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Old 03-23-2007, 10:10 AM
Decent Dad Decent Dad is offline
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Default Bill C-252

Here is an article in today's newspapers about Bill C-252. It is the one where terminally ill parents have rights to see their children. I'll comment below.

More here:,1/


House unites to change Divorce Act
MPs put partisanship aside after learning of a mother who died before she could say goodbye to her children, writes Tim Naumetz.
Tim Naumetz, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, March 23, 2007

Despite the recent bitter mood in the House of Commons, MPs united on an unprecedented scale this week and voted 302-0 to pass a bill ensuring a terminally ill divorced parent death-bed access to children in the custody of the other parent.

The sister of a woman who died of cancer the day after her estranged husband had police seize their children said she was overwhelmed as she watched the vote Wednesday night from her Lethbridge, Alta., home.

"I had my son in my lap, and I just watched it and my son said, 'Look, all those people are standing up for Auntie Monica'," said Andrea Glover.

Ms. Pomahac-Lansing was the primary caregiver for her three children until earlier that year, when she became debilitated by leukemia and a court gave interim custody to her former husband.

By August, doctors had given Ms. Pomahac-Lansing only weeks to live, but relations with her former husband were by then so acrimonious that he sent his brother-in-law, with a police escort, to seize the children from a visit they had just started with their mother.

Ms. Pomahac-Lansing collapsed overnight and died in hospital the next morning without seeing her children again. Her relatives brought the children in the morning, but Ms. Pomahac-Lansing by that time was unconscious and died within 10 minutes of their arrival.

Ms. Pomahac-Lansing's brother videotaped the final moments of her life, including the police seizure of the children, a stretcher taking her to an ambulance and the tragic scene of her children telling her they wanted to stay with her as they were being taken away.

Ms. Glover and supporters posted the video online as part of a campaign to rally support for Mr. Casson's bill.

Mr. Casson said yesterday the unanimous passage of his bill amending the Divorce Act was a welcome relief from the confrontations of recent days over the federal budget and national security.

"I think a lot of members of Parliament want to work in that kind of atmosphere, not theatre," said Mr. Casson, who expressed appreciation for the support he received from MPs in all parties as the bill wound its way through the Commons in the past year.

The bill amends the Divorce Act to give a terminally or critically ill parent access to children in a broken marriage "as long as such access is consistent with the best interests of the child."

NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis called the passage of the bill "a rare moment."

Liberal MP Bonnie Brown said, "I think we all felt that if a person is actually dying and they have a last wish to see their own children, it should be allowed."

Ms. Glover has been pressing for a police board inquiry into the actions of the Lethbridge officers.
Old 03-23-2007, 10:31 AM
Decent Dad Decent Dad is offline
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First, off I realize that saying anything negative or critical about this Bill invites the wrath of the many. Discussing it too is akain to the old line “When did you stop beating your wife”. No matter what you say, it will be in the wrong context… But I will open the discussion and step on the first landmime.

I have done a little research into this case. A lot more than the average reporter BTW, which is sad since we never get the entire story. The tale could be the old “he/she took the kids, he/she wants revenge.” Or there could be more… Since we only have one side of the story, I’ll hold off on getting involved in the messy details of the last 4-6 years. I do know that they had joint custody but she had primary residence and majority access. She also moved them away to a different province.

But, back to the Bill. Yes, C-252 makes sense. It is a symbolic gesture that “yup something is wrong here, and lets fix it.” She was dying. It was her children. The scene is set for the hero MP to “Do the right thing”. Everyone can pat themselves on the back, handshakes all around; then go home this weekend with a smile on their face. Justice has been done. Yeah!

Now, lets enter reality. Here are my comments, critics, observations and rants.

1) It simply boggles my mind how quickly laws get changed when it regards a women. Sorry her gals, but this really blows my mind. Fathers have been fighting for equal access and joint custody for decades. Nothing. A women has her access interrupted. Snap. Bill-C-252.

2) Access abuse is not uncommon in divorce. What made this case so special? Fathers (and mothers) suffer this day in and day out. I did. No laws were changed for me. I guess I should have posted my child freaking out on youTube.

3) The law states “best interests of the child”. Well, there is the big loop hole, folks. Any parent can block stating “best interests of the child” That’s a 3-month court ride for some poor judge to figure out. It is like all access laws. No teeth.

4) As we all know, any court order, or law, for access can easily be by-passed; “oops… I thought you meant next Thursday… not this Thursday. Sorry.” “Billy and Sue are sick today and have gone to their grandmothers. Sorry”. You all know the drill.

5) Perhaps we need to look at joint custody and joint access more seriously. It might go a long way to preventing these massive custody, access and gamesmanship fights. She took the kids from him. Now, he (allegedly) wanted revenge.

I have always stated, no one understands how bad Family Law is in this country until you enter it…
Old 03-23-2007, 11:00 AM
Decent Dad Decent Dad is offline
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The more I read into this from 3rd party blogs, comments to articles, etc, it furthers my opinion that people do not understand Family Law at all. Many, many, many, people are confusing custody and access. They also wrongly assume that if you have joint custody, that either parent has instant rights to access. And even when there is joint custody, the parent with majority acces is really in charge. Period.
Old 03-23-2007, 06:17 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Decent Dad,

I've heard a little about that case and bill. To me, The pathetic irony that comes to mind is that for some parents they will have to be on their death bed to see their children.

Lest we forget "for the sake of the children."

To me it would be more beneficial for the children to be given the opportunity to know the parent for who they are and in their own environment before they are on their death bed; A tomb stone doesn't hug back or offer a meaningful relationship. Too little, too late.


Last edited by logicalvelocity; 03-23-2007 at 07:08 PM.
Old 03-24-2007, 10:53 AM
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What I find interesting is that Rick Carson is a PC. That is another PC moving towards more changes to the Divorce Act. That is all good news if the PC's get a majority and Harper being a father, etc.
Old 03-24-2007, 05:38 PM
jlalex jlalex is offline
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I don't know, I think its pretty sad that the government actually had to step in and legislate something like this...

We need some serious law reform if this is what some CP's believe they have the power to do, or worse yet actually have the power to do.

I wonder if there will ever be a day when " in the best interests of the children" actually means something and is no longer touted as an excuse to torture the other parent at the childs expense.

Very sad...
Old 03-25-2007, 06:47 AM
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I think this says it all:

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely

An observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. The statement was made by Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Old 03-26-2007, 06:55 AM
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The moment I read,

"as long as such access is consistent with the best interests of the child."

I knew this law would not be worth the paper it was written on. When has the custodial parent actually meant these words and not just used them for their own gain I.E. to deny the non custodial parent.
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