June 3, 2020

Winnipeg
8° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Psychologist testifies supremacist markings 'tip of iceberg'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/6/2009 (3997 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG — A young girl who showed up at her Winnipeg elementary school with white supremacist markings all over her body may have represented the "tip of the iceberg" of what was happening in her home, a psychologist testified today.

The psychologist told court he was very concerned about racist comments posted online by the girl's mother and stepfather, in which they graphically discuss their hatred of blacks, Jews and other minorities. The Internet chat room discussions occurred before the girl and her younger brother were seized in March 2008 by Child and Family Services.

"It may have indicated a set style of beliefs that things may have been going on (in the home) for some time," said the psychologist .

CFS is seeking a permanent order of guardianship for the two children in a case that has made headlines around the world. The agency claims the parent's neo-Nazi beliefs amount to emotional abuse and put the kids at risk.

The child custody trial resumed Tuesday following a two-week break. For the first time, the children's mother was present. She had been in Quebec when the trial began and claimed financial problems kept her from returning to Winnipeg. The woman does not have a lawyer but is allowed to sit at counsel table with her estranged husband and his lawyer and ask questions in cross-examination.

The psychologist was tasked with doing a "parental capacity assessment" and spent hours interviewing the parents, children and several others with connections to the family. His testimony is expected to stretch into Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the girl's former teacher took the witness stand to describe a disturbing meeting she had with the mother in November 2007.

The teacher said the woman showed up 45 minutes late for a parent-teacher conference, her breath smelling of alcohol.

"She said 'Sorry I`m late, I stopped for a beer'," said the teacher. Her seven-year-old daughter was with her at the time.

The teacher said their 20-minute meeting went poorly, with the mother taking no interest in her child's performance in school.

"Mom was more keen on talking about herself, how she did in high school...her academic talents," she said.

In cross-examination, the teacher admitted the girl was a bright student who got along well with her classmates – at least half of which were of a visible minority. She said there were no concerns about any racism.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

History

Updated on Friday, June 26, 2009 at 4:43 PM CDT: The name of an expert witness at a child custody hearing was disclosed in error in our online edition Tuesday. The CFS Act prohibits the publication of the names of parties or witnesses in a case. The Free Press has removed all references to the witness's name on this site, and instructed Canadian news sites which carried this story to do the same. The Free Press regrets publishing this information.

The Winnipeg Free Press is not accepting comments on this story.

Why aren't comments accepted on this story? See our Commenting Terms and Conditions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us