Grandmother ‘worried sick’ about two kids

Found white supremacist material


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The grandmother of two children in a high-profile custody fight over their parents' alleged white supremacist beliefs told court Friday she grappled with leaving the children in their parents' care.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/05/2009 (5048 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The grandmother of two children in a high-profile custody fight over their parents’ alleged white supremacist beliefs told court Friday she grappled with leaving the children in their parents’ care.

The grandmother testified her daughter drank alcohol while pregnant with her grandson and sometimes kept the children in filthy conditions.

She said her granddaughter was "heartbroken" after her mother took off for months in 2004 with the man who would become the girl’s stepfather.

Child and Family Services is seeking a permanent order of guardianship for the now-eight-year-old girl and three-year-old boy due to the couple’s alleged abuse. Part of the case rests on what CFS maintains are the racist beliefs of the mother and father.

The stepfather is fighting that allegation in court, saying his rights to freedom of expression and religion have been violated.

The parents are no longer together. Regardless, the grandmother said she has huge concerns about either parent’s ability to raise the children.

"I lay in bed at night and worried sick about them," she testified.

She said she feared her grandchildren would be involved in a drunk-driving collision or meet unsavoury strangers.

The grandmother said some of the people the couple knows include "skinheads" she met at their wedding.

She cared for her granddaughter for about four months in late 2004 to 2005 while her mother moved out of the city to be with her new boyfriend.

The couple lived outside of the city for some time before the girl joined them. They married and moved back to Winnipeg in 2005, expecting another child.

The grandmother said both parents required financial help from her when they were together.

Both displayed poor parenting skills, she said.

The couple stayed with their daughter at a friend’s place strewn with rabbit droppings, the grandmother said.

Residents slept on the floors of the home, she said. Another trailer home the couple lived in had rickety stairs with no railing. "I remember when I walked in I was just shocked," she said. "It looked like a fire trap."

The grandmother said she rented and paid for a Winnipeg apartment when her daughter told her in 2007 she wanted to leave her husband.

She said the separation lasted less than a week. She met her intoxicated daughter at the door of the apartment — and the husband was inside.

The grandmother said she doesn’t like the man her daughter married.

She said he bossed around her daughter and couldn’t keep a steady job.

Among their disagreements was a T-shirt she said the man wore to her granddaughter’s kindergarten graduation with a slogan relating to Adolf Hitler.

Another worry was what her granddaughter told her about a fight between her mother and stepfather.

"Her mom said she was going to leave him and he said, ‘You won’t leave me. The only way you’ll leave me is in a box,’" she said her granddaughter told her. It "troubled" her.

The grandmother said she found white supremacist paraphernalia strewn around her daughter’s home.

She said she has not spoken to her daughter in the past six months except for one phone call this week.

The call related to what the grandmother alleges is $22,000 she owes to a credit card company after a card was issued in her daughter’s name in late 2008. The grandmother said she did not give her permission for the card and did not know it existed until recently.

Her daughter is now living outside of the province, court heard Friday.

The woman told the Free Press she will attend the trial at the end of June to give evidence.


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