AYLMER, ON, Aug 1, 2001 ( – The case of the Aylmer couple who had their 7 children removed from their home by child welfare authorities for refusing to promise never to spank them with a switch is set to be heard by a government committee. The Canadian Press reports today that the couple’s church pastor, Rev. Henry Hildebrandt is going to appear before a provincial government committee to discuss the spanking law. Rev. Hildebrandt, accompanied by Jack Baribeau, president of Citizen Impact Canada, a lobby group dedicated to the preservation of Christian principles in Canadian society, will present the family’s case before Ontario’s justice and social policy committee this fall.

The London Free Press is reporting that church members are attempting to influence their local Children’s Aid Society (CAS), with a campaign to sign up as members to the agency and to voice support for a parent’s right to discipline with reasonable corporal punishment. In another development, Rev. Hildebrandt has been charged for violating the gag ordered placed on the case by the court. He is alleged to have published photos on the internet identifying the children who were grabbed by CAS, which is illegal while the case is before the courts. Rev. Hildebrandt denies being responsible for posting the photos on the internet.

The Canadian Press reports that many families across the country have been shocked by the conditions imposed on the Aylmer family during the court’s handling of the case. The conditions ban corporal punishment, allow child-welfare workers to interview the children at will and force them to visit and follow the advice of a doctor. Mr. Baribeau commented on the conditions, saying, “That’s blowing people away; they can’t believe the state has that much power over a family, and without the principles of fundamental justice. Those are being totally run over. You’re guilty until proven innocent.”

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