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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 02-09-2006, 10:03 AM
hubby's Avatar
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Default Reform starts where?

DecentDad,

I'm curious, when you mentioned you were lobbying for reform, is this a group of you?

Are you lobbying your MP's or parliamentary memebers?

How can one help this cause?

Hubby
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:56 AM
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Default For the sake of the Children--Read it and weep

Nothing happened in 2003/2004/2005 either and now it is 2006 .....what is going to happen this year???

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/1/parlbus/c...176_1730-E.htm

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

* * *
[English]
<A name=SOB-215031>Divorce Act

<A name=Int-215029> Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance) moved:


" The concept of shared parenting has broad public support. It has broad support in this place. It has support in the Senate. It is the desire of parliamentarians in this place that it go forward. Yet in 1998 nothing happened. In 1999 nothing happened. In 2000 and 2001 nothing happened. Here we are in 2002 and still nothing has happened. That is a shame because as each year goes by more and more children, 50,000 children a year, are left in the lurch hoping their parents have enough maturity and common sense to find a shared parenting arrangement. However we have no legislative framework, mediative services or common court systems that allow this to be done easily and without confrontation.
It is a shame. The government has agreed that families need to have a high priority. In 1999 the then minister of justice said we must make the needs and interests of children our highest priority. Here we are in 2002 and there has been no reaction. The new Minister of Justice says changes to the Divorce Act may be tabled sometime this spring. That may be good as far as it goes but I plead with the minister to reconsider. It is not only about the Divorce Act. There are 48 recommendations. It is not only about making it simpler to steer one's way through a divorce. It is about doing what is right for kids. It will take more than a fixed divorce act to do that.
The biggest reason of all for the government to move now on the 48 recommendations and stop dragging its feet is the children. It is for the sake of the children. Thousands of difficult situations could have been avoided in the last four years alone if the recommendations had been implemented. People such Darrin White have died because the issue has not been properly fixed.

It is important to note that a majority of parents, even when marriages break down, do their best to look after their children and to put them first. There are occasions when children are used as pawns in a very unfortunate marital breakdown. This motion today is to again highlight the need for the House to be seized by that and to talk about putting children first in a children first agenda.
That is one of the reasons I brought this motion forward. It reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government should immediately act on the December 1998 Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access entitled “For the Sake of the Children”, and that the Minister of Justice should be condemned for failing to propose amendments to the Divorce Act on the basis of this report.
I point out there are two reasons why private members' motions and bills are brought forward. The first reason is the member actually wants, expects and hopes to develop new legislative options. Unfortunately, as we have seen again in the past week or two, that so seldom happens. There is an awful lot of work that goes into proposing alternatives. I have proposed alternatives on the management of CIDA, peacekeeping operations, the most recent blood samples act, et cetera. Members try their best to promote those things, but we all realize the government almost never passes them and the initiatives come and go by the wayside. We do our best but there is not much chance of them coming to fruition.
The second reason is a motion is put forward to point out that the work has already been done and it is simply a matter of the government finally getting on the bandwagon and making something actually happen. The work in this case has been done. It was done in 1998. The report was tabled. It is called “For the Sake of the Children” and be adopted in its entirety for the sake of the children. It is well named.
It is an excellent report and I urge people to read it. It deals with difficult issues like custody, alimony, payments for access to children, joint parenting proposals, the way the courts should be organized and all those kinds of things. It is also excellent because it puts the children first and that is what we should be talking about. I hope in the debate today we have a chance to describe the situation currently in Canada and what this report recommends.
I brought this motion forward because a few years ago I was dealing with a problem that a constituent of mine had. He was from Abbotsford. His former wife took their two children and moved to the east coast. He was subsequently laid off from his job and it took three full years for the courts to acknowledge the change in his employment status. In this case the court system pushed the father to the edge of financial ruin and dropped him into the abyss of deep, emotional anguish because the court would not recognize the change in his financial situation. Nor would it allow him access to his children on the other side of the country.
He felt that if the “For the Sake of the Children” report or parts of it had been adopted and had been passed into law by federal and provincial governments, it would have helped both he and his children during those difficult years. This constituent's interests were also driven by a sense of selflessness. He did not want the suffering that he had gone through to happen to others. He was especially gripped by the tragic story of Darrin White, which I will relay very briefly.
Darrin White was from Prince George, B.C. He committed suicide on March 13, 2000 after a court gave him only limited access to his children and ordered him to pay his estranged wife twice his take home pay in child support and alimony each month. The man was so desperate he eventually took his own life. The B.C. supreme court ordered him to pay his ex wife and three children $2,071 a month while his net pay was less than $1,000 per month. It was a shameful case. It drove this man to take his own life because he could see no way out the situation."
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