Foster care approved for kids in neo-Nazi case
The Manitoba government has won permanent guardianship of two children whose parents were accused of teaching them neo-Nazi beliefs.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge has ordered that the boy and girl remain in the custody of Child and Family Services (CFS), which has placed them in foster care with a relative.
The court also dismissed a constitutional challenge from the father, who argued the government violated his right to raise the children according to his beliefs. He is the stepfather of the girl, now nine, and the biological father of the boy, now four years old.
To protect the identities of the children, no one involved in the case can be named.
The children were removed from their home in 2008 after the girl showed up at her elementary school with racist writings and symbols on her skin.
The government agency argued the children were emotionally harmed and were also being raised in squalor and suffering from neglect.
Girl described how to kill: social worker
During the trial of the custody issue last year, social workers testified the girl had said her parents hated people who were not white and talked of racial violence.
Social workers testified she used racial epithets to describe blacks, Asians, aboriginals and other minorities. One worker told the court the girl calmly described how black people could be killed with a ball and chain.
The father admitted to using Nazi salutes and telling the children that only white people belong in Canada. But he told the court his beliefs do not amount to racism and he never preached violence.
The mother, who now lives in another province, attended court infrequently, saying she could not afford the travel. In June, she testified that her estranged husband wasn't fit to be a parent, saying he was a heavy drinker and had been suicidal.
She also accused social workers of putting words in her daughter's mouth and said she never preached hatred to her children. The mother testified she wanted to co-operate with CFS officials in an effort to one day regain custody.
At one point, the mother appeared in court in shackles after being charged with a number of fraud-related crimes.
In an email to CBC News on Thursday, the mother said she supported the decision not to grant custody to the father, but does not support a permanent order. She intends to appeal the decision.
"I deny any allegation of abandonment and will state that based on the judge's writings that she had made up her mind prior to the final arguments," she wrote.
"If she had paid attention to the evidence as opposed to [hearsay] from third parties speaking for a child that had no voice at the trial [and who were] never present in my home, then I believe her decision would be different.
"This is communism, state-sanctioned theft of children to punish their parents based solely on an alleged belief system. The social workers have stated that it is not their job to investigate the accusations through evidence, that [hearsay] is all that they need.
"Apparently the judge was in agreement with that. I am already working on my appeal."
The father's lawyer said they will review the judge's decision and plan an appeal. She described her client as being "very disappointed" with the verdict.
The father immediately loses any visitation rights with the children. Up until Thursday, he was allowed one supervised two-hour visit a week with them.
With files from The Canadian Press