A girl tries to protect herself from Children's Aid.
A girl who has been forceably separated from her father compares her plight to that of Anne Frank, so we identify her with the pseudonym Anne. The reports on Anne all come from Canada Court Watch.
Anne's parents are separated, and she lived with her father until CAS intervened. She knows he is the good parent and her mother is the abusive one. On December 14, 2004 CAS took Anne from her father and placed her in Caithkin Foster Homes, Wasaga Beach Ontario, part of an effort to get her to live with her mother. Through the Office of the Children's Lawyer, Anne was assigned lawyer Barbara Steinberg of Newmarket Ontario. Here are two letters from Anne to Ontario Provincial Premier Dalton McGuinty asking in the first for his help in returning to her father, and in the second for protection from Children's Aid. [February 2, 2005] [February 19, 2005] (both pdf)
Anne ran away from the foster home to be with friends and family. On February 18 she sent a fax to Barrie Police Chief Wayne Frechette advising him that she was safe with her father. On February 22, 2005 CAS workers Jennifer Lester and Steve Rainey, accompanied by police and an apprehension warrant, raided the father's home in Barrie Ontario looking unsuccessfully for Anne. Later Anne's father asked for the documents substantiating the warrant at the courthouse in Newmarket, a request that was denied. Barbara Steinberg refuses to defend her client in court on grounds of impropriety. Lawyers extend this courtesy to felons but not children.
Here is a set of recordings made by Anne on February 23, 2005, but only posted to the internet later. In recording five we find CAS abusing Anne with an act for which it castigates parents. All are mp3.
CAS supports bad mom against good dad.
CAS tried to force Anne back to abusive mom.
Her lawyer recorded Anne, but denied it.
CAS planned to follow car on visit.
CAS takes Anne out of school.
Anne threatened by spurned lover.
Caithkin tried to get Anne to return to mom.
Fosters embezzle Anne's allowance.
On Feb 27, 2005 (pdf) Anne wrote another letter, this one to Barbara Steinberg. She pleads for the opportunity to speak to the court, a privilege denied to most parents in family court. While the previous letters may have been ghost written, this one is in her own hand.
On March 4, 2005 (pdf) Canada Court Watch disclosed that Anne is now the subject of a province-wide man-hunt.
Also on March 4, Anne wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada.
On March 19 2005 Anne was arrested by police and forcibly placed in a group home. The police won't admit that this kind of action is an arrest, they call it "protection". She was taken by force -- the police told her she had no choice but to accompany them, and they broke down a door to get to her.
In other incidents reported on March 22 in Anne's affidavit (pdf), she was subject to constant threats by social workers, denied the opportunity to read court papers "served" on her, and her brothers were excluded from the court hearing in her case.
On March 30 2005, Anne sent a letter to judge Solomon.
On April 12 2005, Anne addressed a letter to Canadian Tire asking them to stop their financial support of Children's Aid.
On April 24, 2005 a letter from Anne's father (pdf) to his wife's lawyer disclosed that lawyer billings in his case are approaching a quarter of a million dollars. It also discloses other wrongdoing in the form of an anonymous letter to his employer with allegations threatening his employment.
On April 26, 2005 Canada Court Watch wrote this summary of Anne's case (pdf).
On May 2, 2005 Anne's 17-year-old brother addressed a letter to Stephen Rainey of Simcoe CAS regarding the treatment of his family. He reveals that CAS advised his mother to prevent Anne's younger sister from having any contact with other members of her family. While Dufferin VOCA has no knowledge of Anne's case, we can say that the advice is typical of CAS actions in other cases.
On June 20, 2005 a court hearing for Anne's father was scheduled for Barrie. Children's Aid was trying to get him held in contempt for failing to disclose Anne's whereabouts. Before the court time, ten associates of Canada Court Watch surrounded the courthouse and distributed flyers describing Anne's case. By the time the hearing started, there were flyers throughout the courthouse, and the judge knew about them. Upon seeing a reporter from Canada Court Watch in the courtroom as a media representative, the judge and lawyers retreated to chambers for an hour and a half. When the judge returned, she announced that the Canada Court Watch reporter could not attend without making a motion before the court. The judge did not allow the reporter to give any argument for the record, and he retreated when threatened by security staff. The hearing for Anne's father was postponed.
Outside the courthouse, the distribution of flyers continued. The public was not apathetic, a third of passers-by gave some positive indication of support. The only negative comment came from a Children's Aid worker. Many people described their own family's involvement with Children's Aid. One woman in a wheel chair identified herself as a former Children's Aid worker who retired 20 years ago, and is appalled at their current practice of family destruction -- she tried to keep families together. After the hearing, distribution of flyers continued in downtown Barrie
On June 28, 2005 Rev Dorian Baxter addressed a letter to Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant regarding the handling of his hearing in Barrie.
On June 30, 2005 the contempt hearing for Anne's dad was scheduled for the courthouse at 49 Huron Street, Collingwood Ontario. He came at the start of business, 9 am. Seven associates of Canada Court Watch also came and began distributing the same two flyers handed out in Barrie on June 20. The hearing was really scheduled for 1:15 pm, a fact known to the lawyer for Children's Aid who arrived at 1:15 and the lawyer for Anne's mother who arrived at 2 pm. Anne's father and his lawyer Carol Allen waited with the meter running until afternoon.
At 2:30 the parties entered courtroom 2. OPP officer G Banks excluded two media representatives from Canada Court Watch, including Archbishop Dorian Baxter. Within two minutes the officer deadbolted the door. Officer Banks said he was acting on authority not of the judge but of of a court clerk, though he did not know her name. She appeared outside the locked courtroom and identified herself as Barb Ritchie, acting on orders of judge Olah. Neither listened to any argument. The officer said he was admitting only persons with papers indicating they had business in the court, and did not even look at documents presented to him by Canada Court Watch. The Child and Family Services Act sections 45 (5) and (7) provide:
(5) Media representatives chosen in accordance with subsection (6) may be present at a hearing that is held in the absence of the public, unless the court makes an order excluding them under subsection (7).
(7) The court may make an order,
- excluding a particular media representative from all or part of a hearing;
- excluding all media representatives from all or a part of a hearing; or
- prohibiting the publication of a report of the hearing or a specified part of the hearing,
where the court is of the opinion that the presence of the media representative or representatives or the publication of the report, as the case may be, would cause emotional harm to a child who is a witness at or a participant in the hearing or is the subject of the proceeding.
Sign in Collingwood courthouse
Conduct in the Courtroom
Visitors are welcome in the courtrooms of Ontario.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The court did not find that the media would cause emotional harm to the child, and hardly could have done so had the matter been heard, since Canada Court Watch was in possession of a letter from Anne to her lawyer, Mr Manning, asking the media to attend.
Hearings before Judge Lydia M Olah took place from 2:30 pm to 3:45, and again from 4:15 pm to 4:35. Scuttlebut during the intermissions suggested the judge was angry with Canada Court Watch. Following a 15 minute recess for the judge to make up her mind, court reconvened for 15 minutes. Anne's father was held in contempt. He has until 9 am on Tuesday July 5, 2005 to deliver Anne to Children's Aid, or he will be committed to jail indefinitely and fined $1000 per day. No appeal is practical under the circumstances. Anne has two older brothers living with their father and this judgment will disrupt their lives as well. The Ontario courts do not care how many innocent bystanders are harmed with their orders.
While there were no outside witnesses to today's in camera hearing, in earlier hearings there had been ample evidence presented of the abuse suffered by Anne while in the care of Children's Aid. This evidence was disregarded by the court.
A reporter, Angela McEwen of the Collingwood Connection, spent twenty minutes interviewing several of Anne's supporters outside the hearing room.
Do any of the circumstances suggest collusion between Children's Aid and the court? And what is a father to do, faced with the dilemma of jail and financial ruin, or delivering his daughter to an agency that has harmed her in the past?
Anne was placed in a premium foster home, one paid $70 per day instead of the now-routine $30 per day. She had no problems in this home, and six months later when the judge became annoyed at the mother's actions, Anne was returned to her father.
OUTRAGEOUS Order for Court Costs Ruins Canadian Father and His Children!
By Tom Thompson, Justice Reporter
June 13, 2007
In yet another story of emotional and financial devastation, Justice Craig Perkins of the Barrie Family Court has ordered one father to pay in excess of $300,000 in court costs to his ex wife's counsel. Justice Craig Perkins who sits as judge in the Barrie and Newmarket court circuit has ordered a publication ban and as such we cannot record or mention the names of family members or where they live .
What should have been a simple access matter relating to a school-aged child has, as is often the case in Ontario Family Court, become a tale of emotional abuse and and financial ruin for the father and children involved.
In the reason for decision Justice Perkins states that the case was "sadder than the usual family tragedy. The couples once considerable assets which would ordinarily be the children's inheritance, have already been spent on legal fees and both parents are emotional wrecks".
After noting, and apparently lamenting that the family is already financially ruined, Justice Perkins went ahead and ordered way over a quarter of a million dollars in court costs against the Father who cares for his three eldest children without any child support being paid by the mother.
Undoubtedly this order against yet another loving dad will cause harm to the children when their father is financially unable to provide for them any longer. Sadly this is just another example of the results of the virtual war being waged against Canadian fathers and men in family and divorce court
To those who are familiar with this family's case, and the already destructive decisions that have torn this father's life apart, these court costs are outrageous and ruinous and serve as yet another example of how the court system continues to destroy children and bankrupt families at an unprecedented rate in Ontario.
Reached for comment in Ottawa, Jeremy Swanson a Canadian fathers and men's rights activist said "It is a sad day indeed when fathers seeking relief from the courts during their divorce/custody issues are instead further emotionally battered and bankrupted by judges. The costs awarded would have been enough to help this family start again despite the injustice leveled against them. It was enough to buy a house and secure a future despite the knowledge of the awful injustice meted out by the courts in this case. But instead this family is left destitute and living in a basement trying to survive" he said.
"This is not an isolated incident of course" said Mr Swanson. "This kind of thing happens just about all the time in varying degrees but with the same recurring theme and consistency, across the country. It is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth to the entire detriment of the Canadian man and father. Canadian fathers and their representatives across Canada are outraged by the injustice of this case, the assault on a once-stable and happy family, the continuing bias and discrimination in the courts and the "war" against Canadian fathers in general.".
Source: email from Jeremy Swanson
Another report on the same incident:
Barrie Court continues its reign of destruction on a once loving family
(June 13, 2007) - Court Watch was notified that Justice Craig Perkins who sits as judge in the Barrie and Newmarket courts, has ordered that a loving father pay $300,000 in court costs in a court matter which involved the simple request by the father to have every-other weekend access to his 10-year-old daughter. Although the 10 year-old wanted to see her father and older siblings, Justice Perkins ordered that the father and the older children could not see or even speak to the 10-year-old until she was 18 years of age! The child's access to her father and older siblings was completely severed by Justice Perkins.. In a decision which contradicted the evidence presented to him in court, including testimony of the older children as to their mother's abuse and violence, Justice Perkins severed a once loving a close family with a decision that many see as a form of punishment on the father and the older children who chose to live with their loving and stable father.
To those who are familiar with this family's case, these court costs are outrageous and yet another example of how the family court system continues to destroy children, bankrupt families and to punish those who dare to speak out against the justice system and the CAS. Justice Perkins never even asked to have the wishes and preferences of the 10-year-old child brought before the court. Everyone who knew this family was aware that the youngest child desperately wanted to see her father but this did not seem to matter to Justice Perkins.
Court Watch cannot mention the names of family members or where they live because Justice Perkins ordered a publication ban to this effect although it must be noted that Justice Perkins is in violation of his own court Order when he published his reasons for judgement in the case. It would seem that the learned Justice Perkins cannot even properly interpret his own court orders. To many Canadians, these sorts of publication bans are only intended to hide the dirty work going on in many of our family courts today and to keep Canadians from finding out about how families in our communities are being torn apart and destroyed by Canada's family justice system.
At one point, Justice Lydia Olah was also involved in this family case and at one court hearing involving this family had police from the OPP in Collingwood, Ontario illegally obstruct members of the media from entering her courtroom by having police lock the courtroom doors. It is disgusting that these sorts of court shenanigans are being orchestrated by some of Canada's Judges who should know better.
The man ordered to pay is Anne's father. He is now in debt, without means to pay the $300,000 lawyer's fee, or even $100,000 to appeal his case. The only saving grace is that years ago he established trust funds for the children to finance their college education. The adverse lawyers moved to plunder those funds to pay their fees, but at least that was denied by the judge.
In the recent trial that led to the award of costs, the father was allowed to make an audio recording of the proceedings, without obstruction from the court. This is one small step forward in reforming Ontario's family courts.
Source: Canada Court Watch
After a trial Judge Craig Perkins issued an order and opinion in the parent's divorce case. The three oldest children had voted with their feet to stay with their father. The youngest child, age 10 years, too young to vote with her feet, was ordered to stay with her mother, and the father and three older children were ordered to stay away from the mother and youngest child. You can read Judge Perkins' opinion online, and also his opinion in the award of costs.
Canada Court Watch published a letter giving the response of the three older children. The girl identified in the letter by the initials JS is the same girl we have been calling by the pseudonym Anne.