Globe and Mail

Lobby planned on divorce law

Monday, May 17, 1999
The Globe and Mail

REGINA -- Political leaders across the country will be pressured to state whether they support changes to Canada's divorce laws, a lobby group announced yesterday.

The National Shared Parenting Association said it will send letters to all premiers and provincial party leaders asking whether they support the passage of shared-parenting legislation.

Political leaders will have 45 days to respond. Their answers will then be made public, the association said at its conference in Regina.

The tactic was applauded by Liberal MP Roger Gallaway, co-chairman of a joint Commons-Senate committee on child custody. Last December, the committee presented the federal government with 48 recommendations for changes to Canada's child-custody laws.

Last week, Justice Minister Anne McLellan agreed to consider all but two of the 48 recommendations, but decided not to take any action for three years.

Mr. Gallaway said the delay isn't necessary. "What is the need now for further study?"

Proposed changes include replacing terms such as custody and access, shifting focus from parental rights and child "ownership" to the best interests of the child, and a specific framework to deal with feuding parents.

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