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Let Responsible Kids Take Transit

$41,316 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 3 people in 3 months
I'm raising money to legally defend the ability of kids of all ages to take public transit on their own.

Please read my blog post as it's the reason for this campaign.

I will use the funds from this campaign to launch a legal challenge to protect the rights of responsible parents to choose the transportation method that best fits their family, without interference from the government.


Here's the gist, if my blog post is too long:

- I am a single father of five great kids, living in downtown Vancouver
- I spent two years training my kids to take the bus to school, riding with them countless times
- They did these trips happily and without incident
- This Spring, the Ministry of Children & Family Development (akin to CPS in Canada) received an anonymous report from someone that didn't believe my kids should take the bus
- As a result, the Ministry restricted my kids from taking the bus alone, or even going to the corner store across the street, arguing (based on incorrect or no data) that it's too risky

I am a staunch advocate for abundant public transit for everyone who wants to use it. I also strongly believe in evidence-based policy-making.

All the evidence supports bus travel being the safest method of transportation for people of all ages.


This is the wrong decision, not just for my kids, but more importantly as a precedent that can't stand and must be pushed back against if we're to raise confident, independent, sustainability-conscious kids.
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Hi Supporters!

Just a short update to let everyone know where we're at with the challenge to the Ministry of Children and Families' (MCFD) decision:

We switched attorneys early in the new year as we weren't happy with the lack of progress to date. We're now working with a much more proactive firm and I'm happy to report the MCFD has agreed to an internal review of the decision.

The Ministry is not obligated to review every decision they make, so this is a positive step. That said, there's no guarantee the outcome of this internal review will change the decision. Regardless of what happens, it will lay the groundwork for any future legal challenge.

We are expecting the result of the MCFD decision in approximately 30-45 days. We'll get a chance to meet with the MCFD representative conducting the review and outline our concerns about the process and data used to make the decision.

I'll update everyone as soon as we hear back from the Ministry on the review. Thank you so much for your ongoing support in our fight to support kids' independence.

- Adrian
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The media frenzy of last week has waned a bit, so now it's time to get down to real work!

The *single best thing* you can do to help at this point is to write to Hon. Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development, at katrine.conroy.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

Tell her you support responsible parents' right to raise independent kids - provided, as in this case - adequate safety measures and training have been provided.

Even if all you can spare is a few lines in an email to ask the Minister to review this case and others like it, that would be hugely helpful. If you've donated, it's a great way to amplify the effect of your donation. If you can't afford to donate, it's an amazing way to contribute without spending a dime.

I wrote an op-ed about the issues with the Ministry's decision yesterday ( http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/09/10/guest-shot-a-dad-s-fight-for-kids-right-to-ride-the-bus.html) in case you want a summary of why the Ministry erred in this case.

I'm currently talking with my MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) to further this discussion with Minister Conroy, but all the pressure we can apply on the Ministry helps.

I'm also reaching out to the over 20 (twenty!) qualified attorneys who have stepped forward to express an interest in taking on this case. I'm going to interview each, at least via phone but hopefully in person, in order to find the right team to make the biggest possible change to the systemic issues with the Ministry of Children and Family Development's policies and enforcement.

I'm not interested in merely winning my case if we can instead get the Ministry to review their guidelines across the board for all families, and/or if we can launch a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge.

The past seven days have been incredibly motivating and inspiring. It's been so encouraging to hear from hundreds of people directly, and thousands more people via social media, with messages of support.

Now it's time to turn that into action! So please, write Minister Conroy (address above) if you can spare the time.

Thanks again for your incredible boost. I'll write soon with another update.

Adrian

PS: to all the parents out there, I hope your back to school week went great!
Front page of the Toronto Star
Editorial in Canada's largest paper
Op-ed in another national paper
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Well I'm beyond thrilled to announce we've exceeded the initial fundraising goal, by over $3k as I write this!

The sheer volume of support, not just in terms of donations, but in messages, tweets, Facebook posts, radio callers, newspaper commenters and more has made it clear we have to push back legally on this issue, for all responsible families.

The national and international news coverage has spawned much needed discussion on the issue of state overreach in parenting.

It's also caught the attention of numerous key individuals in law, politics, advocacy and those who've been affected by Ministry decisions in the past.

It's these people who will be so integral as we move forward together to challenge this, legally. I'm excited to get down to the hard work - and grateful to everyone who has made it possible to do so.

That said, an expert attorney in this exact type of case estimates we could be looking at a couple years and several attempts, hopefully winning on appeal.

Needless to say, I'll be leaving the campaign open for now as additional funds will no doubt be required (that same expert estimates "tens of thousands" are needed).

After a day of a dozen interviews, including the BBC, I'm exhausted but feeling extremely positive about the change we're making.

Thank you so much, everyone, for making this possible.

- Adrian
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Wow, thank you everyone who has donated so far. Today we received coverage from a number of national and local news outlets (Globe and Mail, National Post, CTV News, Global News, etc), so expect to see TV and newspaper spots tonight and tomorrow.

Most importantly, we've also received several offers of help from lawyers familiar with Ministry issues. I'll be putting together a small working group this week to start outlining our legal strategy.

There's been a huge amount of support today on twitter, with 5kids1condo even trending nationally at one point. Even Kim Campbell, our former Prime Minister of Canada(!), chimed in with her support on twitter. Pretty amazing.

Looking forward to taking on this challenge to ensure families have the right to choose their preferred mobility method, free from interference from government.

Thank you, and tell a friend. :)
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Raised by 3 people in 3 months
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