Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's March 1 everyone. Are human freedom and human dignity values that we want to preserve here in Canada? Here in British Columbia? Do I hear a unanimous and audacious “YES!” Is family of primary importance to us here in B.C.? I'm going to assume that that inaudible was actually a rousing affirmative cheer, and my natural hearing loss distorted the sound. Why do we shout "Yes!"

Why? Because among other benefits that family autonomy realizes for us in a free society is diversity, variety, multiplicity. Don’t tell me that is not important to you. We are not attracted to sameness. Commonality is different from equivalence. We share and enjoy and approve things in common but we are not the same. We can all cheer for the Canucks while we are different ages and weights and colors. Family autonomy secures diversity. When parents have the liberty to raise their children, that is a guarantee of pluralism.

If you want to threaten pluralism, then one of the simplest tactics is to wrap up the parental rights of the people who appear to challenge accepted standards of what is understood to be the “best interests of the child.”

What we have happening in our province is the lofty motivation of a Ministry of Children and Family Development seeking that which is in the best interests of children yet in too many cases assaulting the inviolability of the family to do this and thereby threatening the very values and traditions that families cherish and which make our society rich.

I am convinced that the MCFD can do better than it is doing. I am sure that it can manage its mandate more effectively than it is doing. I am sure that the government in power presently could give due diligence to what I am saying and conclude that we Canadians whose social institutions are based upon certain philosophical and legal traditions are finding them threatened by post-modern human rights. Chief among these opposing rights is the less than subtle approaches to restructuring the roles and relationships of the family and the government or nation. The government is taking on consistently stronger roles in protecting the rights of children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Are any of you thinking that the power of the state is in collision with parents rights to liberty under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights?

1 comment:

  1. Ron; there is one thing that I want to get straight. I firmly believe that children who are neglected and abused by the parents should be protected. As a social worker and supervisor, I and my staff admitted more than one thousand children into care during my many years of public service. Now to talk about Ayn.
    I want to recapitulate the situation so that I can be sure that I have it straight. Ayn was taken into care because she is a special needs child. The director cannot say that Derek Hoare is an unfit parent, because two other children were left at home. This poses a dilemma for the social workers because they cannot do the same character assassination that they usually do in order to justify themselves. So what they must be saying is that Derek is unable to look after this particular child. Moreover they also appear to be saying that they are sure that they can do a better job in care than he can do at home. Of course they have yet to provide any evidence to prove that.
    Now we come to notification and disclosure. Ayn had been in care for about four months when the protection hearing started. Derek was served notice that the director sought a 90 day temporary care order (TCO ). Further that the eventual plan was to return the child home. One might well ask why not return the child immediately in view of the fact that they had already had interim custody for four months?
    Derek, quite rightly, refused to consent to any order because that would be tantamount to admitting that he was unable to care for his daughter and it would leave him completely in the power of the director. The director could keep getting indefinite extensions on the grounds of the father consenting to the first stint.
    The alternative is also difficult. Last October the case had to be adjourned for over a year to find court dates. This placed the child in interim care for another 13 months at least. Now we have her in care from June 2011 to January 2013 without a shred of evidence having been presented. So to be clear on this, the child will be in care for 20 months and the case will cost between $100,00 and $200,000 in order to get a TCO of 90 days and a return home. Isn't it reassuring to know that the Fraser director has not lost his intellectual edge.
    Of course it will all be blamed on Derek for refusing to work with the ministry. In other words for refusing to submit to any terms they dictate to him.


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