My first of numerous Synopses (Judge Crabtree's actual wording is in quotations. Everything else is my understanding of the statements for the ruling.)one of the last clauses of the ruling was...
 "As s. 2 of the Act provides, the family is the preferred environment for the care and upbringing of the children, but children are entitled to be protected from abuse and neglect and this must be the overriding concern of the Court. The opportunity is now in the hands of the parents. The children are in need of protection. Now is the time to move beyond this question and to take the appropriate steps to address and remedy the situation to satisfy the Court that the children should be returned to their care and custody."
As for the  clause from the ruling...a very important paragraph in my mind.
As for the  clause from the ruling...a very important paragraph in my mind. There is no easy way to tell you what this means for the Baynes, so I will just tell it the way I believe it is. Based upon what he heard in court, the judge (the Court) has not been satisfied that the children should be returned to the care and custody of the parents, at least not yet, but he is willing to be satisfied and in fact, he has made a ruling which opens a tiny window of opportunity for the parents to do what is necessary to address and to remedy the situation, the situation being the court's lack of confidence in the Baynes. Then the question is, what must Paul and Zabeth do to convince the judge that they should have their children returned to them? Since the Baynes' performance, behaviour, compliance or accountability is not before the Judge but rather before the MCFD Director or his employees, it strikes me as most probable and even essential that for the next six months, the Baynes will have to do anything and everything that the MCFD expects and or demands, and then, perhaps, perhaps, the Director may have a change of mind about the Baynes to say, let us give the Baynes another chance, or a chance with these conditions, or a chance with supervision. And the Judge is willing to grant this he infers, since as he underscored, "the family is the preferred environment." Nevertheless, with regard to the children's need for protection the judge is unequivocal. They need it, but he says, now, is the time to move beyond this question, which is this one. Is protection needed? To this the judge then quickly says in that paragraph, "the opportunity is in the hands of the parents." It means that the Baynes, if they ever want to have their children, can only make the decision to comply with MCFD and hope for the best, or, remain in a combative contest and be assured of never seeing their children at home. The latter case of course, will predictably result in six months time with the MCFD application to have a true CCO never to be contested again. But it doesn't need to happen if Paul and Zabeth begin a 6 month campaign to make MCFD's Fraser Region Director content with their efforts to become model A parental candidates. Yet, if we live in the land of fair play and justice, shouldn't the Baynes at the same time be permitted to appeal the judge's decision and this not reflect negatively upon them? If they are seeking to demonstrate good parenting potential and also to convince the court that they have been misjudged, shouldn't that be permissable where we live?
It is too early for me to determine whether this is even reasonable. Six months more of foster home life on the lives of each of these children is not the issue, but most critically the confusing unsettledness of being moved back and forth each week for nine hours of visitation with Mommy and Daddy. Six months more and the MCFD may opt to conclude that it has already been four years away from the parents, so why try now to restore that family now.
I am still rocked by the decision and so very sorry for Zabeth and Paul. They are back in court this morning with respect to Josiah and his custody. Yesterday's ruling assures us that the judge presiding will conclude protection is required.