B.C. ministry bars Metis toddler from attending event in her honour

VANCOUVER -- A foster mother fighting to adopt a Metis toddler she has raised since birth says she's outraged that British Columbia's Children's Ministry has barred the girl from attending a cultural event in her honour.

See Full Article

The Vancouver Island woman, who cannot be identified, said the ministry has told her the girl will not be allowed to attend a fundraiser and potluck hosted by the B.C. Metis Federation on Saturday.

"It made no sense," she said. "Here they are saying that cultural identity is important and yet at the same time, they're not allowing her to take part in this cultural activity and not allowing her to be in a culturally sensitive home."

She and her husband have launched a court petition to adopt the two-and-a-half-year-old girl. The ministry is fighting the adoption because it plans to move her to Ontario to live with her older siblings, who she has never met.

The foster mother is Metis, while the caregivers in Ontario are not, pitting the importance of indigenous culture against blood relatives.

The ministry said the gathering was advertised as an opportunity to meet the toddler, which is a violation of legislation that protects the identity of children in government care.

"Supporting children to participate in cultural events is entirely consistent with B.C.'s child welfare legislation and in their best interests," the ministry said in a statement.

"However, the legislation also has provisions to protect the identity of any child who is receiving services from the ministry."

The ministry retains legal guardianship of foster children, so it does have the power to prevent the child from attending the event.

The foster mother said she has taken great care to keep the girl's identity private, especially in the media. She said the ministry's explanation appears to be an "excuse" and suggested the government was trying to avoid further publicity about the case.

"We go to church every Sunday. Everybody there knows who she is. She lives in the community. Everybody on the street knows who she is," said the woman.

"We are more interested than anyone in protecting her in every possible way, but you can't shelter her and keep her in the house."

The foster mother still plans to attend Saturday's event, which is set to feature Metis jiggers and fiddlers, fundraising for the family's legal bills and a chance for the community to meet and support the family.

Keith Henry, president of the B.C. Metis Federation, has written a letter to Children's Minister Stephanie Cadieux and Premier Christy Clark demanding that they reverse the decision.

"We have every right to share culture with this family," he said in an interview. "What they're doing is basically saying to the rest of the Metis community, 'If you fight us, this is going to be what your consequences are.' That's ridiculous."

Henry's organization has filed an application to intervene in the foster parents' court case.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has yet to decide whether to allow the foster parents' petition to proceed. The ministry has argued it is an abuse of process since a judge already dismissed a similar petition filed by the couple last year.

If the judge denies the petition, the girl could be moved to Ontario shortly after.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Aviation officer gives his version of United flight removal

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO - The Chicago aviation police officer who pulled a man off a United Airlines flight describes the man as physically and verbally combative during the incident. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press, the aviation department released the officer's version of the April 9 incident for the first time and named the officer for the first time. Source
  • Chinese leader calls for restraint over North Korea

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - As the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to U.S. President Donald Trump. American's UN envoy warned of a strike if Pyongyang attacks a U.S. Source
  • Venezuelans stage sit-in on roads to protest government

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government. Source
  • Kinder surprise: Woman gets 3 years for trafficking drugs in chocolate eggs

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    YORKTON, SASK. - A guard who smuggled drugs hidden in chocolate eggs into an RCMP detachment in Saskatchewan has been sentenced to three years in prison. Bonny Maddaford, who is 45, pleaded guilty last month to trafficking cocaine, trafficking marijuana and breach of trust. Source
  • Kitchener couple face U.S. jail for fentanyl smuggling

    World News Toronto Sun
    Two people a day in Ontario end up toe-tagged in the morgue courtesy of killer opiate fentanyl. The opioid-based pain killer is roughly 100 times stronger than morphine. It can be fatal in even a tiny dose. Source
  • Haiti PM's motorcade hits 2, killing 1, near flooded zone

    World News CTV News
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A motorcade carrying Haiti's prime minister struck two teenage boys, killing one, as officials drove into the country's third largest city on Monday to see flood damage left by heavy rains. Serge Daniel, a government delegate who was travelling in Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant's motorcade, said one of the vehicles accidentally struck two adolescents who darted into the road on a motorbike. Source
  • U.S. slams Syria with 271 sanctions [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The United States has issued 271 sanctions in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. It’s one of the largest sanction actions in U.S. history. The Trump administration said Monday that it issued sanctions against 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons. Source
  • Tennessee teacher planned to take teenaged student to Mexico

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A Tennessee teacher charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old student and driving her to California had planned to take the girl to Mexico and took a boat from San Diego on a test run, according to federal court documents filed Monday. Source
  • Filipino strongman Duterte to ISIS: ‘I’ll eat their livers’

    World News Toronto Sun
    Tough-talking Filipino strongman Rodrigo Duterte is warning ISIS killers that he’ll “eat their livers.” Duterte told the opening of a sport tournament in Laos: “Just drive me to extreme anger, and I can eat a person. Give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver. Source
  • 'This simply cannot stand': Premier says all options on table to fight Catholic school ruling

    Canada News CBC News
    Premier Brad Wall says the recent court ruling that the province should not be funding non-Catholic students to attend Catholic schools "is not good news" for students in Saskatchewan. He told reporters Monday he has asked the ministers of justice and education to look at every option, including legal, constitutional and legislative options, to fight the application of the decision. Source