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May 5, 2014

Ken Thompson Loved His Children by Brian Bedard

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I admit I never gave much thought to Family Law. Like many people looking from the outside in, I figured our court system was designed to serve justice, and I thought that people who complained about it were probably just disgruntled about their own obligations. I was brought up to take responsibility for my actions and to respect authority. Of course, once I myself was thrust into the family courts, I quickly learned that not all authority respects me.

Now that I find myself part of the growing cry for the reform of our Family Court system, people often share emotional stories with me about how this system has treated them. I always try to remind myself that for every story there are two sides. But in fact, there are more than two sides whenever children are involved.

And I am seeing more and more of the impetus for reform coming from the very children who were left to grow up with the decisions of our dysfunctional system. They are realizing what was taken from them, and they are asking questions.

Ken Thompson Loved His Children by Brian BedardTrena Thompson, now a mother herself, is one of those children. She has been speaking out in honour of her late father, Ken Thompson. She is not only talking about systemic abuse, she has the documents to prove it. After his death, Trena discovered that her father had hidden over 500 of his documents amongst her own files. It is a paper trail which tells clearly the story of one of the worst cases of abuse of power orchestrated against a man whose only wish was to be a dad.

Trena wants her father to be honoured and recognized as a hero to all other parents who have endured such oppression.

He saved his files for a reason, stuck them in with mine to help us all. I want to see that it is used as a perfect example as to how flawed the current system is.

The systemic collapse of justice in the town of Sarnia is more than evident in the fact that Trena’s father was given two different identities. Two names were submitted: Kenneth John Thompson and John K. Thompson. And this led to two different case numbers being created by the Family Responsibility Office, which in turn resulted in the demand for two different child support payments from the same man. His attempts to correct this deceitful error went on for years.

The Family Responsibility Office was relentless in its efforts to collect the extra payments, disregarding what should have been a simple clerical error, and sending him back to court where lawyers and judges failed to question or prevent the ongoing disparagement of his character.

Every time Ken Thompson took steps to free himself from the dysfunctional system, he was punished. Lawyers filed documents suggesting that he was mentally ill when he wrote letters asking to visit his own children.

Trena grew up being told

“Your dad is going to steal you… you should run away whenever you see him.”

Furthermore, false allegations of sexual abuse were put forward, effectively discrediting him.

Ken Thompson died of a myocardial infraction, which is a technical term for a heart attack, but I think it really is as simple as calling it a broken heart.

Without a doubt in my mind both heart attacks were induced by the stress, false allegations and fraud the courts were putting him through. The oppression of it all is enough to make the strongest sick. My dad used to always ride a bike, ate healthy, and had his black belt. His first heart attack came a year and a half after the first allegation of him sexually abusing me. Breaks my heart because I know my dad didn’t do that,” says Trena, in a video she made to courageously share his story.

She is determined to continue his struggle for justice, because even after all these years, the system has not changed.

As I consider Trena’s case, I have questions I cannot answer. How does something like this happen? Why are good parents treated like guilty deadbeats?

Ken Thompson loved his children. He worked earnestly to provide for them. Plenty of good people face divorce. And good people want to take care of their children. When they go to Family Court seeking resolution, why are they served with retribution?

When the Family Responsibility Office was mandated to enforce court-ordered family support payments, it was handed exceptional power. As long as their procedural requirements are met, FRO employees are allowed to blindly disregard basic human respect and compassion. And they will be the first to tell you that it is the Family Court that hands them the paperwork needed to wield this power. It is much like a bulldozer set in motion without consideration as to what may be in its path.

But who takes responsibility for the effects of a biased court ruling? Is it up to a cash-strapped parent to siphon more of their funds into the system and away from their children? Where does someone turn when mistakes are made? We have no checks and balances. There is nothing to protect a parent from being villainized by an emotional ex-spouse. There is no way to ensure that the court’s decisions are fair.

Judges and lawyers too often benefit from motivation that has little to do with the well-being of the children. Make no mistake: children are hurt when the very people that should be keeping them safe from harm are allowed to use them as a possession.

Personally, I have asked more than one Family Law lawyer whether they feel our current system is flawed. “Off the record”, they readily agree that it is. But when I’ve asked them why they don’t speak up and become a part of the solution instead of the problem, the conversation always ceases. I guess, after all, lawyers thrive on conflict. It’s a plain fact that the more complicated the case, the more money the lawyers make.

Judges are not motivated to make changes either. A cookie cutter approach facilitated by no-fault divorce seems to have made their job simple.

And this is another question I cannot answer: If the divorce act is a no-fault system, why are allegations even considered in Family Court to begin with?

Indeed, if a serious allegation such as sexual abuse has been put on the table, does this not deserve to be addressed in Criminal Court? And then if a conviction is made, such information can be entered into the Family Court case with true authority to protect the innocent.

On the other hand, where is the protection from a parent who is committing the offence of false allegations? Should mere allegations be all that is required for a child to be taken away from a parent?

Parental alienation creates lifelong scars. From Trena Thompson’s perspective, the Family Court ultimately alienated her from both of her parents. She was deprived of her father because of unsubstantiated allegations and her mother was taken from her by the adversarial approach that our Family Court thrives on.

I hope this whole situation is used as a example as to why they must stop creating and enabling conflict within families,” she comments.

Trena also recalls her dad’s integrity through it all.

“In all the years my mom hurt my dad he never spoke ill of her, just honestly. He would always tell me that she was not always like that.”

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October 9, 2012

Freedom of Speech: The 27th Annual George Orwell Free Speech Awards

guilty-until-proven-innocent

Imagine you are the parents of three young children.

Imagine one of those children runs and falls into your precious little girl, landing harshly on her head.

Discovering your child’s injury, you rush your child to the hospital where you expect your child will immediately receive the medical attention she requires.

Never in your wildest nightmares would you believe that this act, caring for the well-being of your child, would be the beginning of a 4-year nightmare at the hands of medical professionals, Child and Family Community Services, the RCMP and the criminal justice system.

It is utterly inconceivable that you would be arrested, interrogated for hours while police ignore your pleas to find out how your injured child is; you are charged with criminal charges and have your children taken from you and placed in foster care… all based on the word of a social worker and a doctor.

Both you and your wife cry your innocence to anyone who will listen.  Nobody does.

Presumption of innocence?  Not a chance.  This is Canada, where presumption of innocence died long ago.

Police tell you that you will never see your children again unless and until you tell them “the truth” about what you did to your child.   The problem is that nobody wants to hear the truth as it doesn’t fit with their pre-determined conclusion of your guilt.

A fourth child is born during this horrific tribulation and to your horror that child too is stolen from you by government workers drunk with the power of the state.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne

That is the barest outline of the nightmare BC’s Paul and Zabeth Bayne lived through at the hands of a system that refused to accept the truth: they never harmed their child.

For a full description from Zabeth Bayne herself, watch the video below as Zabeth and Paul Bayne are awarded the George Orwell Free Speech Award for 2012 by Victoria lawyer and Free Speech advocate Douglas Christie.

Now, why is a couple who were put through hell by a government agency deserving an award for Freedom of Speech?  It’s not for the ordeal they went through, although that was truly horrific; it’s for how this brave couple responded to their persecution.

They fought back.

They patently refused, at every turn, to accept the presumption of guilt heaped upon them by every level of government and our justice system.

They won.

After their family was finally reunited after 4 long years apart, the Baynes decided they were not willing to allow their ordeal to happen to another mother and father.

They founded an organization, Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation, to educate parents, health care workers, police and government bureaucrats in the realities of childhood traumatic injury and to the simple fact that there are many, many more explanations for childhood injuries other than what some doctors, bureaucrats and legislators would like to believe.

Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation was founded in the wake of their victory against a system that presumed them guilty.

They now host an annual conference bringing together parents, doctors, police and legislators in an effort to educate them all, so that the nightmare the Bayne family lived through won’t happen again.  (Visit their Facebook page)

Here is the Canadian Free Speech League’s Douglas Christie presenting the 2012 George Orwell Free Speech Award to the Bayne family and Zabeth Bayne’s own recounting of their horrific story.


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July 27, 2012

Justice for Orion Hutchinson and his family? Not a chance. Disgraced former RCMP Corporal Benjamin (Monty) Robinson plays the race card and wins

I was disgusted but not surprised that another piece of garbage in an RCMP uniform, Constable Geoff Mantler, walked free the other day, acquitted by Judge Takahashi.  I saw that one coming a mile off.

Reading the news, however, that arguably the most disgraceful person to ever wear an RCMP uniform, former RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson, will never set foot inside a prison cell for killing Orion Hutchinson and obstructing justice is, well, beyond disgusting.  It’s just a very bad joke on the Hutchinson family and our justice system as a whole.

The maximum sentence for obstruction of justice is 10 years in prison.  This is a very serious criminal offense.

Robinson’s sentence?

One whole month of house arrest, followed by 11 months on probation.  Oh, and he has to write a letter of apology to the Hutchinson family and pay a fine of $1,000 to Victim Services.

That’s not a sentence, that’s an utter abuse of justice!

That is the judicial system showing total contempt for the victims of crime and coddling a criminal who should spend a very long time in prison.

I don’t care that Monty Robinson is “aboriginal”.  He was an RCMP corporal who knew right from wrong and specifically chose to do everything in his power in order to NOT be held accountable for his heinous actions.

That B.C. Supreme Court Judge Janice Dillon had the gall to go looking for “mitigating factors” when sentencing this piece of human trash tells the world that Canada does not take criminal misconduct by career police officers seriously.

It tells us and the world that, compared to the lives of police officers, we mere citizens should just count our blessings that they let us live at all.

Robinson’s every decision from the time he started drinking  that fateful October 2008 night until the time he returned to the scene of where he killed Orion Hutchinson were deliberate acts.  Deliberate, criminal acts.

(more…)

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July 18, 2012

Nova Scotia provincial Judge Gregory Lenehan stupidly joins the “ban camp”

Anything that might possibly be used as a weapon should just be banned.  That’s the flawed logic of left-wing idiots like Toronto city councilor Adam Vaughan and now, apparently, Nova Scotia Provincial Court Judge Gregory Lenehan.

It’s just so much easier to ban a physical item than do something about the moron using something as a weapon, isn’t it?  After all, this is Canada and we do NOT hold people accountable for their actions.  It’s never the criminal’s fault they committed a crime, it’s their environment, it’s their drug addiction, it’s their “sickness”; never their responsibility.

The recent sentencing of serial pedophile Graham James to just 2 years in prison for his decades-long abuse of his hockey charges shows that quite clearly.  An even more horrific example is former Harrison Hot Springs, BC, councilor David Kenyon’s sentence to 14 days in jail for his sex crimes which cannot even be discussed because of a publication ban.

Two weeks in jail for sex crimes?  Seriously?  It’s no wonder pedophiles the world over view Canada as a great vacation spot!

But once again I digress, as the stupid comments in court from Judge Gregory Lenehan don’t have anything to do with sexual assault or pedophilia, but with his statement that we need to ban glass bottles and mugs from bars.

“I’m beginning to think that provincial authorities should start looking at drinking establishments and prohibiting glass objects from being in there,” Lenehan said.

“Far too often the courts are dealing with a situation where somebody has grabbed either the glass that’s in their hand or a beer bottle and either smashed it over somebody’s head or into somebody’s face.

“If we had plastic bottles and plastic drinking glasses in the taverns, we wouldn’t have people suffering facial injuries.”

Yes, it’s true.  Now we need, according to this so-called judge, to ban glass from bars.  Anything but actually hold criminals accountable for their actions.

(more…)

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July 13, 2012

Canadian Justice: Sentence the Victim of the crime to 3 times the prison sentence as the actual criminal

The message from police and Crown prosecutors is very clear:

“Don’t get involved. Leave crime-fighting to the professionals.”

That is precisely the wrong message to send to Canadians, yet that is exactly the message sent in the case of grocer David Chen in Toronto and other cases like his.  Chen was acquitted at trial, luckily, but the process is the punishment and that process  left Chen with a hefty legal bill for daring to do the right thing by apprehending a thief and holding him until police could arrive.

Then there are the cases where the good guy pleads guilty to one charge in order to avoid going to trial on multiple charges.  The victim is then sentenced to far more time in prison that the actual criminals who committed the actual crime.

Take, as an example, the case of Alberta farmer Brian Knight.  Knight lives on his farm outside of Tees, Alberta.  Police response time to his farm would be roughly half an hour on a good day.

On March 26, 2009, three men came onto Knight’s property to steal things.  They, being thieves, are all criminals.  Brian Knight, being the property owner, is the good guy.  I spell this out clearly because the police and courts seem to get very confused about these pesky little details.

Brian Knight awoke to the sounds of three thieves attempting to load his ATV onto the back of their truck in the middle of the night.  When Knight turned on the lights inside his home, two of the thieves panicked and drove away in their truck, leaving the remaining thief to fend for himself.

Harold Groening attempted to make his getaway from the crime scene on Brian Knight’s ATV.  Knight alerted his neighbours of what was happening, then hopped into his vehicle and pursued the thief.  He had his shotgun with him.

When Groening tried to veer across the road he and the ATV were hit by Knight’s car, tossing both the ATV and the thief into the ditch.  Groening attempted to flee and Knight shot at him with his shotgun, which was loaded with light birdshot.  He hit the thief in the leg, but Groening got up and ran off into the dark.

Knight, with the aid of his brother and neighbours, was eventually able to apprehend the thief and hold him until the police could arrive.

That’s precisely what he should have done.  It’s called “Hot Pursuit”.  You’ve caught someone in the commission of a crime and you are pursuing them as far as is necessary to make an arrest.

It’s precisely what the police would have done if it had been them chasing the thief and not Brian Knight.

Knight was not trying to kill Harold Groening.  He was trying to apprehend him and turn him over to police.  He lives on his farm outside the community of Tees, Alberta, a rural town where the police take a long time to arrive.  It’s not like downtown Calgary, for example, where the police response can be just minutes to any reported crime.

Now, since the police and Crown prosecutors don’t like us mere citizens infringing on what they consider “their turf”, Brian Knight was charged with a host of crimes.  The message was clear:

“Don’t get involved. Leave crime-fighting to the professionals.”

(more…)

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February 29, 2012

Justice Abandoned: rape victim appalled that charges are dropped against her alleged rapist

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Imagine the scene.  Your 16-year-old daughter attends a weekend party.

You’re right, she probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but she was.  That doesn’t make what follows her fault though.  It’s the fault of the depraved individuals who [allegedly] drugged her and repeatedly raped her, as well as the profoundly morally bankrupt individuals who videotaped, photographed and watched the entire sordid event but did nothing to stop it.

To make matters worse, the cretins posted photographs of her rape in progress on the internet for the entire world to see.

That’s what happened to a young woman during a rave party in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

The morally bankrupt teenage boy who videotaped and photographed the rape was charged with and eventually pled guilty to making and distributing obscene material.  He was sentenced to 12 months probation.  The morally bankrupt youth cannot be named because of the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, the father of the young woman was understandably upset at the appalling sentence, calling it nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.”

Dennis John Allen Warrington of Langley faces charges of producing and distributing child pornography for his [alleged] part in videotaping the young woman’s rape.  That trial has yet to take place.

Worse, the only man charged in his daughter’s [alleged] rape, Colton Ashton McMorris, will not even face trial.  Crown prosecutors dropped all charges against McMorris days before he was scheduled to go on trial.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie had plenty of rationalizations about why the case could not go to trial. They now believe they might lose the case and their precious conviction rate stats might fall.  They couch their reasons in more official language than that, but you get the point.  No point going to trial if we might lose.

It’s bad for the resume.

This is what happens when prosecutorial statistics are deemed more important than justice for a 16-year-old rape victim.

(more…)

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