A BRIEF REPRISE
Yes of course issues of abuse and neglect affect children from every social and economic societal strata. The majority of families involved with MCFD however, are socially marginalized and economically disadvantaged. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 Paul and Zabeth Bayne did not fit that social classification. They were employed and had purchased a new home with property. They were beginning to fulfill a shared dream of family in a family home where children grow up well and happy and motivated to aspire to develop and to achieve. Paul experienced job layoff that many others do and then an on the job injury but they were okay and they would have been fine. They had a community of friends and family who responded kindly with help.
Their third child's injury sustained in the home in 2007 and the indicators which obligated the investigative pediatrician to base her diagnosis on her conviction and training turned their idyllic world on its ear. You who are familiar with this case hardly require a reminder of the precipitant diagnosis. In this physician's mind, the child's observed medical conditions corresponded unambiguously with non accidental causation. The injury(ies) had to be inflicted by someone. That was the assumption, not the evidence. That led to the understandable involvement of the RCMP and then MCFD. When the investigative dust settled, RCMP withdrew and MCFD based its opposition to the fitness of the Baynes to parent that injured child, on that first doctor's diagnosis. MCFD action can only be countered legally and the costs of that now marginalized the Baynes in this sense, that they forfeited their home and Zabeth's grand piano to cover legal costs. So they too could have been called economically disadvantaged I suppose. They needed to be available during day hours to attend meetings, court dates, and visitation dates with their children. Did they seek social assistance? Listen, they took night custodial jobs and have lived in rental facilities. But you need to know that they have an attractive, warm, clean, roomy house with a yard and ample space to which their children can return. They have food and security and friends and family. They have everything that is required materially and socially and emotionally and morally to manage this family.
And they didn't hurt their youngest child.
They provided the only explanation they could, and it was reasonable in the opinions of many experts who were asked to review the same medical evidence that the original pediatrician discovered. A playful running sibling fell on the baby. That much the Baynes knew. Neither child at the time appeared to be more than temporarily affected so the event was dismissed. When their infant newborn began to be distressed over a period of days and no medical professional in any of several medical facilities was able to accurately assess what was going on, they were desperate. They did mention the children's collision during one medical visit but that data was noted and ignored. Only when the serious findings were disclosed in Children's Hospital did they realize the impact of that earlier domestic accident. What else were they to deduce? Faced with an accusation that one of them had willfully harmed the child, that childish tumble now offered the only explanation. An explanation which was not accepted by the medical professionals at Children's Hospital or by the caseworkers assigned by the Fraser Valley MCFD. So it has come to this. We wait now for a judge to come to a judicial opinion. We may have eight or nine weeks to wait.