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A letter to the Hon. Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

To contact Mr. Cauchon:

E-mail: Cauchon.M@parl.gc.ca
Tel. (613) 995-7691
Fax: (613) 995-0114


The most effective means of leaving an impression on parliamentarians is to send a letter by snail mail (it's considered to be the equivalent of between hundreds to about 2,500 voter opinions, depending on whom you write to).  The second choice would be to fax a letter (equivalent to fewer voter opinions).  The least likely to leave an impression is to send an e-mail message.
   If you are not happy with the references quoted in the following example of a letter, you may wish to substitute some from another source.

See also:

        The Effectiveness of Letters to Officials — Recipe for Action


The Honourable Martin Cauchon
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
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.

Having 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 redefined.

 However, 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.

Since 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 parenting"

Yet, 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.

In the meantime, intelligent and caring women across the world are rising against the abomination that is called family law.

Dr. Muriel Newman (MP, New Zealand) recently made the following statement:

"In this parliament, I will be re-submitting a private member’s bill to introduce shared parenting." ["Fatherlessness exacerbated by the Labour Government". Friday, 27th Sept. 2002.   http://www.act.org.nz/item.jsp?id=23146]

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]

No 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.

The 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?


(Your signature)

(Your name and address details)

Cc: (as per recommendations in Recipe for Action)

White RoseThe White Rose
Thoughts are Free

Posted 2002 10 04