Parents Helping Parents

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Dr. Nicholas Bala, prominent Law Professor and Legal Researcher at Queens University of Kingston, Ontario, recently updated his ground breaking article entitled, "Sexual Abuse Allegations when Parents Have Separated".
   Dr. Bala noted the work of Ms. Malenfant in two footnotes. In footnote 1., the several cases illustrating problems with investigative methods for sexual abuse are all cases involving Ms. Malenfant that were reported in the media. Footnote 2., refers to Ms. Malenfant as "the most prominent and effective..." fathers rights advocate in Canada. Dr. Bala's revised article was presented to the annual meeting of Canada's family court judges that was held in Toronto in February of 2002. The footnotes in the full text are as follows:

1. See e.g Edmonton Sun, Sept. 25, 26 & 27, 2001, for a series of stories alleging that Edmonton Police Services has mishandled some of these cases. Manitoba has recently had significant changes in how this type of case is handled due to document problems of "overzealous" social workers; see "Father cleared of molesting child gets $20,000," National Post, April 30, 2001; and "Review launched of way child suspects interviewed" National Post, April 25, 2000. All on website:  (Quoted from original text)

Dr. Bala then identifies Louise Malenfant of Parents Helping Parents as the "most prominent and effective" advocate on behalf of the falsely accused in Canada. The footnote reads:

2. The first advocacy groups involved in this type of case supported women who claimed that their children were at risk of abuse. These feminist groups are still active in this area. More recently, groups have been established to support those who believe that they have been wrongly accused of abusing their children, usually men. The most prominent and effective of these is Parents Helping Parents - contact Ms. Louise Malenfant, tel.780-479-1243 on the web  (Quoted from original text)


Letter from Glenn J. Sacks, columnist


I commend you for the fine work you're doing for children. Your readers may be interested in my work, since I often deal with fathers' issues and gender issues in my regularly published columns. Please feel free to visit my website at If you're interested in posting any of my articles, please feel free to do so and please send me the URL so I can link to it from my site and send more readers your way.

Best Wishes,

Glenn Sacks

Letter from the Honourable Anne McLellan, Justice Minister of Canada

July 16, 2001

Dear Louise:

I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you on July 6th to discuss your strategy for dealing with the issue of false allegations in divorce proceedings. I found your extensive experience and insight on these very difficult cases gave me a better understanding of the nature of the problem.

Thank you and the Parents Helping Parents organization for your dedication to advocate on behalf of parents and children who find themselves embroiled in serious allegations. I welcome hearing your impressions of the provincial consultations on the Divorce Act that you attended in June.

Let me also thank you for sending me a copy of your letter to the Edmonton Sun dated June 20, 2001. I do remember meeting you the evening of that raucous debate last November. Thank you for your kind words of support. I rather like being called a "formidable candidate".

Sincerely Yours, Anne.

Letter from a Unit Supervisor of a Manitoba Child and Family Service Office, Terry Williams, after his office had been taken to task for its treatment of allegation in divorce cases.

We are very fortunate to have you and your professional organization acting as "watchdogs" over our work.

You can be assured that I have taken your comments to heart, and that I will be making every effort to improve my performance in the future.

Yours sincerely, Terry Williams

CC:    Ms. Bonnie Mitchelson - Minister of Family Services
    Mr. Phil Goodman - Director of Child Welfare
    Mr. Gary Filmon - Premier of Manitoba
    Civil Justice Review Task Force

From the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Manitoba, Allen Fineblit

I have been asked by Louise Malenfant, Family Advocate with Parents Helping Parents, to provide a letter setting out my experience with the organization. I begin by saying that my experience has been entirely with Ms. Malenfant and I am not familiar with any other members of the organization.

My contacts with Ms. Malenfant began many years ago when I was the Director of the Legal Aid program in Manitoba. It continued during 1996 and 1997 when I was the Assistant Deputy Attorney General in charge of criminal prosecutions.

I have always found Ms. Malenfant to be an aggressive advocate in the positions she takes. My interactions with her have always been characterized by courtesy and good will. While we have not always agreed on the issues, our interactions have always been professional and positive.

Yours truly, Allan Fineblit.

Letter from the Honourable Gary Filmon, former Premier of Manitoba

August 19, 2000

Regarding:    Louise Malenfant

I have known the above referenced woman for the past decade, as a public advocate on behalf of parents who were dealing with the child welfare system and other areas of our social services system in Manitoba.

Although I did not always agree with Louise's positions on issues, I grew to admire her dedication and knowledge in so many sensitive and complex areas of family law in our province.

On occasion, her presentations at public hearings on proposed legislation resulted in positive changes to our legislation. At other times, she succeeded in bringing her attention to unfair treatment of various individuals who were in conflict with government departments on family issues.

She was the founder and driving force behind "Parents Helping Parents" and helped to reduce conflicts and animosity between families and the child welfare system in our province.

I would recommend her for any role in keeping with her background and experience.

Yours sincerely, Gary Filmon

Letter from Mr. Phil Goodman, former Director of Manitoba's Child and Family Service, now Executive Director of Child Welfare in Alberta. Written November 1996 following the announcement of Malenfant's first effort to "retire" the PHP project.

Further to our meeting of November 15, 1996, I wish to formally add the following comments. I have been impressed by your commitment to change in the system. I wish you well with your future endeavours beyond Parents Helping Parents and am sure we will remain in touch.

Good Luck

Yours sincerely, Phil

Signed jointly by Minister of Family Services Bonnie Mitchelson and Minister of Justice Vic Toews, following Ms. Malenfant's involvement with panel discussions regarding family violence. Naturally, Ms. Malenfant was invited to bring a voice of reason and ensure fairness for the accused.

December 1998

Dear Louise:

On behalf of the Province of Manitoba and the departments of Family Services and Justice, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the invaluable assistance you have provided as a member of one of the working groups working with the Lavoie Implementation Committee.

The experience and knowledge that you brought and shared with other members of your group is gratefully acknowledged, as is your commitment to addressing the issues surrounding family violence. It was largely through your efforts that the Implementation Committee was able to meet its goals within the time available.

We were pleased to receive the final report on Thursday, November 5, 1998 and we enjoyed meeting with many of you as we launched the Public Awareness Campaign. We are also pleased to advise that the majority of the recommendations contained in the Lavoie Inquiry report have been implemented and remainder are in the process of being implemented.

On behalf of all Manitobans we would like to congratulate you on a job well done, and look forward to meeting and working with you in the future.

Signed Bonnie Mitchelson and Vic Toews

Back to Table of Contents for Parents Helping Parents

Posted 2001 11 20
2002 02 05 (added letters)
2002 02 10 (added index to commentaries and commentary by Nicholas Bala, Ph.D.)

Parents Helping Parents

Louise Malenfant

malenfant.jpg (2818 bytes)

Family Advocate, Parents Helping Parents

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Louise Malenfant passed away in 2006.  She is being missed.


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