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Old 01-29-2006, 04:52 PM
bearall bearall is offline
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Honourable senators, this committee for me, personally, has been the "committee from hell." I borrow that metaphor from Toronto author Wendy Dennis's just published book, The Divorce from Hell. She wrote about the divorce inferno that has consumed so many families emotionally and financially. I describe it as the "committee from hell" because of the persistent derision and maligning directed towards me from certain quarters, aggression which has only added to my character and strengthened my resolve to bring some light to this darkness, as some children of divorce, sometimes described by me as the children of Sisyphus, are held hostage to conflict, even hatred, while the courts and Parliament have seen fit to do little or nothing to correct the obvious injustice and the anguish of so many. This silence is indicative of our human paucity, the paucity and imperfection of human nature, and the paucity of the human condition. That, honourable senators, is a grand mystery of life, which is only understood in the long run by having a spiritual set of beliefs.

Honourable senators, I have travelled the width and breadth of this country on these issues. I have spoken to thousands of Canadians in person and to millions in media interviews. They, the public, have spoken to me; their support is enormous and, I would add, very humbling. The public mind of this land and the public heart have spoken. In fact, the public will of this land has overtaken the committee's report. The report of the committee has been overtaken by the developments in the public mind and the public realm. The public of this land wants the Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan, to act speedily, without delay, to bring a new Divorce Act to reflect contemporary Canadian values of fairness, balance and equality for children, parents and families in divorce. Canadians want our government to adopt aggressive policies and values on family and family life. Change is necessary.

Honourable senators, you would have to know my family and how I grew up, but I was raised to believe that one person can make a difference. I hope that I have made a difference. I have certainly tried very hard to do so.

Honourable senators, I would like to close by quoting Psalm 127, verse 3:

Children are a gift from the LORD; They are a real blessing.

Honourable senators, I sincerely believe this. As persons, as individuals and as parliamentarians, and on behalf of the Sovereign, the Supreme Parent, the parens patriae, we are the stewards of the children of this land.

Honourable senators, the name of this report is "For the Sake of the Children." Had I had the opportunity to choose the name of this report, I would have chosen the title "Children of the Spring."

I thank you, honourable senators, for your attention.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator DeWare, debate adjourned