Surely this is one of those ridiculous headlines ripped from the satirical Onion: “Children taken away from foster parents unwilling to say Easter Bunny is real.”

But sadly, it is all too shockingly true. To the Hamilton CAS, belief in the Easter Bunny is an integral Canadian value. Or as executive director Dominic Verticchio explained, in all seriousness: Fealty to a fictional floppy-eared rabbit is a “North American custom and belief that everyone raps their minds around.”

And all skeptics need not apply.

So the fired foster parents, Derek and Frances Baars, have just launched a court action against the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society alleging their Charter rights to freedom of conscience and religion were violated by the agency’s insistence that they tell their foster children that the Easter Bunny is a “real entity.”

“We were committed to not lying to children,” explains Derek Baars, 36, who has since moved to Calgary where he works as a pastor. “They could expect the truth from us and we expected the truth from them.”

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