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Crown Ward Speaks

November 16, 2012 permalink

In a rare court decision quoting the sentiments of a child, an eleven-year-old crown ward speaks through the filter of Jenny Athanasiou, an employee of the Office of the Children's Lawyer. The mother and child are reduced to the monikers M.B.1 and A.B. But even through the filters the girl's sentiments are clear. She wants her mother. Judge BH Matheson overrode the girl's wishes.



[10] In the Affidavit of Jenny Athanasiou, who is employed by the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, dated February 19, 2012, she states the following:

16. When asked to describe her mother, A.B.’ eyes were teary and she stated that her mother is “awesome”. A.B. shared that her mother would stick up for her and speak sternly to anyone who would bother A.B.. …

19. I explored with A.B. what it meant to be a Crown Ward. A.B. shared that it meant that she could not see her family ever again.

20. A.B. stated that if she could tell the judge what she thought, she would tell him she felt he was “stupid” because he decided that she could not see her mother.

25. A.B. stated that she enjoyed the visits she had with her mother and the FACS worker, Diane. They would ride bikes to the pool, go to Wal-Mart and bake. A.B. shared that she would like to see her mother 3 times per week, supervised, in the home for an hour and a half. When asked why “supervised” she said that FACS would probably not agree to unsupervised.

28. Supervised access at a minimum of 3 times a year between A.B. and her mother M.B.1 would be meaningful and beneficial to A.B.’ well being.

30. …A.B. seems to be a child who wants to please others. Some of her desire to maintain contact with her mother may come from wanting to please her mother, but her affect and her genuine emotional state when speaking about this relationship indicates that she needs this for herself as well. The removal of all contact with her mother is likely to cause further emotional distress to A.B..

44. It is the position of the OCL that access by M.B.1 is both meaningful and beneficial to A.B..

45. The OCL would support an Order that grants supervised access at a minimum of 3 times a year between A.B. and her mother M.B.1.

Source: CanLii, CAS (Niagara) v. M.B.1, 2012 ONSC 1879 (CanLII)