F.A.C.T. Information: Canadian Politics and Politicians: Bill C-22
More great information is available through F.A.C.T. See our home page at www.fact.on.ca
Men and women of good conscience and concern for our children -- it is time to act. The Members of the federal House of Commons are off for the month of January 2003. It is time to make an appointment and to get out and tell them in no uncertain terms that, as a constituent, you feel that your MP must support shared parenting. Who is your MP? The Parliament of Canada does offer a utility to identify your MP by the postal code of your residence at http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM. (If you don't know your postal code you can look it up here courtesy of Canada Post). For constituency offices, you may have to look in your phone book, or call their Ottawa office. Some MPs are most accessible to their constituents and have both offices listed on the parliamentary website.
We have prepared some material, in conjunction with two of the leading lights of parliament, to provide to your MP if you wish. The material needed to be short and clear, but what has been provided also provides a recent history to show the Liberal going off course and that will provide speaking notes for MPs. This current draft is based on material from the offices of Senator Anne Cools and MP Roger Gallaway and is available in Word format and in PDF format. It has been written pretty specifically for MPs.
This document is for your presentation. This is not a FACT document, and you can edit the Word document to your heart's content. When talking to your MP it is you, the constituent, telling the person who is representing YOU what you need with respect to the Divorce Act. Do mention that the material is drawn from Senator Cools and Roger Gallaway -- that will be more inclined to impress the MPs. Make sure they talk to Mr. Gallaway and the Senator.
Other groups are also producing information you can look at and decide whether it is more suitable for you to present. For example, H.E.A.R.T. has information and suggestions at http://www.interlog.com/~parental/C-22/OpposeBillC-22.htm that you can use.
THIS visit to your MP, focus on changing the legislation and do not get drawn into your own situation -- this visit must be focused on changing the system. This is often difficult considering how badly wounded many of us are, but for this time focus on the federal bill and the federal issues.
If you are in the GTA and would like some help, please come to a FACT meeting and we will endeavour to arranged for someone to go with you. If you are located elsewhere, check for assistance from local groups or people (drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, MP's name (or your home postal code) and contact information and we will see if there are some local people who could go with you. However, YOU must phone the MPs office to make the appointment because you are the constituent.
Parliamentarians are in a time of transition and changes -- this is the time that your efforts can make a real difference. Some MPs have held public consultations, such as the MP for Brampton West - Mississauga, Colleen Beaumier.
We would appreciate hearing from you after your visit as well, with information on who you visited and the reaction and commitments (if any) given. It will help with the identification of support in the House. You can email us at email@example.com to let us know.
Bill C-22 has now starting Second Reading. The first day of debate was interesting, as was the outline by Minister Cauchon of what the Bill is supposed to do -- and does not accomplish. The details of the debate are available online on the Canadian Parliamentary website, and or you can look at/download extract from the PDF copies of the Hansard from here for February 4, 2003 and February 20, 2003. They held the vote ending second reading on February 25 with full identification on who voted for it, who voted against and who conveniently wasn't there (or abstained). This is something to read on the way back to your MP's office. See what your MP actually said, despite what he or she told you!
There will now be consideration by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and then the the Bill may be returned to the House of Commons with proposed amendments for Third Reading and possible additional amendments. There is still some time, but you need to act NOW!
The actual text of the changes to the Divorce Act, Bill C-22, has been released and is available on the federal parliamentary website. It is also available here in HTML format and in PDF format.
In addition, the Press Release is available from the Department of Justice's website at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/news/nr/2002/doc_30772.html (or from here in PDF format) and the backgrounder, that contains most of the misleading information, is at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/news/nr/2002/doc_30774.html (or from here in PDF format)
On December 10, 2002, Minister of Justice Martin Cauchon (and lawyer) turned his back on the Canadian children and parents in divorce and launched a full-scale money-grubbing exercise for the Divorce Industry. Sure the platitudes are here, but this is the first Minister of Justice dealing with divorce and children that has specifically excluded parents and children from even being considered as stakeholders in this. Of course, parents and children should be the ONLY stakeholder. This bill is a cop-out and a sell-out to the family law lawyers in Canada who make their living from the despair and misery that they inject into divorce.
This legislation, and the Minister's presentation, are replete with the obfuscations, broken promises and downright untruths that have become the trademark of Chretien's Liberal government. Sections of this bill are really there to eliminate fathers from their children's lives, to remove the control of parents, and to allow the government to more fully dip into the assets of the family for disbursement to the lawyers, bureaucrats and the other vultures called "professionals" in the Divorce Industry. The government in seeking a "less adversarial divorce" is funding only highest adversarial functions in a move that is clearly there to create, not minimise, conflict. False accusations are to be encouraged under this legislation, with no ramifications of lying in court to lawyers, psychologists, social workers, or women. Children (and men) have no voice despite the mouthings of the Minister.
Martin Cauchon says that these amendments will provide "parents with the tools they need to reach parenting arrangements that are in the child's best interests" -- but it simply gives some money to judges and lawyers, not for any parents program. No mediation is required for any parent and no mediated agreement (or any other order except a support order) ever has to be obeyed. Changing words from custody and access simply hides the purposes of the Department of Justice -- one parent will have the children and one will be simply a wallet in indentured servitude indefinitely enforced by all levels of government, with restrictions on their freedom. This "strategy" does not help parents focus on the needs of their children. This legislation acts to give the children to the bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, psychologists and social workers, who have already damaged a significant portion of two generations of Canadians. The Minister of Justice identifies these "professionals" as the STAKEHOLDERS of divorce -- and eliminates children and parents from any participation. This legislation specifically and purposefully removes the onus on the courts to seek maximum contact with each parent -- it purposefully and dishonestly ignores the concept of shared parenting from the Special Joint Committee and as supported by the vast majority of Canadian men and women.
Is Cauchon honest anywhere in his release? The legislation does expand the court system and the imposition of arbitrary rules irrespective of the needs of the children in as high a conflict and dishonest and environment possible. Taken together, the objectives of this legislation is simply and totally unacceptable. However, this legislation will continue to ensure that 100% of cases will go to court and that a vast majority of children, and parents, will be disadvantaged by larger forced extraction of assets by the "professionals" who feed on adversary. Mr. Cauchon, what is the different between honesty and lying thievery?
Perpaps Madame Cauchon will realise that the getting is good.
For the rest of Canadians, beware, the children of divorce are only the next batch of children to be seized.