A.J.B. v. J.M., 2019 BCSC 2335

The narrow issue in this case was whether a s. 211 report or a Hear the Child report should be prepared.  The parents had shared equal parenting time until the father relocated from the Lower Mainland to Victoria.  The 13-year old child had been objecting to travelling to Victoria.  The father attributed that to the mother’s alienation, which was why he thought a s. 211 report was necessary.  The judge reviewed case law about when s. 211 reports would be ordered, noting that the court must strike a balance between the usefulness of the information contained in s. 211 reports, and the countervailing interests of time and delay, intrusion into the child’s life, and cost.  The judge rejected the father’s contention that the mother was alienating the child.  She held that a s. 211 report was unnecessary because there was no evidence that her needs were not being met, and it would be disruptive to her.  The judge granted an order that a Hear the Child report be prepared because, given the father’s suspicion that the child’s views were being influenced by the mother, it was important to obtain a neutral, objective recitation of the child’s wishes.