling they would have discovered contradictions with the diagnosis and with the assumption of non accidental injury.

Third Principle: Evidence in a well attested case should go before the court immediately. MCFD was responding adequately and correctly during the first few months of this case. However, as soon as the alternative and conflicting medical explanations appeared to explicate the baby's injuries this case was in doubt and should have been reconsidered. When the case already looked unwinnable or suspiciously lacking in evidence, MCFD should have reviewed the case. There was no abusive profile for either parent with which to take this awful case to court. At so many points MCFD decision makers should have stopped this and reassessed the case. Jensen himself told his MCFD client to give the boys back to the Baynes because MCFD had no case that it could win, yet here we are. MCFD rejected his advice. MCFD has been seeking to justify its ponderous insensitivity by forging ahead rather than being impeccably professional. For the MCFD a good case doesn't need to be delayed for one year, two years, almost three years. Yet this one has been so delayed. When a case is clear and without question, there is every reason to get the evidence before the court as soon as possible. It should be a concern to us all, to the judge, to the Director, to the Minister and Deputy Minister of MCFD that the CBC story which aired on its website revealed that the MCFD had not followed the time lines required by its own governing ACT (Child, Family and Community Services Act). Jensen tried to dance around this in court.


  1. Thank you Ron for putting things so clearly.
    It is beyond obvious, that the MCFD has not done their job correctly.

  2. Pretty spot-on, Ron. Well written.

  3. The most powerful and unaccountable government entity cannot admit they are wrong. What would happen, after all, if they admitted being wrong.

  4. I gather the point of the article is that none of these principles were followed in the Baynes case. The conclusion we are then led to believe is that the Ministry do not have principals.

    I noted some items were missing, the principal of accountability, for example.

    Another missing word is "abuse." This is a legal term that first has to be decided in order for the aforementioned principals take effect.

    A doctor cannot determine abuse up front, which is what has been done in this case. Shaken Baby Syndrom = abuse, pure and simple.

    This declaration by a doctor serves only to undermine MCFD who are the ones that are supposed to determine by thorough investigation whether or not there is a liklihood of abuse.

    MCFD has consistently deferred to the authority of the doctor, ignoring its own processes so that no conflicting information was found.

    Principals are of little use if there is no way to enforce them, or to be able to show as part of a legal argument the principals were not followed.

  5. An interesting website that demonstrates that perhaps child protection efforts in Quebec are a tad overzealous:


    There are several quotes at the bottom of this page that are worth repeating here:

    "Thou shall not be a victim. Thou shall not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shall not be an observer."
    - Holocaust Memorial, Washington D.C.

    "The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time."
    - Ayn Rand

    "No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his
    duty by the community."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

    “Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.”
    - Anon

    “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy”
    - Proverbs 31:8-9

  6. Ron: One point I would like to add. The Bayne case was an accusation of shaken baby. Mr.Justice Goudge warned in his report that the shaken baby syndrome hypothesis was not supported by good research and diagnoses of shaken baby were too unreliable to be considered as evidence. One of the reasons that a diagnosis of shaken baby is so hostile is because it is an automatic accusation of deliberate injury. It is not possible to cause serious injury through shaking as an accident. That is why it is totally irresponsible to ignore other possible causes of injury. Just as the world of scientific medicine seems to be reaching a consensus that SBS hypothesis is invalid, Minister Polak is swimming in the opposite direction and becoming an evangelist of the SBS hypothesis.

  7. Only a doctor can declare SBS - no other collateral information would corroborate the original doctors claim or refute it. No one is arguing the initial removal based on the SBS proclamation. The issue is the subsequent delay in return etc.

    I suggest the child should have been taken to BC Children's immediately to the child abuse team who would be able to determine SBS or another diagnosis.

  8. To Ray Ferris:

    Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions given on June 4, 2010 to rectify the flaws of our "child protection" system.

    In view of the surrounding circumstances in our current system, your suggestions are too idealistic to be practical. You mentioned secrecy, which of course is very necessary to prevent the public and the media from learning the truth. Privacy, confidentiality and matters are in court’s hand are often used as excuses to avoid answering questions. Yet, MCFD tries sharply and vigorously to project an illusion of openness, transparency and accountability by alleging that there is no “no recording” policy, no surveillance, ... etc.

    Being an experienced veteran in this industry, what practical steps would you propose to implement your changes in a system so corrupted?

    Furthermore, your suggestions do not appear to have dealt with the fundamental issue of child removal itself. The act of child removal alone, against the will of parents and their children in most cases, is oppressive, inhumane and barbaric. Another Anonymous writer brought to my attention of the impacts on removed children in:


    Section 4 of this document discussed the negative effects of foster care. Notably and ironically, removed children suffer a much higher chance of physical and emotional abuse in foster homes, suicide, mortality (due to attributed to substance abuse, accidents, illness and occasionally homocide). They also suffer increased incidence of acute and chronic medical conditions and developmental delays among children in foster care. Many of them end up being homeless and living in poverty when they reach adulthood. Perhaps, you should speak to those homeless people, junkies and prostitutes in Victoria Downtown and find out how many of them have been removed by MCFD in their childhood.

    To give readers a visual view of what supervised visits are and how children and families (MCFD’s “clients” so to speak) suffer, please view:


    How do your suggestions address this basic issue?

  9. Sorry there is a typo, the word homocide should be homicide in the paragraph starting with “Section 4 ...” in my previous submission.

  10. Did the Baynes get the order they sought today?

  11. Allow me to add and try to endure another personal experience, my fellow citizens, from
    December 4, 2002
    I was arrested for the 9th time, this time with a warrant. Because I "between the 19th day of August, 2002 and the 25th day of November, 2002, while bound by a probation order made by The Honorable judge Weitzel, on the 17th day of April, 2002, did without reasonable excuse fail to comply with such order by contacting members of the Ministry for Children and Families, contrary to section 733.1 of the criminal Code of Canada."
    To ensure my attendance in court proceedings, participating judges denied me a bail. One of them (probably the same guy who, on March 4, 1999, excused himself from trying the case, reasoning that he had received and had read some of our requests for help and remembers our wish to leave Canada), refused to accept my Statement. My lawyer La Liberte QC was absent. Since then, the rest of court proceedings proceeded in my absence.
    I inquired from my mates in Maximum Security Prisons about the quality of foster care the majority of Canadian born prisoners lived through. They knew we met courtesy of social workers and police who stole my child. One horror story after another. To make it worse, a majority of them were accepted nicely once or twice, being soon kicked out from that safe place and kind people by his social worker. They developed a natural sense of justice, absent in public servants' minds and acts. Not your JUSTUS, but balanced, quid pro quo justice, giving the society back what they got. Nothing can balance the child's life, ruined by social workers paid for his care.
    Most children in our care were of native origin. Six of them were abused or neglected so seriously that the most disruptive method was in their best interest. Thirteen other children were senselessly abused and traumatized by the apprehension. We regularly met and closely observed our foster children's parents. Much cheaper, safe and efficient methods were never considered.
    The chances that ordinary Canadian children and families can successfully defend their rights, health and lives against similar cruelty and malice is absolute zero, considering our excellent work for the Ministry for Children and Families. Native origin, the wrong accent, wrong color and other "disabilities" are aggravating factors.
    Thank you.


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