Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Canada K1A 0H8
Dear Mr. Cauchon,
You recently suggested that the wording
"Custody and Access" be removed from the family law lexicon and be replaced with
the ambiguous "Parental Responsibility", though you did not elaborate what you
understand that to mean.
read some of the discussion papers that the Department of Justice has commissioned and
recommended as suitable reference material, I can only conclude that "Parental
Responsibility", as interpreted by the Department, is nothing more than sole custody
the recommendation of the December 1998 parliamentary report "For the Sake of Children" was that a
system of shared-parenting, with divorced mothers and fathers having equal rights regarding children, should replace
current legislation that discounts the rights of fathers and paternal grandparents.
then the Department of Justice Canada has consulted Canadians on a number of occasions
about the subject of child custody and access. The answer has
always been that the vast majority of Canadians, men and women, professionals
and lay people, consider that joint physical custody is the only alternative that is
in the best interest of the children. In a poll conducted by the National Post, and
published this past February (2002), 91% of respondents agreed that "Canadian child
custody and access laws [should] be overhauled in favour of the concept of shared
the Department is stalling, and the word is now out that you, as the current Minister of
Justice and the Attorney General of Canada, are going to ignore the democratic process and
go against the opinion of the majority of Canadians in order to appease a small vocal
minority who represent no-one outside their own limited ideological circle.
meantime, intelligent and caring women across the world are rising against the abomination
that is called family law.
Muriel Newman (MP, New Zealand) recently made the following statement:
parliament, I will be re-submitting a private members bill to introduce shared
exacerbated by the Labour Government". Friday, 27th Sept.
Barbara Johnson, an
attorney and an independent candidate for the Governor of Massachusetts:
"During a divorce,
a child basically has a huge price on his or her head: The child is typically worth
hundreds of thousands of dollars in
child support to the parent getting custody. There's
no question that parents love their children, and would want custody irrespective of the
amount of child support, but the fact that such a huge amount of money comes with the
child substantially distorts the child-custody problem. Even worse, the child-support
issue generates bitterness and hatred between the parents that lasts for decades, and
affects the children adversely" [Children: a reward, a gift or an award?" http://www.barbforgovernor.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?d=barb.i.children]
matter which way one looks at the dilemma, an equitable "parental
responsibility" can be achieved only by shared physical custody, with the concept of
total, including financial, responsibility for the children while the children are in
his or her care. Agreement over custody will no longer be a problem once the ability
to use the children as meal tickets is removed from the family law.
will of the people and the Parliament of Canada is clear. Why is the Minister
refusing to act in the best interest of the children, especially as the nation, according
to democratic principles, demands that he do so?
name and address details)
(as per recommendations in
Recipe for Action)