Saturday, December 4, 2010

LIZ ARMBRUSTER / Part 388 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

In what you say of another, apply the test of  kindness, necessity and truth, and let nothing pass your lips without a two-thirds majority.”

That was one of the original thoughts by Liz Armbruster. She was a wife, mother and grandmother. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at age 51 on Wednesday September 29, 2009. She was much loved and she was a good thinker and she had a wonderfully-written blog In Search of the Empty Nest.

Perhaps her most quoted original thought is this: “I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring.”

Zabeth Bayne is bringing another child into the world. The world needs the light of this child. It will be a boy and his name has already been decided.

The way I see it, MCFD has absolutely no business being involved in this unborn child's life, or this child's life upon birth. But MCFD is seeking to do so. We have the evidences. Any attempt at involvement at the moment is harassment and if it occurs after the child is born and the other three children have been returned to the Baynes it will be nothing but vindictiveness. Even now this invasion is liable to be brought to the Representative of Children and Youth. It should not be assumed that attention will not be paid now. In fact, while this case concerning the continuing care of the three children waits for the decision of Judge Thomas Crabtree, I can say that MCFD should never have been involved with the lives of the Baynes' two sons. Those boys should never have been in government sponsored care for these past three years. Imagine Lawyer Finn Jensen arguing for his client, MCFD, to have all three children, two boys and a daughter removed permanently, when earlier in the same year he had advised his client (and it's on record) that he and MCFD could not win a case with regard to the boys because there was insufficient evidence. His client would not listen to that advice. So Jensen sallied forth to press the unwinnable case anyway. In the process he threw muck through which Judge Crabtree must mentally tramp.

MCFD's behaviour in this case, at least the local MCFD chapter has been reprehensible, vicious, deplorable, condemnable. One descriptive word will not suffice. MCFD not just locally is at fault because MCFD Victoria, the Minister's Office and the Deputy Minister's Office have been well apprised of this case and nevertheless remained detached. Or, perhaps the head honchos told the locals, “Win this thing at any cost!” Whether Victoria was silent or cheering, it has been disappointing behaviour too. It is one thing to say a comment is not permitted when the case is before the court. It is quite another response to endorse in private communication or by silence the conduct of a regional office when that conduct could destroy an innocent family and when the outcome will surely be something for which Polak and Dutoit have to answer down the road. Polak of course will be the one who faces the press. Her answers under fire have been curt and clinical. She will likely ask for a different ministry post when Falcon wins the Liberal premier candidacy. Good governance is not something that we have seen from MCFD with regard to Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their children. For the countless other families, I wish I had assurance that an NDP government would give us something better. NDP's track record with MCFD is similarly grievous. It's a dismal picture. 

Zabeth brings a child into into this dark world because it needs the light that only this child can bring.”


  1. Hi Ron; you use some strong words today about the local staff and the support they get from on high in their persecution of the Baynes. Your opinions are strong, but you do have facts to back them up. One of the facts that I am constantly running into in this case and others, is that the time lines prescribed by the CF&CSA mean absolutely nothing. The act may as well not exist. Judges do not seem to care, or simply act helpless. I remind readers once more that the intention of the act is that young children should not stay in temporary care for more than one year. By that time they should be returned home, or in continuing care, so that their lives can be made stable
    How can a case possibly be justified in going into its fourth year? There are many cases like this. On May 21st, 2009, the Baynes went before Judge Maltby to try to get more access. (Judge Crabtree was tied up.) Maltby told them "You are trying to turn this hearing into a trial. You have your case scheduled for March 15th next year. Be happy with that." Be happy with that? How appalling. You have tiny children and you should be happy at missing out on ten months of their young lives. A first temporary care order could not exceed 3 months, but you must wait more than three times as long as that to get your first day in court. The members of the legislative assembly should be outraged that the law that they make can be so easily ignored. Where is the outrage of people like Jenny Kwan and all those other NDP dissidents? Why are they not demanding that Carole James shout these injustices to the roof tops? This is a real issue and not just the ego massaging that passes for political life in this province.
    When you raise the issues of the vindictive behaviour of the Fraser director and his minions, I could not help wondering at how on earth these people can live with themselves when they think about what they have done to the Bayne family? As I have said before, they should ask themselves to consider the possibility, or the probablility that the Baynes are entirely innocent and think about the unmerited suffering they have inflicted on the family. I think that the answer can only be that they cannot allow themselves to even think about the possiblity. The only way they can get any sleep at nights is to go into total denial. They must blot out reality and desperately cling to the belief that the Baynes are dangerous child abusers, who cannot be left alone with their children for one moment. They must suspend critical thought, ignore contrary facts and create a make-believe world. How else can they go on from day to day and deal with other cases?

  2. Well put, Ron and Ray.

    My hope and prayer is that the ministry workers, officials and lawyer are NOT sleeping well at night, that their dreams are reminders of their own personal guilt in keeping this family apart - even when they do sleep.

    In my opinion, displaying personal integrity and honesty far outweighs carrying out any obviously wrongful directives given by one's employer. Out of all those social workers who repeatedly attended the courthouse proceedings, is there not one who has the backbone and moral compass to stand up and do the right thing? Tell the truth. Make a difference. Help restore this family.

  3. What has, and is happening to the Baynes family is difficult for most people to fathom. If it did truly hit home what child protection people DO TO the public that pays their salary on a regular basis, people would revolt. Provincial Court Judges are complicit in this persecution unfortunately.

    I was reading a story about a Ottawa girl, Stacey Bonds, who was strip-searched just for questioning police why they stopped her (

    When a story like this hits the news and it goes viral, it is easy to understand why. No citizen should have to endure what this person did at the hands of authority.

    For the Baynes, take the 'ugh' factor of the Bonds' story and multiply it by 1138 times (approximate number of days Bethany has been in care), then you get the picture. Having your children kept from you just out of arms reach is torture for any parent who cares for their children.

    On this point that the Baynes care for their children AND they know how to appropriately care for them without Ministry assistance is a matter that is not in dispute by either side.

    How do you fix this?

    Exactly how it is being done now. Every bit of information is published and analyzed by the public, and the social workers and judges and lawyers and foster parents read this.

    A judge then has to be VERY careful in completely considering all facts and matters of the case, lest a member of the public start poking holes in the decision. If the holes are large enough, the future credibility of that judge are questioned, much as the track record of politicians are examined.


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