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Progress for Baynes

December 10, 2009 permalink

christmas tree and fireplace
Baynes hope to put children in this picture

On December 8 there was a court hearing in the Bayne case. The province conceded the weakness of its case, though the hearing was not for custody and the children were not returned. A trial date has been established for January 13 and the family is hoping for a settlement allowing family reunification before then.



Subject: Newsbyte - Bayne Court Session Yesterday

Date sent: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 10:16:30 -0800

Dear Petition Signer and friend of the Baynes. I thought you should know.

Yesterday, a pre-trial court session was held at 1:30 pm in the Chilliwack Court House. Zabeth and Paul Bayne and their legal representative Doug Christie were present as was the legal counsel for the Ministry of Children and Family Development. In court the lawyer for MCFD admitted that with respect to the two boys, MCFD possesses no evidence of physical or emotional abuse or neglect. And remember it was he who told MCFD many months ago to return the boys because there were no grounds for holding them and MCFD disregarded this counsel. With respect to the Bayne’s two year old daughter MCFD legal counsel had to acknowledge that MCFD is relying solely upon the original diagnosis of one doctor who concluded she was a shaken baby. During a private moment outside the court room the MCFD legal counsel stated to the Baynes’ lawyer that this doctor has seen nine of the eleven reports gathered from ten medical experts who dispute the original diagnosis. The admission concerning the two boys underscores the unsupportable position for MCFD to continue to withhold these sons from their parents. Yet because of the nature of this particular hearing, the Bayne side was not able to present a request for an interim custody order in favour of the parents. The Baynes were very pleased with the work of their legal representative Doug Christie. The Judge set the date for trial for January 13 which is thankfully much sooner than was earlier expected. All of us who support the Baynes may have been eager for better results, such as the immediate return of the boys. What disturbs me most is the knowledge that given what the MCFD lawyer admitted about the boys, there is indication that MCFD will still ask for a custody order that authorizes the adoption of all three children. As unlikely as it may seem, the Judge still has the authority to make a judgement in this case before the trial that would favour the Baynes. Nonetheless, here was the strong response from the Baynes following the court appearance. “God can still choose to resolve this out of court through the orchestration of any number of possibilities. He can still have our children home for Christmas. We are still going to pray for this and I know all of you will too.”

Ron Unruh
BC Artist, Author, Communicator
Online Gallery:
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Email: [ ronunruhgallery at ]

Source: email from Ron Unruh

Addendum Here is a report on the case by Ray Ferris as introduced by Ron Unruh.



Thursday, December 10, 2009


Ray Ferris is himself a former social worker and now an outspoken advocate for reform of the MCFD as well as a critic of present procedure. He has not only carefully followed the injustices of the Bayne case and is assisting them in their case to recover their children, but he comments here to the Baynes on Tuesday’s Pre-Trial court proceedings. This is his note in its entirety and the bold lines are his. With Mr. Ferris' permission Zabeth forwarded this to every MLA, MP, the RCY office, Gordon Campbell, Attorney General, Mary Polak and the Prime Ministers office. They have received other mailings before as well.

"Thank you for the information on the court pretrial conference of Dec 8th.

I understand the following points. 1. The Ministry of Children and Family development, through counsel admits that there is no evidence at all of physical or emotional abuse to the boys. 2. The Ministry through counsel acknowledges that their whole case rests on the opinion of Dr. Colbourne that Bethany was shaken. 3.Thus it follows that the only relevant evidence is that which tests the validity of Dr. Colbourne's opinion.

We can also note that it is now approximately 18 months since contrary expert opinions were submitted to the Ministry for presentation to Dr. Colbourne and since they were discussing her reaction and the possibility of finding an independant expert. During that time the director has failed to produce a written response from Dr. Colbourne to the experts' reports and he has failed to produce the independant report so long under discussion.

You express perplexity that the director proposes to call so many witnesses who have no relevant evidence to give on the main contention that Bethany was shaken. You also cannot understand why they would not put on the main witness (Colborne) first. It would after all seem to be the obvious and responsible thing to put on their key witness at the start. Then if examination and cross-examination show that her evidence is not convincing, it might seem to the judge to be redundant to call other witnesses who really have no relevant evidence to give.

There is a very simple answer to this. The director's lawyer told him in January 2008 and again in July 2008 that the case was weak and unlikely to succeed with proper defense. The lawyer at that time advised the director to return the two boys as there was no evidence of risk. The director did not follow his lawyer's advice, nor did he rebut the advice. What seems to have happened is that the director was unable to make up his mind what to do and as the months slipped by in indecision his position became increasingly untenable. It became too late to return the boys without looking quite foolish. It would by this time be incongruous to ask for a temporary order. So the only way to save face was to go ahead and ask for a continuing care order. Knowing the case was weak, he hoped to bolster his slender evidence by throwing in a lot of witnesses as a show of force.

Put in the most simple and blunt terms, this case is no longer about child welfare, or the best interests of your children, but it is about saving the bureaucrats from embarrassment.

All the additional witnesses have no substantive evidence and they are a smokescreen to conceal the weakness of the case. Another way to put it would be that the barrel has been filled with sawdust to conceal the fact that only one small grain of opinion evidence is all that really lies there. This tactic is very costly. It is emotionally draining for you and your family, it prolongs the stay in care without good cause and extends the court time in such a way as to cost taxpayers like myself (and John Fitzsimmons and Andrew Robinson) a bundle.

I would imagine that after yesterday's hearing that Judge Crabtree has a very good idea what is going on and that is why he is keen to get another conference going between him and lawyers only."

Posted by Ron at 12:01 AM

Source: Ron Unruh blog