|JOURNALIST IAN MULGREW|
Also, columnist Ian Mulgrew gave a detailed account of the judgement and a link to the shocking judgement. Vancouver Sun article entitled, Ian Mulgrew: Children’s ministry sided with sexually abusive father, court finds Ministry decided mother lied about abuse, then seized children and gave dad unsupervised access
Here is what Ray has to say today.
“The children’s ministry removed all the children from the mother with no factual evidence. The children were kept from her during a court case lasting three years and 65 days of hearings. On the 65th day the director withdrew from the case on the grounds that they no longer thought that the case was viable. The mother was bankrupt and in debt. She would have been helpless had it not been that her lawyers continued to represent her when she ran out of money. A lot of parents just have to give up when they can no longer pay a lawyer. There are not many like Doug Christie and Jack Hittrich in the ranks of law. One of the reasons that the social workers and their superiors can pursue cases beyond all reason is because they know that they can outgun most parents with money for lawyers.
In this case the judge ruled against the director and against the father and for the mother.
Just because judge rules in favour of the mother, there are no winners in such a damaging situation. The stress and harassment will leave scars on the mother forever. The children suffered emotional damage from the separation stress and they will take a long time to recover. The public lost millions of dollars on the case. The children’s ministry got a very bad blot on its already tattered reputation and this will get much worse before the end of the year.
I want readers to take note of some interesting points in this case. First of all this was a hearing in supreme court and not in family court, because it was also a divorce and custody case under federal statutes. Most family court judges go with the flow and support the social workers as much as possible. In the Bayne case chief judge Thomas Crabtree was so anxious to oblige the director that he even made an illegal order, which he had to retract. As Judge Kimberly Arthur-Leung told the director in a hearing in which she took the social workers to task, it is most important that judges can trust the social workers, because they have little choice to take things on trust in child welfare matters. Supreme court judges do not seem to have the same trust in social workers that family court judges have. They seem to get bothered by annoying matters such as reliable evidence and searching for facts. In two cases families lost their children to permanent orders in family court. The appeal court overturned the ruling, but in both cases it cost $200,000 to get the kids back.
The second point I notice is that this case is continuing. Judge Paul Walker gave leave to apply for costs. The case is now proceeding with the Mother and her lawyers as plaintiffs and the director as defendant. The case has already cost a huge amount and so if the plaintiff is successful the ultimate cost to the taxpayer will be so large that it might well cause public outcry and political outrage. The hearings continue today, which is why I said it is important. This is a continuation of the application for costs and hearings will probably go on until the end of October. It might well be that a decision will be rendered before Christmas. A number of ministry people have already been grilled under cross-examination. If any readers in the Vancouver area enjoy seeing bureaucrats being roasted, they should pop down to the Vancouver courthouse and sit in. These courts are usually open to the public. I don’t know the name of the case, but just find out where the Hittrich firm is arguing.
PLEASE REFER AS WELL TO ANOTHER POST BY RAY FERRIS CONCERNING THIS STORY ON JULY 13,