VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Without notice or cause, the new warden of a provincial prison canceled the “Mother-Baby Program,” which allows jailed mothers to stay with their newborns, five women claim in B.C. Supreme Court. The two mothers and three pregnant women say Alouette prison warden Lisa Anderson’s act was arbitrary, capricious, and disproportionately affects aboriginal women and babies.
The provincial Mother-Baby Program is modeled after the federal Mother-Child Program. Plaintiffs say 12 mothers and their babies benefited from the program at Alouette and there was no reason for Anderson to cancel it. Aboriginal children and families have a hard enough time as it is, the women say. And they say the program cancellation violates the Child Family and Community Services Act.
They are represented by D. Geoffrey Cowper.