Saturday, July 10, 2010

WHERE THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLACE / Part 245 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

In a child-centred legal system such as we have since the Child, Youth and Family Services Act was passed, what can be done to protect parental liberty?

Much of what I, the blogger and you, the commentators write each day, relates to the roles of the state and the family and the relationship between them. I have long been observing that the institutions of the family and marriage/common law unions, of education and schools, of personal rights and private property, of religion and church are strained? Funding a government as we do, now with a harmonized sales tax and personal income taxes and property taxes and assorted permits and taxes for recreational and commercial purposes, we expect some sophisticated services and we are privileged to enjoy many of them. It is discouraging and an explanation is deserved when with respect to families, parents and children, we learn that some fellow citizens are suffering great hardship at the hands of our government. I am convinced that it is appropriate to call for a renewed discussion of the proper role of the family in a free and democratic society and the relationship of the state to that family?

Our representatives have passed legislation that is designed to ensure that children will not be victims of abuse or neglect. Good! I believe that the state successfully protects some children. Many children are in better environments now that they have been taken from biological homes and parents who were unable to properly care for their children. As soon as I write that statement I know there are many of you who are insulted that I would give any credit to MCFD. I balance my statement with the admonition that the state must not encroach on the independence of the family. That is however, what in some cases, I believe the government is doing. It is not the state's responsibility to decide religion and ethical and moral values and diets and eating habits, and dress or any similar family decision. Yet on the merit of one call-in from a concerned onlooker, the state has begun investigations and interrogations that lead to that type of involvement. Parents in B.C. have found themselves floundering within a system where they cannot even tread water.

The best interests of the child is a laudable and important premise of law. Many of your personal experiences and your comments on this blog attest to the truth that government inquiries about parents and their children have extended far beyond the point of the child's safety or best interests. The time has arrived and perhaps the timing can be right for re-examining and then correcting the tension that exists between the state and the B.C. family. There are sufficient documented cases already for politicians and policy- makers to take positive steps to ensure that concerns about children’s welfare do not furnish opportunities for the state and the courts to intervene/interfere where they have no place.


  1. Ron, this is a wonderful post today. The state has no business interfering in religious beliefs. Dietary interference may be necessary in medical cases, but even then one has to consider the family's belief and cultural practices and work hard to use those practices as a strength, not a hindrance to the family progressing.

    My question is...can you clarify what you were referring to with: "It is not the state's responsibility to decide religion and ethical and moral values and diets and eating habits, and dress or any similar family decision."

    I agree re: religion, ethics, and morals, as you have stated. Just wondering about the diet and dress comment.

    From time to time people have directed questions at me. I have not been on this web page for...not sure how many days - a week maybe? - so if anyone had posed a question, my apologies but I didn't read it and won't go back and read through all the previous comment sections to catch up. Also, with the understanding, I am just a commenter like the rest of you.

    Excellent post, Ron.

  2. CW, you asked for some clarification.........
    I said, “It is not the state's responsibility to decide religion and ethical and moral values and diets and eating habits, and dress or any similar family decision. “

    You wanted to know what I might have in mind with reference to “Diet and dress.”

    I was envisioning the possible concerns that collaterals might report when they do not understand or appreciate parents' food preferences for their children as well as types of apparel that may not be conventional by a society's standard.

  3. Ya, that makes sense. Thanks, Ron. Just wasn't sure if you have a specific context. I guess it doesn't really matter. The only time a diet issue could come up is if there is a medical condition requiring specific diet (ie, forms of nutrition, not necessarily types of food).

    However, people do call about "his pants are too small for him" etc etc....not an MCFD concern as per s.13 of CFCSA. Though it can be part of a "bigger picture" but never foundation for intrusive measures. (ie, parent spending money needlessly or gambling it away rather than buying necessary food/clothing).

  4. And CW, if you are someone who must take all these calls it must become weary in a hurry because you must look into it, correct?


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