Bill C-41 Response

Submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Honourable Senators,
After much considerations of the merit and substance of the draft copy of Bill C-41 previously distributed, and our concerns over the future of Canadian families, representatives of the groups listed below have formulated the following points, which we believe, in concept and principle, should supplant or supplement the essence of Bill C-41.

- Enshrine the presumption of pro-equal alternating shared parenting, which includes joint custody, care and control, and guardianship.

- Implement a mandatory mediation program to enhance a non-adversarial divorce solution, and largely reduce the loading on the court system.

- Resolution of child custody, including awarding of sole custody, should only revert to the courts, when proven relevant criminal action to the child is evident by one or both parents.

- Remove all financial obligation by either of the parents to the other, by the concept of complete shared care and control of the children.

- Failing equal parenting, both parents costs of child raising and the income of both parents should be proportionally and equally considered in the financial settlement.

- Remove any increased and unaffordable financial burden to fathers through new legal statutes. The current proposed plan is not financially neutral.

- Adversarial process of the courts induces ongoing damage to all parties, parents, children and extended families. A mandatory mediation program will enhance a non-adversarial divorce solution, and largely reduce the loading on the court system. Imbalance of power, such as one parent having sole custody, invalidates successful mediation, and often requires enforced access.

Within our suggested pro-equal alternating shared parenting, supported by mandatory mediation, financial obligation and human care and love for children will be filled by both parents and extended families. We will also be in harmony with the Charter of Rights.

Victoria Men's Centre - Harvey Maser
Father's for Equality - David Campbell
Father's Rights Action Group - Joseph Meillo
Island Men's Network - Rod Keays

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