Kari Simpson, a middle child, was born in Southern California to Canadian parents who were then living and doing business in USA. She says her mother reminded her often about her earlier-than-normal talents for talking, walking—and determination. Kari’s family lived in the exclusive upper-middle-class community of Rolling Hills, she spent her childhood days playing in the ocean and riding horses. Her parents, like so many other trendy Californians, divorced when she was seven.
Her mother remarried, and the family grew by two more kids—an older step-brother and sister—and her life’s adventures grew as well, to now include winter fun skiing at Mammoth, and week-ends sailing to Catalina.
At around age 10 her mother decided to sell the family home and move into a house still owned by her stepfather. It was quite a departure from the life she had grown up with thus far. Gone were the open spaces of the sprawling canyon playground that was her backyard, gone was the security of a community where law and order prevailed, gone were the lively parties.
“We moved to Carson, CA,” she recalls, “I was enrolled in Annalee Elementary, where we were three among only about ten white kids. I had never seen a metal detector at school, until we went there.” In Grade 5, she recalls her friend, Sam, packing a gun for protection while she rode on the handlebars of his bicycle. “It wasn’t boring; I learned a lot.”
This experiment ended soon after step-father’s new Cadillac was stolen from their garage. The family moved close to previous their location, to the coastal community of Palos Verdes.
In the summer of 1974 they returned to Canada on a holiday to Vancouver Island; her Mom, deciding to “get back to nature”, bought a small farm near Qualicum Beach. Kari and her siblings were soon milking goats, keeping chickens and learning all the other aspects of a pretty primitive farm lifestyle.
Because she was ahead of the other students in her grade at school, Kari was placed on half-days, and spent the rest of her time working on earning her private pilot’s license; a quick study, she completed that program at age 15, but had to wait another year to obtain her license. In the meantime, she completed her multi-engine and IFR certifications.
She qualified for her commercial license, but once again had to wait until she was 18 to get the papers. At that point, she became one of the youngest commercial pilots in Canada.
Engaged and living with her fiancé Sean, an aircraft maintenance engineer, she continued to fly commercially until she became pregnant. Her doctor recommended an abortion to protect her career; Kari tells me she just about decked the doc!
It was also a pivotal moment for Kari in the politics of life, one that would grow into Kari becoming a formidable and fierce defender of life and protecting the rights of the unborn.
Now happily pregnant, Kari and Sean did what trendy parents do: they planned their careers to now include a nanny. Kari says, laughing, “It made perfect sense, stay home with baby for three months, and then get a nanny so I could carry on with MY self-focused life. That plan only lasted until a beautiful miracle named Katherine was placed in my arms, it took less than instant to realize that nobody else was going to raise our baby!”
Life progressed, and soon there were four happy children in the busy Simpson household. One morning, while they were living in Richmond, BC, in 1987, Kari got a frantic phone call from a friend. Her husband was being investigated and social workers wanted to apprehend their children. The father had been accused of touching his daughter in the area covered by her bathing suit, a disclosure reported by a teacher.
Kari began checking the “child protection program” (called CARE), offered at her friend’s school; she was given details by a psychologist at the University of Alberta; she was also informed that school principal Allan Garneau knew about the program.
Looking for more information, Kari also called CKNW and talked to Rafe Mair’s producer; she asked “Have you had anyone on your broadcast to talk about this school program?” The producer said, “No; what do you know about it?” The producer’s own daughter had been through the program, Kari learned, and grew so afraid of her father that she slept with a baseball bat.
“Will you come do the show?” asked Mair’s producer.
“The principal would be better,” said Kari.
“We’ll get him too; but we’d like a parent,” said Rafe’s producer.
“If the principal will do it, I will, too.”
Allan Garneau had done research on the “child protection program”, and refused to have it in his school.
The day before they were both to appear on the Rafe Mair broadcast, Allan Garneau called to say that he’d been told that if he did the show there would be “consequences.” He subsequently left the public system and started a successful private school.
Kari did the show, and began to get phone calls from people whose children had been apprehended. Kari phoned the school of social work and asked, “What are you teaching in this program?”
CKNW kept getting calls, and asked Kari to come back and do another show… and another, then another. Soon she was a regular weekly guest on the Rafe Mair program. Other program hosts also wanted Kari as a guest, but Rafe insisted she was his “property”.
As a result of the programs Kari did with Rafe Mair, the Social Credit government of the day became rather upset. Finally, Social Services Minister Norm Jacobson challenged Kari to a public inquiry. Ombudsman Stephen Owen conducted the inquiry, and in 1991 his Public Report #24 showed there was, indeed, a serious problem.
Jacobson apologized to Kari, and set in motion better laws to protect families from government abuse. Regrettably, the Social Credit government was defeated by the anti-family, pro big union, pro big government NDP
In 1993 the new NDP government brought in the Infants Act, which ignored parental rights, overstepped boundaries and in effect made parents irrelevant.
“The Infants Act was amended to treat all minors the same way,” claimed Health Minister Elizabeth Cull. “Under the old law, people between the ages of 16 and 18 needed parental consent before getting medical treatment. For those under 16, Common Law applied, which meant doctors could treat them without consulting parents or guardians.”
“That was not true,” says Kari. “Obviously, the government was hell-bent on violating the rights of parents, so we took them to court. In March of 1993, we petitioned the court for a declaration that Sec 16 violates Sec 2 (a) & (b) and Sec 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But a radical, pro-choice judge and the Attorney-General’s lawyer (an NDP hack who is now a provincial judge) ruled that a doctor can decide, as long as child agrees and the doctor believes that the proposed treatment is “in the best interest of child”.
Parents became irrelevant.
A key point at issue in the case was whether adolescent girls could get abortions without their parents’ consent—or even informing the parents. The NDP and court officials sympathetic to the Left let it happen. Rafe Mair and Kari did many shows on the Infants Act.
In March, 1993, Rafe Mair endorsed Kari’s nomination for ‘Woman of Distinction Award’, saying he was “110% behind her.”
In the mid 1990’s, as a result of the respect Kari had earned for her work protecting children and families, she was appointed to serve in a quasi judicial capacity on the BC Child and Family Review Board. During this time Kari got a call from an Aboriginal woman whose five children had been apprehended, after which the baby died. Child Protection Services wouldn’t tell her what happened. Kari, as a member of Child and Family Review Board, demanded review—and finally, after much political outrage, the Minister ordered it.
Late in 1996, Kari began to get numerous calls from teachers who were concerned about a BCTF convention resolution to promote, through curricular changes, favorable recognition of homosexuality.
When she responded to the concerns of those teachers, Rafe Mair suddenly turned on her; she was dropped from his broadcasts, and instead he began a series of radio and print editorials—more than 40—in which he maligned her by comparing her to Nazis, skinheads, and the Ku Klux Klan.
Kari wanted Rafe charged with criminal defamation and hatred (under Section 318 of the Criminal Code); but Crown refused to charge Rafe.
So Kari sued Mair and CKNW for defamation in civil court. And this is where our story starts to unfold—a story that exposes judicial corruption, the denying of rights, a multitude of lies, and great mischief! A story that will enable you to better understand one determined individual’s drive for justice.
There are so many more good works Kari has done on behalf of you and me, and the protection of our families. In my opinion, Kari Simpson is a warrior, defending families, and parents’ and children’s rights. But don’t just take my word for it; listen to what a prominent BC lawyer wrote in support of her nomination for ‘Woman of Distinction’ in 1993:
I cannot start an appraisal of Kari Simpson as a person without saying immediately that she is one if the people in this world I admire most. I say this for several reasons, which I will outline below.
I first met Kari Simpson several years ago when she began expressing concern about how misuse of power in alleged child abuse cases was sideswiping innocent families. This was a most unfashionable thing to be concerned about, since the “political correctness” of the day (which largely continues” held that there was no such thing as innocence in such matters. It was, largely, an unpopular cause which Kari took up, and together we used my radio show to attract attention to injustice. It was my radio show—but the issue and the energy belonged to Kari. It was she who formed the Citizens Research Institute, and enormous undertaking. It was she who bore the financial and emotional burdens of being “den mother”, counsel to and advocate for the unpopular, yet badly oppressed minority.
Kari is an activist in the very best sense of the word. It was because of her that the Ombudsman was instructed by the then minister if Social Services to investigate her concerns and it was as a direct result o that, that a task force was set u, and that legislative changes have been proposed and made; from a courageous stand on an unpopular side of an emotional issue, Kari’s efforts brought about real change.
When you think about it, it is remarkable that one person has gained such huge credibility with such a large audience as I am fortunate to possess. After all, Kari has been up against the establishment on the “wrong” side of a highly emotional issu. That she has obviously touched a nerve is clear from the response she gets.
In my vocation, I meet all manner of activists. Most of them have a political agenda of some sort of other. Kari’s inspiration comes instead from a deep commitment to the principles of democracy, fair play, and the worth of the family. My only hesitation in supporting Kari’s nomination as “Woman of Distinction” is that this is too limiting. When one considers what she has accomplished—and forced, by dint of her commitment and dedication, others to accomplish—she is a distinguished British Columbian and Canadian, who has truly been an inspiration to all she has come in contact with.
What was the name of the lawyer who painted this glowing picture of Kari Simpson?
Hold onto your hats: it was Rafe Mair! And you’ll learn more about him—much more—next week.