Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.



One-sided Inquests Supported

September 10, 2006 permalink

The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills held hearings on Ontario bill 89. It provides that when a child dies at the hands of a parent after custody is returned to him, that death must be the subject of a coroner's inquest. The committee departed from the usual dull hearing format, presenting action-drama. The first four witnesses expressed the view of aggrieved, or even terrified, mothers, none expressed a father's viewpoint. The witnesses were:

  • Jenny Latimer. She told the story of her son Kevin, fatally injured owing to inadequate supervision while under her estranged husband's care.
  • Julie Craven. A woman in a bad marriage told of the loss of her son in a murder/suicide by her ex-husband.
  • Witness X. A mother with a bad relationship tells of her frustration at inability to exile dad from her eight-year-old child's life.
  • Annette Sackrider-Miller. She spoke for her eight-year-old son. It was surprising that the committee accepted this hearsay as evidence. Again, the story was frustration at inability to rid the family of dad.
  • John Muise. This former cop spoke in favor of the bill.
  • Judy Newman. She represented the Attorney General, and described the program for supervised access.
  • Anne Marsden. She said that the provisions of the Child and Family Services Act are rarely followed — parents do not get the hearings required by law, and lawyers appointed for children do not represent their interest.
  • Trinela Cane. She spoke for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in support of the bill.

The Hatfields and the McCoys had a legendary feud. Imagine that when a Hatfield kills a McCoy, the story is reported in full, but when a McCoy kills a Hatfield, the story is suppressed. Readers will think (falsely) that the Hatfields are doing all the killing.

That is what bill 89 does. When a parent deprived of custody gets a child back and later kills it, we will get the news. But when a parent does not get a child back and CAS kills it, it will remain (as now) a secret.

While the aggrieved mothers giving testimony are deserving of sympathy, the solution is to disclose all child deaths, not just those fitting the CAS agenda.