Requirement to say Easter Bunny is real violated couple's charter rights

An Ontario court says a couple's charter rights were violated when the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton took away girls they were fostering because the pair refused to tell the children the Easter Bunny is real.

A decision released Tuesday says Frances and Derek Baars' freedoms of conscience, religion and expression were violated when the girls _ aged three and five _ were taken away and their foster home was closed.

The Baars, who describe themselves as a Christian couple with ``strong religious faith,'' argued telling children in their care that the Easter Bunny is real was a violation of their religious beliefs.

The court application was launched in April 2017 and a judge ruled the actions of the Children's Aid Society interfered substantially with their religious beliefs, including their belief that it is wrong to lie.

The Baars now live in Edmonton and Derek Baars says they are ``very thankful'' for the decision and are hoping to adopt a child.

The Hamilton CAS had said it expected staff and foster parents to put their ``personal beliefs and values aside'' when caring for children who are coming from ``different settings.''

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