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Saturday, March 08, 2014 

Yes, Lev Tahor's flights from arrest could've been prevented

First, the news has come in that, while Lev Tahor's fugitive members in Trinidad-Tobago lost an appeal against being returned to Canada, they're appealing again:
Nine members of a fringe Jewish sect have filed an appeal against a decision by authorities in Trinidad and Tobago to deny them entry, the country's attorney general said Friday.

The latest challenge will likely delay any attempt to return the members of Lev Tahor to Canada, where a court has ordered the children placed in the care of children's aid.
I'm not surprised. There've been reports hinting that they may have loads of money stored away, and it's giving them the ability to hire legal counsel to delay justice to stop their repulsive misdeeds.

A writer for the Toronto Star's brought up just the issues I was wondering about: why weren't the cultists' passports confiscated?
Several safeguards that may have prevented at least 12 Lev Tahor children from leaving the country were not in place despite a clear flight risk based on the group’s history.

The court could have, but did not, revoke the passports of parents and children of the controversial ultraorthodox Jewish sect, or order daily check-ins with children’s services.

There is no automatic flagging at the border of people subject to civil orders not to leave the country. And it’s unclear if police or border officials were even notified of the court judgment that ruled the children must remain in Chatham-Kent.

The lack of safeguards raises troubling questions, given the sect’s history of flight and disturbing allegations that Quebec child protection authorities and police have made about Lev Tahor’s treatment of children, such as beatings, confinement in basements for bad behaviour, forced medication and underage marriage.

Lev Tahor’s leaders have categorically denied the allegations and say they are being unfairly targeted because of their beliefs. None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Well that's because they haven't given the chance for a court to look over the findings while they're present. Their victimology is already a cliche; they repeatedly accuse anybody objecting to their practices of anti-semitism, yet flatly refuse to admit their own behavior is oppressive and abhorrent, and have no shame in abusing welfare, always scapegoating the people who didn't perform anti-semitism in this world. And what has overlord Helbrans ever had to say about Canada's anti-semitism during WW2? Nothing, from what I can tell. He's the same man who accuses Israel of "persecution" and is hostile to its existence, so you know he's only using the accusations of Jew-bashing if it suits his own cult. Otherwise, he clearly has no issues with racism whatsoever.
In November, 200 members of the sect fled Quebec for Chatham in advance of a child protection order that would have removed 14 children into foster care for 30 days. Ontario Court Justice Stephen Fuerth upheld that order in February, but the only safeguard he put in place was an order for “announced and unannounced” visits by Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.

“By the time they came to Chatham-Kent, there’s no doubt that there’s a significant flight risk because they’ve already done it,” said Nicholas Bala, a University of Queen’s law professor and expert on family law.

“One would reasonably know that a group like this has contacts outside the country as well and can support international moves, potentially. It’s a good question why they didn’t take the passports.”
My thoughts exactly. This exposes some of the worst flaws in the Canadian justice system, or any decent country's system, for that matter.
Philip Epstein, a family lawyer with experience in international cases, said he was “surprised” there was no discussion of revoking passports in Fuerth’s ruling.

“The judge anticipated that the group was going to stay in Ontario and appeal and did not create safeguards that would have prevented the children from leaving,” Epstein said.

“Although he allowed the Children’s Aid to have unannounced visits and so on, there was obviously a sufficient time gap so that the Lev Tahor group could leave. He didn’t require a surrendering of passports, which might have prevented them from crossing the border or flying out of any airport, and he assumed they’re going to comply with his order, which is a bit unusual because they already breached the Quebec order.

“If you really wanted to prevent these children from leaving you had to take more stringent steps,” he said.

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, who has handled many international custody cases, said it is the responsibility of Children’s Aid officials to request reporting requirements and relinquishment of passports.

Canadian border officials have no way to detect people’s departures, he said, and child welfare authorities are responsible for notifying law enforcement if they are concerned someone could be a flight risk, even without a court order.

“Passengers don’t have to pass through exit control to board a flight and leave Canada, like in Russia and China. It is at the receiving country where people are stopped,” Kurland said.

“Who failed to pull the fire alarm when they had a chance to do it? This is what it is.”

According to Epstein, the only way a civil judgment prohibiting people from leaving can be effectively enforced by border security or police is if they are notified of it. Unlike criminal convictions, there is no automated computer system for tracking civil orders, he said.

“A civil order is not on a computer system and, as a result, nobody knows about it. It requires the extra step of making sure that the border authority and the RCMP are alerted.”

An RCMP spokesperson declined to say whether the force was notified. The Canada Border Services Agency directed all questions to the Department of Justice, which declined to answer questions because border security isn’t within its purview.

Chatham-Kent Children Services refused to say if they notified the OPP, RCMP, CBSA, the U.S. State Department, or any other local, national or international agency.

“I am not responding to the specifics, as I believe those to be a violation of client confidentiality relative to any specific case scenario,” said Stephen Doig, chief executive officer of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.

Doig also refused to answer questions about how frequently the agency checked on the sect and families, what resources were used to monitor them and what, if any, steps were taken to make sure they did not flee, also citing privacy concerns.

Doig did not dispute that they never requested that passports be seized, but added a clarification.

“Relative to CKCS making a request for surrender of the passports — as you know the Lev Tehor families had legal representation that may or may not have viewed that request as overly intrusive,” he wrote in an email.

Chris Knowles, the lawyer who represented the group in the Fuerth hearing, does not recall Chatham-Kent Children’s Services ever requesting withholding of the families’ passports.
If not, then we're obviously going to have to reserve some anger at them for being so jaw-droppingly derelict. Didn't they care enough to maintain proper checks on the cult to try and stop them from fleeing authorities? Privacy concerns my foot.
Lawyer Ian Mang, who teaches child protection law at Osgoode Hall Law School, said the issue over flight risk rarely comes up in child protection cases because they are usually “poverty-driven,” meaning the parents or custodians don’t have the financial means to flee a jurisdiction.

“This is a one-off type of case that is far removed from the standard child protection issue,” he said.
True, but nevertheless, even abusive guardians with minor resources should also be subject to confiscation of passports, because they could still cross the border to the USA and vice versa.

Canadians have been shocked by the reports of Lev Tahor's child abuse. But they should also be shocked at the incompetence of their own justice system that allowed the group members to take flight from justice. Now, anybody who thinks wide could get the vibe that the authorities secretly sympathise with the group because of its anti-Zionist stance, suggesting anti-Israelism runs rampant in some segments of the Canadian system.

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