Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OPTIMUM POSITION/ Part 399 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

If you stand too close to a painting, you see only the broad brush strokes of colour.
If you stand too far back you are unable to see the details.
But at that optimum position you can see enough detail that the composition evokes a Wow!

'Mary's Eyes' closeup
The Director and his team all the way to the social workers who are in regular contact with Paul and Zabeth Bayne are too close to the painting of the Bayne family ordeal and they see only the heavy impaso of the Baynes refusal to acknowledge responsibility for their youngest child's injuries three years ago. They see only the thick application of public exposure. They see their own Ministry overtures as fair and generous and considerate and they view the Baynes as uncooperative. They are so close that they cannot see the nuances of the changing brush strokes over the past three years. They see the Baynes determination, and unwillingness to acquiesce to Ministry pressures.

Mary Polak, Leslie du Toit and all of the associates in Victoria are standing too far away to see the details. They cannot see that the portrait is really not one canvas but a diptych, two canvasses side by side, one showing the distress of a family separated and the other showing the joy at being together. The Victoria viewers have no appreciation for the pathos and expression of this family portrait. They cannot see the pain on the faces or the tears on the cheeks. Nor can they see pleasure on the faces of parents holding their children and happiness on the countenances of the children as they play with one another among the familiar items of home. Nor does Victoria care. And the crew in Victoria stand too far away to see the mistakes that have been making in creating the A side of the diptych while preventing the B side from being realized.

'Mary's Eyes' by Ron Unruh 2010
The premise for the creation of the position of Representative of Children and Youth was that an official should be charged with responsibility to stand at the optimum position in order to view family portraits like that of the Baynes. While the Bayne portrait may not be a classic it nonetheless grabs a viewers attention from across the room and with each step closer it delivers and holds the viewer's attention. We were hoping that the Representative's Office would stand at the optimum position and notice that Side A was not completed and would then conclude that Side A should never have been begun. But that is not the Representative's mandate. We were hoping that the Representative would engage with the idyllic Side B composition and offer an opinion but that is apparently not mandated either. As much as I hate to admit this, this leaves only us, the discerning public to stand at the optimum place to see both the entire composition as well as the strokes that have achieved these results. If we feel strongly about this portrait we will have to invite countless other people to examine it as well, critics, journalists, news networks, politicians, legislators.


  1. Elegantly stated.
    Also, sadly accurate. Ordinary citizens are required to take action, to demand justice.

  2. Victoria columnist, Les Leyne wrote an article today in which he referred to the Hughes report as a road map. Well a road map for Leslie Dutoit could be useful, providing that it is written in braille.
    You recently asked me about the various places where you can go to ask for help against MCF injustices. Well, I am happy to say that there are lots of them, but they are all pretty well useless. I think we need to start off by looking at the culture in the courts and the legal system. For centuries the legal system has developed rules and procedures aimed at the truth and the purity of the court's concluisions. The problem is that the process is based on an adversarial system and it is full of ritual, precedent and process and it is ruinously expensive. Only too often justice is drowned in process. Courts do not dispense justice,they dispense law.
    When we look at the various watchdog agencies like the Ombudsbody office, of the YCR, we see that they are quasi-legal bodies which are run by lawyers. As soon as lawyers run things, they become obsessed with procedures and processes and they tend to become adverarial They work under strict and rigid rules and if you do not fit precisely into the right pigeon holes you are totally out of luck. "My heart bleeds for you, but you do not really fit our mandate so will you please get lost."
    The ombudsman will look at your case, but they may take a year to do the job and they touch nothing that is before court. I have usually found that by the time they conclude it is far too late to do anything. Mostly they produce frustration for clients who go to the office full of false hope. They do not have the hope dashed--it slowly ebbs away. In preparing people to go to the ombudsmman I have found it useful to anticipate the barriers and to prepare arguments as to why it fits the mandate
    The first registrar and the board of registration for social workers much preferred to use the mediation clauses of the social workers act and to settle complaints to the mutual satisfaction of social worker and client. After the Board contracted a lawyer, everything changed. Complaints were all addressed in an adversarial manner. Forgotten were the mediation clauses and complaints small and large were given the sledgehammer treatment. Many people preferred to quit registration, rather than go broke paying legal fees. The budget of the board went up every year becaus of legal costs.
    There are numerous internal review people and most of them cannot do anything. One of the devices is that a client can ask to have a director's review. This is an investigation ordered by the director.It is a confidential report made to the director. In these cases (like the Baynes) it is usaually the director who is calling the shots, so a director's review is to have him examining himself. The narrow scope of the review is to see if all proper procedures have been followed. Guess what? They always clear the worker. You got screwed with proper process, so what is your problem? I have already mentioned that in the closure of one foster home, no fewer than 22 ministry bureaucrats put in their oar. The dreaded John Fitzsimmons was one of these bureaucrats, only this time he was on the side of the angels He was given the responsibility of doing a director's report. He did a fair and balanced report, which recommended that the 12 year old child be returned to the only home she had known for the last 10 years. The foster parents were not allowed to see the report and they only got it filtered through Bruce McNeill and his boss Les Boon. It took them a year to see the Fitzsimmons report through the privacy commissioner.
    In short dear bloggers, most of the helping resources are there in theory only. I can guarantee that you will get a ton of process, but no results. Actually, none of these people can tell the difference.

  3. This is a good reverse of the idiom "can't see the forest for the trees." MCFD does possess the view of the big picture, and they keep the parents busy with irrelevant details in order to prevent them from seeing the big picture, until it is too late.

    MCFD perhaps likes to call themselves artists and connoisseurs of art, but in reality they are graffiti vandals armed with one color of spray paint. They don't know what a brush is, and they possess no talent and do not use the skills they might have, they are lazy and spray their mark on public structures with no finesse or control.

    They have have enough emotional intelligence to know the mark they leave will piss off anyone who sees it, but they also know people will learn to live with it. Fellow vandals recognize the marks, and perhaps try to outdo their brethren. They don't care what they paint on, they know and intend to damage, and they know how hard it is to clean up afterwards. !@#$@!

    These vandals do not have any talent to CREATE an actual painting, and possess no skill or artistic judgment.

    What they do involves little effort, costs the recipients enourmously, and know that it will piss people off. In the same way vandals are attracted to derelict and abandoned structures, MCFD is attracted to poor families and those families they think mainstream society will care little about.

    MCFD, like graffiti vandals also know there is NOTHING the people who see and swear at their "art" can do about the problem they create.

    Since MCFD does their work behind the cloak of secrecy and anonymity, the only thing that seems to work as a deterrent is video cameras. Even the THREAT of being on audio or video tape seems to be an effective deterrent.

    Child protection, like graffiti is a reality in or daily lives. We drive by it daily, and may occasionally read about it and do nothing. Clean up somebody else's mess? No way! Only those people directly affected are motivated to do something about it.

    The human mind has a remarkable ability to filter out such distressing information. Consider some cities in the U.S. that a resident of B.C. would consider dirty by comparison. Live there for a few years, and you learn to live with it.

    There is frightening assumption at the end of the analogy in today's blog that merely by shouting out the horrors of a situation to anyone who will listen, those people in positions of power will take up the cause and fix the problem. As we see and read, a growing number of people are doing this but there is no dent in the problem.

    Unlike Nazism, that flag of child protection its proponents worship has no head to cut off. The process is identical to how the public gave permission for the SS to exist. First one comes up with a worthy cause no one can deny, and that wins the battle of public mindshare. Then the public gives these minorities tremendous power and atrocities behind closed doors starts, and continues for some time until the problem can no longer be ignored.

    Nazi's were crushed and did not rise up again. (Google "why did Nazi's thrive") Child welfare has a variety of disguises, such as the residential school system and aboriginal welfare. Now we have the foster care system and relative care.

    The strategy and objective of child protection is very simple; that the government are better parents than birth parents and that they should be the only authority that defines parenting standards. Most people say screw that, but can't deny some "other" families need government help. The occasional dead-child-at-the-hands-of-parents story reinforces this.

    Nazi's wanted simply to destroy Jews as a means to an end (world domination); child protection (government in general) wants to destroy family by assimilation to achieve the same objective. If Nazi's had succeeded, I would likely be writing this in German. If child protection succeeds, our kids will grow up in another reincarnation of the residential school system.

  4. Peter 5:8
    "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

  5. To Anon 9:33 PM Dec 15
    Permitting your full comment to be published was a challenge for me. I have said in the past that not only am I weary of references to Naziism when writers speak about MCFD, I will not tolerate it here on this blog. I have diligently processed your comment and allowed it only because it does not call MCFD workers Nazis, but rather speaks to the parallel of a population accepting a governmental position through gullibility and never realizing hidden agenda until it's too late. I still challenge your ridiculous last inference that “child protection (government in general) wants to destroy family by assimilation to achieve the same objective” i.e. world domination. Candidly that entire last bit weakened your comment. I know you might quote me a scripture verse as you did yesterday with 1 Peter 5:8 "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." You use that because you perceive a spiritual contest going on. To which I would give you another verse from Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Many government types read this blog and what you fail to comprehend is that both references to Naziism and scripture won't fly with them. If I want to seriously advocate for changes within our system of child welfare it must be with sensible, reasonable observations of failures and shortcomings and weakness in the system, followed with plausible suggestions and recommendations and improvements. That's how we gain ground in the democratic process with a public wary of fanatics. Don't inflate your spiritual warfare belief so that you cannot discern ordinary people doing their jobs although sometimes badly or mistakenly but certainly not deliberately in tandem with a worldwide conspiracy of usurpers.

  6. A small town in Alberta, by the name of Leduc, has gone a long way towards installing the state, or rather the local town, as parent. It has made it a law that parents who smoke in cars will be subject to penalties (fines?, but maybe later, taking the children?). Of course, many people will see this as a good thing, because it "protects children."

    This is how the slippery slope begins. It ends with the government deciding, before birth, that the parents may just pose some vague risk at some vague future date, and the government, being the almighty protector, can just walk into the hospital room and take the baby at birth. This, by the way, is already occuring. People need to think very carefully before they applaud the government for protecting us or our children.

    And this is the same government that has no problem taking all the money they get from the taxes that they make from cigarette sales. So hypocritical.

  7. To Anon 9:29 AM
    The CBC link you provide speaks about fines if the new law is contravened but does not mention any threat of child removal and I question that this is anyone's mind, even council members. I know some folk in Leduc and will ask what the impression is of this new law.

  8. Well then, fine the Baynes $100 on the first offence THEN wait for 18months throw out the case it it hasn't happened then and lets move on. Oh, wait, the RCMP decided not to do anything about that, no fine. Close the damn case then.

    I think the point is there is another level of escalation that logically would take effect, as it is the responsibility of the officer giving a ticket to inform child protection of a danger to a child. Presumably smoking would easily be considered abuse to a child. Second offence? Well the, lets throw the book at the parents.

    This simple law strengthens remarkably the case many of use are trying to illustrate with the ludicrous nature of child protection. If there is a visible offence, fine it or get off the pot at lay assault charges. Welfare issues are obviously not a fining offence, so stop removing kids because of that for starters.

    If you blow smoke or spit in someone's face, that's assault.
    Is someone in the small town saying "something" done that is illegal in the presence of kids is worth just $100? If the adult doesn't wear a seatbelt, or uses a cell phone and a child is present, how about these situations?

    What we have is overlap of looking after a child's best interest, and it did not originate from the child protection Ministry. It is something that emanated from logical thinking and an an existing framework of traffic fines.

    Traffic fines is a separate slippery slope than child protection. This sort of thing you wait to see how many tickets are levied, then look at some tickets to see if any have been forwarded to child protection. I'll have to read through the comments to see if anyone has picked up on this angle.

  9. I think it is a much too big and bulky machine, a person has their child removed in a hospital setting which is supposed to be a sanctuary or in their own home another sanctuary. It is a big surprise. Who would know that this happens in Canada?
    Just by the act of removal, MCFD is possibly going to be subject to a lot of legal trouble later. So, they write down whatever they can, even if it is untrue. They are trying to bolster their case this way.
    It takes months to get a court date and the children languish and the family struggles.
    All parents are considered guilty, just some not punished yet because of delays in paperwork (according to MCFD).
    Even if a parent has been helped with services, some of the SW will have written mean things about that parent on their file, that is like a time bomb waiting to go off. It happened to me, I was helped with services I took voluntarily, then they came back at me later and took my kids.


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