CHILD PROTECTION - Protective agencies and institutions - Supervision or guardianship - Parties - Standing

Law360 Canada (April 20, 2023, 6:34 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the appellant, the kin caregiver, from an order dismissing the protection proceedings relative to a two-year-old First Nations child. The appellant argued that the motion judge erred by determining the motion to dismiss before considering the issue of party status. The appellant was the child’s kin caregiver. The respondents were the child’s biological parents, the child’s aunt, and the Oneida Nation of the Thames. The Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex (Society) had been involved with the child since her birth and commenced protection proceedings when she was two months old. An order was made granting the appellant temporary custody under the supervision of the Society. The appellant brought a motion seeking to be added as a party to the protection proceedings. Around the same time, the biological father brought a motion to have the protection proceedings withdrawn because the respondents were planning to sign a customary care agreement (CCA). By the time the motions were heard, the CCA had been signed. It did not include the appellant, nor did it make any provision for her continued access to, or involvement with, the child. The motion judge, relying primarily on the CCA, dismissed the proceedings as having been settled. He rejected the appellant’s motion to be added as party to the proceedings....

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