Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It is yet another spring.
Spring with its promise of life, hope and joy
Following the removal of their three children in October 2007, Zabeth and Paul Bayne faced Spring 2008 alone. With their children in the care of the province, the Baynes began an arduous and to-date futile attempt to establish their innocence, believability and trustworthiness. An ineffectual attempt I call it because another year passed and then it was Spring 2009. Finally, last Spring 2010 the Baynes were finally engaged in a court hearing. After such a passage of time, one might have called it their proverbial day in court but this was not a protection hearing, but one with more permanent intentions.  Fighting for their children, their family and their lives the Baynes were on defence. That was necessitated because it was the government's child protection ministry that had filed an application to keep these children, foreseeably if the application was successful, until Springs 2024,2025, 2026. If the children are not returned to their birth parents this year, then, at my age now, I will likely not see their release. That's the effect of the passage of time. But what about the children?

And what affect must the passage of time have already had on these three children who have lived in several foster homes but presently together in one. And can that arrangement be continued, and if so, for how long? If within another half year they are not returned to their mom and dad, will these children eventually lose each other? What impact upon the boys particularly has their uncertain relationship already had. The boys with some recollection of life at home, have now spent more time in foster care than at home. So, what is home? The concept is devolving. And the little girl removed from her parents when she was a couple of months old, yet during these 3 years of her life, visiting Paul and Zabeth with some regularity and yet returning each visitation day to the 'parents' who nurture her through the nights and days and the issues of her life.

Here in 2011 Paul and Zabeth are once again in the Spring of the year. However, this time there are four children in the care of the Ministry. A new baby boy arrived on February 10th 2011. While he is to them a blessing from God, he will be associated with deep turmoil because he too was removed from his parents. Oh, the turmoil is theirs not his. It is an incomprehensible burden. Perfectly safe in his mother's arms, he was apprehended when he was four hours old - that's right! the day he was born. His case is separate from that of the other three syblings, the outcome for which was still pending on that day. Judge Crabtree released his findings on March 2, 2011, which as you know was six additional months of children in care and of parents in suspense. Now get this!

With regard to the newest lad, the law says that when a child is taken from his parents the ministry must hold a presentation hearing within seven days and notify both parents. That's when the director must file a presentation report with specific information and this hearing is is intended to be summary and concluded ASAP. Thereafter, following the presentation hearing, the director must set  a date for a protection hearing, not more than 45 days later and he/she must also serve ten days clear notice on both parents which must state the order being sought. That law is designed to bring accountability to a court within about seven weeks and to require clarity from the ministry. Has that happened here? NO, NO! Some of you attended the presentation hearing. It was not ASAP at all. It was adjourned. That's unheard of. It was resumed the following day and some of you returned. Now, the Baynes' counsel has received noticed of an April 1st hearing, ostensibly a presentation hearing - What? that's already been served. So is the Director trying to slip through a protection hearing? And NO, the Baynes were not informed in writing, clearly and in the required time. They learned from their counsel, who by the way is unavailable on April 1st but the Ministry lawyer did not consult him before stating the date. Judge Crabtree noted that the Baynes do not trust the Ministry. Voila! This latest miscarriage is symptomatic of the treatment the Baynes have experienced for forty-one months.And this, with new social workers and legal counsel for the Ministry. Why?

Winter never lasts forever and Spring doesn't miss its turn. I wonder what Spring 2012 will mean for the Baynes.


  1. The passage of time always works in favour of child protection authorities. They use it to wear down parents, psychologicall and financially. They use it to break bonds between parents and children. And they use it to argue to the court that the bond is broken and the children should therefore never go back to their parents, but rather be adopted or whatever. Child Protection has all the angles covered.

    I just hope Doug Christie pursues a class action lawsuit against them - depending on who the judge is, they could be in for a surprise.

  2. Let us hope and pray these children will be returned soon. Let hope that these children do not fall through the cracks of a failed child protection system. Let us pray that the end for this ordeal is near, after all the best place for these four children is within the loving caring arms of their mother and father.

  3. April fools day, how appropriate. On a Friday no less. Did the scheduling office think that one up all by themselves without MCFD or Finn Jensen's input?

    I tried to set a protection hearing date immediately after a case conference, and told the wait for this date was four months away, then I was chased out and locked out of the scheduling office. I was not allowed to unilaterally set a date without MCFD opposing counsel present. So, I put in a notice of motion to get this date, and like magic, the date was then chosen for me on the day of that hearing -- 8 months distant.

    Typically lawyer to lawyer communication includes multiple dates each are available. There is an interactive online scheduling form that permits the selection of dates delivered by one party, court scheduling responds with available court dates, then both parties agree on a suitable date. This is typically done within a week and by email.

    When you know how things are supposed to be done, and then you hear of a family being assigned a date "take it or wait another month or three", it should be clear to observers that once that MCFD scorpion is on your back for the duration of the ride, one can expect to be stung repeatedly.

    It should be noted Josiah has been in foster care for over a month now, the 45-day elapsed time from the physical removal date of February 17th is April 4th.

    Would Judge Crabtree be presiding? I read that he was to be present at one of the three report to court hearings (adjourning a first appearance hearing twice is ridiculous), but that never happened.

  4. I also believe that trial scheduling helps out MCFD lawyers by scheduling hearings with judges that they know will give favourable rulings to MCFD.

  5. What a sad comment Ron; spring follows winter and again and again and again.
    The judge in his infinite wisdom and the learned and pompous director collude together to keep the kids in limbo for four years. Somehow they both manage to kid themselves that tearing the family apart for four years is doing them all a power of good.How could it possibly do any harm? Our judge has said that it is in the best interests of the children and surely the judges always know best.
    Well Ron, are not judges like preachers? If you want to talk nonsense, dress up in fancy clothes and talk solemnly and everyone will bellieve you.

  6. My question is why why?? What does MCFD gain from having these four children in foster care?? What would MCFD gain from having these four children put up for adoption?? How does being in foster care benefit these four children?? How would being adopted out, possibly to different families, benefit these four children?? If it is the mandate of the MCFD to work WITH the parents to bring them back together, why are they working AGAINST the parents to keep them apart?? These parents are doing everything in their power to have their children returned to them and it seems MCFD is doing everything in their power not to let this happen. Why?? I guess the biggest question is...what makes the MCFD think that they know what is best for these children, that they have the right to decide their lot in life?? Who can answer these questions??

  7. The answer to Anon 6:12 PM is simple to explain but hard to believe.

    The goal and purpose is to spend as much taxpayer money as possible that is associated with each intervention. Social workers do not personally benefit. I am not aware of an adoption incentive in Canada as is reported in the U.S.

    Each healthy white child can be adopted out through an MCFD approved adoption agency for $30,000 or more per head. Special needs adoptions have ongoing government support. Some parents have to pay the government child support for cost recovery to have their child in care if they are found guilty of abuse or the children are found in need of protection.

    Children in care average $800-$1000 tax-free monthly foster care payments. "Special Needs" children bring in double the cash for foster parents, $2,000 per head monthly. I believe three of the four Baynes children are classified as "special needs."

    All this needless litigation, costly foster care and supervised visitation keep the maximum amount of taxpayer dollars flowing. After all, if the allocated MCFD budget is not used up it can be lost the next year.

    If a supervision order was used first, the two items that would completely satisfy MCFD concerns are addressed by a $1,000-$2,000 Project Parent service, and an estimated cost of $3,000 to $9,000 for a parental capacity assessment.

    There have been varying cost estimates ranging from $50,0000 to $90,000 per year cost to have a single child in care. I believe criminal case per--head costs are about $200,000 per person per year, so MCFD cases are a bargain by comparison.

    Federal support/subsidy for aboriginal removals means significant cost offsets for Provincial coffers.

    Our friendly overworked Unionized Social workers who may be encountering "enrollment" downturns the same as the school system is encountering, have to work extra hard to prolong open case files. Offices that lose a person to attrition do not get that resource replaced if there are not enough open cases to occupy staff. Tricks like keeping files open far longer than 30-days fulfill this requirement.

    An average family of three children and two parents means five case files open, usually two foster home contracts (triple this for the average number of 3-4 moves per child), a supervised visitation worker or two, psychologist, counsellor, two removal social workers, a transition worker, and one or two day-to-day workers.

    Add it all up. The headcount and associated dollars it takes to run this business can be massive.

    Count the hundreds of pages of paper in an average disclosure will produce. Most parents with removed children can count on 6-12 court appearances yearly. Plus, an equal number of meetings with social workers.

    The Baynes case is estimated at a cost of $1 million dollars. That kind of money buys a lot of diapers, daycare and several Harvard graduations.

    Child protection is not about protecting children, I can tell you that after having sat in on several meetings with parents. I have have heard of just one parent out of hundreds over a ten year period an advocate would not help because the situation was clearly not in the child's best interest to be returned to that parent.

    There are a number of other parent advocates who help parents for free who are reading this blog who can attest to this and can provide their own statistics.

  8. Anon 9:44 - either your info is a lie, just plain wrong, or simply outdated.

    MCFD does NOT charge $30,000 per child for adoption. Adoptions that cost that much are private agency only and are for babies (ie, the moms/dads that give up their child totally voluntarily without any intervention). The baby would reside in an adoption-specific home.

    MCFD does charge $10,000 for the home study. I'd love to see you prove how this is a money-maker. I'd suggest it covers costs.

    MCFD, in fact, PAYS families to adopt "special needs" children on a scale measured by income.

    Care to try another conspiracy theory?

  9. 4:47 PM I know you know, so thanks for the updated info.

  10. As far as court stalls are concerned, MCFD creates this problem. I came to court on the first Wednesday. My baby had been apprehended on MOnday. The SW did not tell me to come to court but I assumed it was the right thing to do. I did not know why I had lost my baby nor where she was taken. It turned out she was in an emergency care home with lots of other babies. I was practically forced to accept an adjournment. MCFD did not arrive with the proper information until court was almost closed for the day (well into the afternoon). Turns out that if I had known my rights, I could have refused the adjournment, and asked for interm custody. THey wanted the stall to see if they could manufacture anything against me to justify taking my baby.


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