An Ontario child welfare agency placed promoting belief in the Easter Bunny above preventing possible trauma when it removed two girls from a foster home because the Christian couple refused to lie about the bunny’s existence, an Ontario judge ruled.
VIDEO: Dramatization of Hamilton Children’s Aid Society taking of two children because their foster parents refused to tell them the Easter Bunny was real.
In a stinging indictment of the actions of the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, a court judgment declared the CAS violated the foster parent’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression when the children were taken from their home and their fostering agreement terminated over the Easter Bunny dilemma.
Derek and Frances Baars, who lived in Hamilton at the time but have since moved to Edmonton, sued the Children’s Aid Society last year, saying a CAS worker insisted they proactively tell two girls in their care, aged three and four, the Easter Bunny was genuine, despite the couple’s belief that all lying is wrong.
The Baars sought no money, only a court declaration their rights were violated and that they not be blackballed from future fostering.
Justice Andrew Goodman of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice did just that in his 62-page judgment released Tuesday.
After a dispute over the Easter Bunny in 2016, the CAS removed the children, ended the Baars’ ability to foster other local children and, likely, interfered with the couple’s ability to foster children in Alberta, Goodman found.
Goodman said the CAS’s actions were “capricious,” “not in the children’s best interests” and potentially reveal an “underlying animus” by the society and its workers.
The Baars are Christians and members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
This article continues at [Ottawa Citizen] Ottawa man launches $4.5M suit against Scouts Canada over sexual abuse claims