(THE NEWS/files)

B.C. dad appeals court ruling preventing his five kids from taking bus alone

Father argued ministry’s decision infringed on his rights as a parent

A Vancouver dad continues his years-long fight to have his young kids be allowed to take the city bus without adult supervision.

In 2018, the father took the Ministry of Children and Family Development to court, arguing it had infringed on his right to make decisions as a parent after it ruled it was unsafe for his four school-aged children, aged five to 10 at the time, to ride the bus alone. He cannot be named due to a publication ban on the identities of his kids.

Last fall, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed his argument, saying his rights were infringed upon “but in a way that accorded with principles of fundamental justice.”

The father is now appealing, saying the judge failed to consider that although the ministry’s decision was reasonable, it went above and beyond the Child, Family and Community Service Act, which governs its actions.

“Justice [Stephen] Kelleher failed to address the statutory limits granted under the CFCSA, and failed to consider that the Ministry had no statutory ability or power to make the decision it did,” he wrote.

“This is why my attorneys and I now feel we have an even stronger case on appeal than we did originally.”

In a statement, the ministry said it “completely supports building independence in kids” and that it would be comfortable with children even younger than 10 riding the bus alone “if they are ready and capable of doing so.”


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Parenting

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