Sunday, January 29, 2012


Ray Ferris commented further to Derek Hoare's account of the Case Conference held last Monday the 23rd of January 2012. It is an encouraging assessment of what seemed like such a disappointing outcome. Whereas thousands of supporters were hopeful that MCFD would propose at the very least a plan for a graduated return of Ayn Van Dyk to her father, instead a court date for trial was set for December 2012 and lasting until February 2013. Further, whereas some readers may have faulted Derek for minimizing the mediation and wanting the trial, Ferris looks at this differently and actually applauds Derek. Read his reasoning here. The point is the Ministry of Children has no substantive reason for doing what they are doing to this family, have no evidence of weight it can bring to trial, and would love nothing more than to wallow around in mediation talks that appear conciliatory but simply drag on indefinitely with no serious intention to deal fairly. It requires a judge's directive to the Ministry to make a restoration of parental custodial rights happen, and that's what occurred in the Paul and Zabeth Bayne case.

Here are Ray Ferris' comments.

Two useful things came out of the conference, which maybe I will write on at a later date. First I was pleased that Derek absolutely insisted on going to trial before having gone to mediation. As you know my position has consistently been that the ministry should not be allowed to use mediation to derail the trial process and block parents from getting their day in court. That is why I have strongly recommended to the inter-party committee that mediation be removed from the legislation.

Second, this puts real pressure on the ministry because they do not like the need to press for more budget for contested hearings. The Fraser Region has already caused enough concern and they must surely be in the ministerial radar watch by now. No surprise to me that they want to come up with another offer. They cannot afford to lose this one, which would be a media disaster. This is one of the values of your blog. You can keep a lot of discomfort going for you know whom.

I presume that the judge was at the table and this is also an advantage. He has had the chance to meet face to face with Derek and to see the intense love he bears his daughter and how deeply this action by the social workers has affected everyone. He must already have some grave doubts about the wisdom of prolonging everything. I am pretty certain that there were some behind the scenes communications in the Bayne case. No doubt judges find a way of communicating their concerns to the AG’s department when they think it important. Well done Derek. I don’t think this case will go on to trial, but I would not bet my shirt on it.


  1. Excellent advice to get the court date nailed down first. Mediation is always an option than can be done in the meantime.

    Personally, I like one-on-one meetings with social workers, as the content and offers make during these are not privilidged. Meaning, they can be used against MCFD:

    Judge to social worker on the stand: "So why did you offer Derek unsupervised access and a 4-month graduated return plan instead of simply returning the child outright and monitor progress rather than force taxpayers to pay tens of thousands of dollars in foster care and legal costs?"

  2. First I want to deal with one thing Derek mentioned.He speculated about going to the Ombudsman. Do not waste your time on that one. To start with if it is before court, the Ombudsoffice will not touch it if they can avoid it. In fact they can still deal with administrative unfairness. Even if you drag them reluctantly into the case, they will take forever to investigate and to come to a conclusion. They have become as slow and bureaucratic as the the people they are supposed to monitor. Hey, I could write three blogs on that one.
    No Derek, you should go to the rep for youth and children. They will try hard, but they have no teeth. At least they will advocate for your daughter and that may well mean for you too. It was only their persistence that got the mother's milk flowing for Josiah Bayne again.
    Secondly, we are grateful for D. Holden and Papainbcinc for starting a useful discussion on the content of the presentation report. Holden points out that on the surface, the presentation report does not look good. Papa shows that there is a shortage of facts and that some of the most serious allegations are indeed hearsay. This is why I like to see a presentation report before offering advice to anyone. If it has good fact based evidence, then I am more impressed. Another thing that other readers pointed out was that if Derek is just a poor dad, why are the other children not in care? Ministry seems inconsistent and not showing their usual aggressiveness.
    Of course the weakness of all this is in the process. There is no opportunity to question the presentation report in court. A good lawyer could well point out the weaknesses in the report and argue for a change in interim custody, but there will be no time to cross-examine anyone. Thus judges almost always play it safe and go with the ministry. I was staggered when this did not happen in the Diana Holden case. Good for you Diana.What was the name of the judge? Now this would not be so bad if a protection hearing started within 45 days as required in the act and one could start the accountability process. If you notice, in writing about Derek, I have stuck to process and needing a competent advocate. The facts produced under due process will form my opinion as to what is best for Ayn. One thing I do know is that keeping her in lengthy limbo is not going to help. More tomorrow.


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