Child Support and Access Reform Committee

Canadian Lawyer Index Info

Child Custody And Access Reform: Justice And Fair Treatment For Fathers?

Copyright Canadian Lawyer Index 1997

The JOINT COMMITTEE ON CHILD CUSTODY AND ACCESS REFORM has now been established and is required to complete its work and report by November 1998.

Its mandate is based on former Justice Minister's (Allan Rock) promise to revisit the issue of access and child support law under his hideous Bill C41 which is unfair to men and fathers.

The Canadian Lawyer Index at http://www.canlaw.com has set up a page where you can get the facts. More importantly, you can send faxes for free via email to the members of this Committee and let them know how unjust the law is for men and fathers. All you need do is compose one letter and then cut and paste it to each of the Committee members. It will arrive in the Member's Ottawa office as a hard copy fax. Paper is very difficult for bureaucrats to ignore. If you wish a response be sure to include your snail mail address.

This Committee needs to hear from the thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of father with access and non-removal orders which are being ignored and which the courts and the police will not enforce.

It needs to hear from the lawyers representing these men.

The Committee needs to grasp the magnitude of the injustice issue. This is not a matter of the very few fathers who refuse to pay child support when they could. This is a matter of thousands of mothers defying the courts with the consent of those same courts. It is a matter of unpunished crime, contempt of court and court orders, condoned and tolerated by judges who are paid and sworn to uphold and enforce the law.

There should not be, but there is, one law for mothers and a different law for fathers. Custody is awarded to mothers in over 90% of the cases. The only possible explanation for this is routine, widespread and systematic discrimination on the basis of gender. This is certainly a matter for a Charter challenge. The old joke is, as most old jokes are, true. Women get the mine, men get the shaft in family court. Are Judges bigots in this regard?

This Committee needs to hear from men and fathers who face jail, loss of driver's licences and passports. From those penalties, they lose their ability to earn a living leading to more jail in a vicious circle of injustice. Talk about killing the golden goose.

All men and all fathers can be swept up under these vile guidelines and dumped into debtor's prison if they miss child support payments for any reason. Our jails are now debtor's prisons, full of fathers serving time for being poor and unable to make child support payments for legitimate reasons. Why are fathers routinely jailed for failing to pay child support under the guise of contempt of a court orders, when mothers who routinely are in contempt of court orders by defying access, are left free to walk the streets?

Under these unfair guidelines, the income of the mother is not a factor in computing child support. Millionaire mothers can collect from welfare fathers.

The Canadian Charter of Rights guarantees the rights for all Canadians to enter and leave this country freely. Yet the child support penalties permit the confiscation of passports. Fathers are denied there Charter rights to enter and leave Canada if their passports are confiscated since so many other countries require a passport to enter. Women and mothers do not lose their passports if they defy access orders or non removal orders and illegally take the children out of Canada.

Now is your chance to do something positive and help change some very unjust laws. It is not difficult. You will be surprised at how effective your complaint could be.

File your notice of intent to make a presentation today. Contact your own MP and Justice Minister Anne Mcllennan (email her) at mclell.a@parl.gc.ca and let them have your thoughts. The Canadian Lawyer Index site has a page set up for every single MP in Canada detailing their contact addresses in both Ottawa and their riding offices. You can easily find your MP from our home page at http://www.canlaw.com

In addition, you can download a complete list of email addresses for all the current crop of federal MPs from http://www.canlaw.com/zips/mpemail.zip. This list will permit you to send bulk email to all the MPs at one time. One message to all 305 MPs with one click of the mouse. Truly your mouse can roar!

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