Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin v. C.H., 2018 ONCJ 453

In this matter, the mother did not have the care of her children and was seeking access to one of the children. The mother had several mental health issues, a drug dependency problem, and a succession of relationships that resulted in domestic violence, primarily towards her. Justice Kukurin discussed how, under the new Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, the court had to consider the children’s best interests, including considerations about whether the relationship between the child and parent is beneficial and meaningful.

In her decision, Justice Kukurin stated:

“I am of the view that there still remains an onus under the CYFSA on the person who seeks an access order to a child who has been ordered into extended society care, to persuade the court that the relationship between that person and the child is beneficial and meaningful to the child, and to do so on the balance of probabilities. While this is now a ‘consideration’ in the best interests test under s. 74(3) CYFSA, it is an important one, perhaps more important than any other.”

The court determined that the mother had failed to meet the best interests test on the balance of probabilities, and in particular had not shown that the relationship between her and the child is beneficial and meaningful to the child, so her request for access was denied.