Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Reports missing in boy's murder case

30 lost files could embarrass Catholic Children's Aid Society

One may have endorsed grandparents as foster parents

Toronto Star, NICK PRON, COURTS BUREAU, Oct. 19, 2005

The trial of two grandparents facing murder charges in the death of 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin has been delayed after it was revealed in court that more than 30 files compiled by the Catholic Children's Aid Society on the case are missing.

Some of the apparently lost files could be embarrassing for the agency. One, for instance, described the grandmother, Elva Bottineau, as a child-care worker approved by the agency, the court heard yesterday.

Another key file contained information on an apparently favourable "risk assessment" that was done by the society on the suitability of the grandparents — Bottineau, 54, and her 53-year-old common-law husband, Norman Kidman — to be foster parents.

They were awarded custody of Jeffrey and his three siblings after their mother — the couple's daughter — was suspected of abusing them. Both have pleaded not guilty to one count each of first-degree murder in the child's death on Nov. 30, 2002.

The society had been ordered by search warrant to turn over about 240 relevant files, but as prosecutor Beverley Richards explained to Justice David Watt, some of those files were never given to the Crown's office. The number could be as high as 40, she said.

Sounding exasperated at times, Richards explained to Watt that she and co-Crown prosecutor Lorna Spencer were also having trouble interviewing some officials with the society, after being told that the agency was in the midst of moving to a new office.

"I couldn't care less how inconvenient it is for them," Watt said. "We have been unreasonably accommodating and maybe it is time we stopped."

Earlier, the trial had been delayed several days to give the society time to gather up relevant files for the case. The latest delay means court will not resume until Monday as the hunt begins for the missing files, which were listed on a 20-page search warrant inventory, the court heard.

Those files described in court apparently contradicted other agency files that were turned over to police. One missing report described Bottineau as an "incompetent parent" after she had three children with a cousin in her first common-law marriage, the court has heard.

That report said Bottineau was a danger to herself and others, and showed no desire to improve herself and become a better parent. Both Bottineau and Kidman have criminal records for child abuse, which was noted in another society file on the couple.

Jeffrey died from septic shock, his frail body weakened by hunger and afflicted with bacterial pneumonia he got from sleeping in his own bodily wastes in his locked bedroom.

In earlier testimony yesterday, a 13-year-old neighbour told the court that every time he saw Jeffrey when he visited the house the boy was wearing diapers.

Zachary Noseworthy testified he thought Jeffrey's bedroom was a closet because the door was "always locked," while the doors to the other bedrooms were "always open."

His mother, Jennifer Noseworthy, was next on the stand, testifying that once when she visited the house she found Bottineau in the basement, bathing Jeffrey and a second grandchild in the laundry tub.

Under cross-examination from Bottineau's lawyer, Nicholas Xynnis, Noseworthy agreed that Bottineau had told her it was difficult for her to handle Jeffrey and his three siblings, at one point suggesting that Noseworthy adopt Jeffrey because she knew he would get good parents.

IPSOS / REID POLL

Smoking and Relationships

more than Half (56%) Would Not Date A Smoker

Six in Ten (61%) Say a Dates Smoking Would Decrease Their Attractiveness

February 9, 2005

Canadian Press logo

Smoke-free apartments in Winnipeg

Canadian Press
 September 20, 2006

WINNIPEG -- Smokers in search of an apartment in Winnipeg will soon have fewer buildings to choose from now that one of the city's largest landlords has opted to go smoke-free.

Globe General Agencies, which manages about 5,000 units across the city and thousands Read More ..ross parts of Canada, will ban smoking for all new tenants moving into its 75 buildings as of Oct. 1.

Existing tenants who smoke will be allowed to continue, but the company sees the policy as a first step toward making all its buildings entirely smoke-free, said president Richard Morantz.

"Really this is just all part of providing a safe and healthy environment for our tenants," Morantz said Tuesday.  Read More ..

The Globe and Mail

Parents abuse children by smoking, group says

The Globe and Mail
January 21, 2003

Exposing children to second-hand smoke is tantamount to child abuse, the Canadian Lung Association says.

In a controversial statement released Monday to mark Non-Smoking Week, the venerable charitable organization called on parents to stop smoking in the home because they are endangering the health of their children.

"Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are victims in their own homes - the very environment that is supposed to be safe and protective," said Noel Kerin, an occupational and environmental medicine specialist and medical spokesman for the lung association. The century-old charity was formed to combat tuberculosis, but has turned its attention to a variety of lung issues, including smoking.

"Second-hand smoke is damaging to a child's health and is tantamount to child abuse. The evidence is too compelling to present it in half measures or to worry about political correctness. We have a significant social and health problem that needs public attention and the associated pressure of public intolerance to correct it."   Read More ..

Toronto Star logo

Smokers - the new deviants

The Toronto Star
Aug. 20, 2006

Smokers need not apply," ran a classified ad for a job in Ireland this past May.

"Why not?" asked Catherine Stihler, a British Labour party MEP, who posed the question on behalf of one of her constituents. Should women not apply, either? Or homosexuals? Muslims? What about high-functioning alcoholics, or fat people?

The answer, from the European Commission that oversees anti-discrimination legislation in the EU, came back to Stihler this month: Smokers are fair game for discrimination. Read More ..

Family Court Rules No Smoking Allowed in Family Home or Cars

The Canadian Children's Rights Council has seen numerous cases like this in most provinces or territories.

August 18, 2006

While the children are under the primary care of the petitioner, she shall not permit the children to be exposed to secondhand smoke. Specifically, there shall be no smoking within the family home at Fort St. James nor the family vehicle.   Read More ..

Smoking Case

Muskoka, Ontario

Superior Court of Justice

COURT FILE NO.:  153-03
DATE: 2004-04-27
N.C. smokes tobacco products.

The father of the children, S.S., smokes tobacco products.  N.C.'s mother, D.C., also smokes tobacco products.  The public health nurse stresses that the children were born premature and that tobacco smoke is an aggravating factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SIDS. 

When father resided with the family, he and N.C. did not agree that tobacco smoke was hazardous to health of the children.  They continued to smoke tobacco products.  This was evidenced by full ashtrays being observed in the residence when workers attended.  In addition, N.C. openly said to the public health nurse that she did not believe that second hand smoke was hazardous to the health of her children.  Read More ..