Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting.


Subject: Re: [CEPC_Members] Law Times- Speaker’s Corner: Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting

Speaker’s Corner: Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting

Monday, 05 May 2014 08:00 | Written By Brian Ludmer | Print | Email

 

From the 1998 Senate special joint committee recommendations to the present, numerous reports and statements concerning the family law system have recognized the need for fundamental reform as it relates to contested custody cases.

Bill C-560, a private member’s bill proposed by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, is a reasonable and balanced proposal to address the current broken system. Parliament will debate bill C-560 on May 7, followed by a second reading vote.

The principal change to the Divorce Act, with the goal of reducing incentives for bitter and expensive litigation over children, is the proposal for a rebuttable presumption that equal shared parenting would support the best interests of the children unless a party can establish that some other parenting plan would substantially enhance those interests.
Section 16(10) of the Divorce Act, as amended in 1985, calls for a consideration of maximum contact with both parents. However, experience with reported decisions to date has shown that the great majority of decisions are still following a primary and secondary parent model with secondary parent time-shares running from 16 per cent (alternate two-day weekends and some mid-week contact for a few hours) to 35 per cent (alternate three-day weekends and one mid-week overnight) after accounting for equal vacation time.
However, social science research overwhelmingly supports the more current understanding that children need, benefit from, and want two primary parent relationships after separation rather than one parent and someone they go to visit. Among the leading experts globally is Prof. Ed Kruk of the University of British Columbia. He recently published a book with a synthesis of the rationale for equal shared parenting and a listing of the leading global peer-reviewed research.

There’s wide acceptance that children deprived of meaningful relationships with one of their parents are at greater psychological risk even when they’re able to maintain relationships with the other parent and that shared time and parenting between two parents works. Shared custody agreements have also been shown to reduce parental conflict and increase co-operation over time.
Bill C-560 recognizes that the current effort to specify with precision a specific time-share between a primary and secondary parent isn’t logically or empirically justified. Custody litigation seeking to marginalize one parent has no discernible benefit when measured against the financial and emotional cost and the impact on the children of litigation.
Public opinion polls over many years have consistently shown up to 80-per-cent support for equal shared parenting across all demographics, regions, and political affiliations. Support among Canadian women is indistinguishable from men, and a global group called Leading Women for Shared Parenting is assisting in efforts in Canada and elsewhere. Perhaps this is because, according to Statistics Canada in 2012, the employment rate for women with children under six years old was 67.8 per cent (up from 31.4 per cent in 1976) and 79 per cent for women with children from six to 15 years old (up from 46.4 per cent in 1976).
Despite the development of both permissive and mandatory mediation, collaborative law organizations, and parent education programs, the family law courts remain overburdened with substantial backlogs due to child-related disputes. This problem, together with the associated costs to taxpayers and parents, has only gotten worse over the years. The cost of litigation has led to significant advantages for wealthier parents and those more able to represent themselves.

The opposition to equal shared parenting frequently comes from divorce industry professionals who might have difficulty reviewing bill C-560 objectively since one of the main goals and likely effects of the Divorce Act amendment is to reduce the current plague of custody litigation. However, many studies identify the very existence of the custody litigation itself as the primary concern regarding the effect of divorce on children.
In response to the active discussion in the media and on behalf of several shared parenting organizations, I prepared a document on the myths and facts about bill C-560 that dispels the rhetoric and confusion put forth in opposition to it.

In addition to the public support and strong social sciences empirical support, there are several key facts to consider:
Bill C-560 will foster settlements and reduce litigation due to the requirement that a parent seeking primary parent status must establish that disproportionate parenting time will substantially enhance the best interests of the children, a principle that remains the focus under bill C-560.
Bill C-560 focuses on the right of the child to know and love two primary parents in accordance with the leading research on the best outcomes for children of divorce and Canada’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mediated, consensual or, if needed, adjudicated custom solutions are still available under bill C-560 where there is demonstrable merit in light of the unique aspects of the particular family. The proposed legislation does not impose a one-size-fits-all solution; it merely provides a starting point for adjudication based on what works for most children and then still allows for an examination of the unique aspects of a family to see if a disproportionate time-share is justifiable.
Decision-making powers can fall to one parent for good reason even though child time-share is equal or close to equal.

Bill C-560 is an urgently needed, balanced response to a significant social problem that is familiar to anyone with exposure to child custody litigation. The public overwhelmingly supports the equal shared parenting solution. Parliament will soon speak on the issue.


Brian Ludmer of LudmerLaw is a business and family law practitioner and was among the drafters of bill C-560.

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Tiananmen Square in Canada!


A demonstrator is taken into custody after a protest atop the roof of NDP Leader Jack Layton’s Toronto office on Friday, August 8, 2008.
A demonstrator is taken into custody after a protest atop the roof of NDP Leader Jack Layton’s Toronto office on Friday, August 8, 2008.
A demonstrator, dressed as the superhero Plywood Man is seen with police on the roof of federal NDP Leader Jack Layton's Toronto office on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008.
A demonstrator dressed as ‘Plywood Man’ is seen with police on the roof of federal NDP Leader Jack Layton’s Toronto office on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008.

Charges laid after ‘superheroes’ climb NDP office roof

ctvtoronto.ca

Police have laid trespassing charges after protesters dressed as superheroes dropped a banner from the roof of federal NDP Leader Jack Layton’s Toronto office on Friday.

The demonstrators, one dressed as Spider-Man and the other as Plywood Man, said they were protesting for family law reform for fathers in custody disputes.

The incident at 221 Broadview Ave., near Dundas Street, was organized by Fathers 4 Justice.

Heavily armed Emergency Task Force officers responded to the incident and evacuated employees from the building as a precaution.

The man dressed as Spider-Man had planned to rappel down from the roof, but later surrendered to police.

However, Plywood Man refused to turn himself in. Officers used some kind of explosive device as a distraction and then moved in and made the arrest.

The men face charges of trespassing, mischief and vandalism. The protest tied up police for hours.

Layton, who wasn’t in the office, said he doesn’t know much about the group or why his office was targeted.

“It really just came out of the blue,” Layton told CTV Newsnet.

For more info on this story Click Here:

CTV News

An email from the group.

To follow tomorrow is a heartwarming note from Spiderman and another activists account/edited.
  1. At approximately 6AM members of F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada commandeered the rooftop of NDP Leader Jack Laytons constituency office located at 221 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, ON. With them were supplies to last for several days. Included in these supplies were food, change of clothes, shelter and a home made toilet consisting of a bucket and a pool ring.
  2. Two activists, Plywoodman and Spiderman remained on the rooftop for several hours out of sight and set up their lawnchairs to have a good rest and chat before the sh*t hit the fan.
  3. While waiting for their signal to initiate, the heros were seen by an onlooker having his morning cigarette on his balcony. No action was taken by any individuals at this time.
  4. At approximately 9:40AM the two heroes put their banner over the rooftop reading NDads Party.
  5. The Supersonic Plymobile was stationed out front for added visual effect.
  6. At approximately 10:00AM the owner of the building arrived and told them to leave. He confronted the heros on the roof and told them to just jump. He also threw a bunch of their belongings about and returned to threaten them throughout.
  7. By approximately 10:30AM 680 news had arrived on scene and began broadcasting live from the scene every 20 mins.
  8. Shortly after 10:30AM the police arrived. Police were told this was a non-violent direct action being organized by F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada. 
  9. At approx. 12:00PM the police were seen going to the rooftop with Tasers
  10. A firetruck was called and arrived on the scene.
  11. At approximately 12:30PM additional officers arrived and began cordoning off the street up to 4 blocks in total.
  12. ETF officers arrive on the scene.
  13. A negotiator arrives on the scene.
  14. At aproximately 12:50 PM a member of F4J was arrested on the ground. 
  15. Another F4J Fathers 4 Justice representative arrives shortly thereafter to assess the scene and continue interviews and sending updates back to HO.
  16. The report is that heavily armed ETF officers are on scene. A police negotiator is on scene. A psychiatrist is on scene. A hydro truck is one scene. A firetruck is on scene. There are approximately 80-100 onlookers, some chanting, ” Let them see their kids!”
  17. Despite news reports that the constituency office had been evacuated, one of Jack Layton’s aids comes out to the back alley and has a cigarette with one of our supporters on the scene at approximately 2:00PM
  18. Other reports indicate that their were other staffers inside the Layton office who verified they knew of our organization and what our cause and issues were.
  19. At approximately 3:00PM Spiderman is brought down from the building on the understanding they will release him when his buddy on the roof comes down. He recounts being told by the police on the rooftop that they were going to be shot. He recounts that Plywoodman is in control, not as reported, and did a great job remaining calm while negotiating with the ETF. He also reports that the onsite psychiatrist has stated Plywoodman is indeed sane and not a threat to jump. ** global News  report says he was down at 2:34   pm … but he also did not show up at police station until 5:30’ish

http://www.canada.com/globaltv/ontario/story.html?id=0caf70dd-6dfb-4d94-9b18-2bb1ca7768b4

  1. Spiderman is held inside the Layton office for two hours while negotiations continue with Plywoodman on the roof. They keep asking him how they got up there. He tells them he is Spiderman. He is told by police they are going to shoot his buddy.
  2. At approximately 3:30PM Kris Titus, National Coordinator for F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada calls the 55 Division and speaks to the Sergeant on duty. She identifies herself and tells them she has been briefed on the situation they are dealing with. She asks if it would be helpful for her to attend the scene and assist the negotiators. The Sergeant says yes, that may be helpful, when you get there speak to Sergeant Walsh or Sergeant McGregor.
  3. Reports are that the officers on the scene were informed that the National Coordinator was on her way and what the purpose was.
  4. At approximately 5:00PM ETF officers deploy 3 flash grenades to distract Plywoodman while a significant contingent ( reports are 6-10 ) of ETF officers tackle him on the rooftop and take him into custody. ** you can see it on the CTV news coverage .. looks like  6 to me on the tackle with 3 -4  more hovering

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080808/trespass_charges_080808/20080808/?hub=TorontoNewHome

  1. Kris arrives on the scene at approximately 5:45 and the only remaining individuals are one F4J representative, a traffic officer and tow truck and a 55 Division detective. The Plymobile gets towed to the police impound yard.
  2. At approximately 6:00PM Kris arrives at the police station to ensure
    1. That all three activists have been able to contact and speak to designated legal council
    2. That Plywoodman receives a medical examination as well as the proposed psychiatric assessment ( which he knew ahead of time they may send him for )
    3. What the proposed charges are if they will be released that evening.
  • The officer on duty of course lies and says yes, they have all made their call to council.
  • The officer on duty will not tell Kris anything or go ask permission from the activists to give this information.
  • Kris speaks to legal counsel and updates her on situation. She has only spoken to 1 of our activists, contrary to police officer’s statement. She calls and is told they will not be let out because investigation continues.
  • Kris speak to legal counsel again at 10:00PM and is told they are in for the night and have a bail hearing the next morning.
  • F4J Fathers 4 Justice legal counsel and supporters attend at WRONG courthouse in the morning. Continue on to correct location when information is obtained. Legal counsel is sent to WRONG courtroom and it is only upon further investigation it is learned that the activists are in another courtroom, Plywood man has already been held ( with durty counsel participation ) for psychiatric assessment and other two activists ahve been brought up and taken back down to await their counsel.
  • Police officers monitor groups progress and continually take ‘head count’.
  • Approximately 11:30AM court begins. Crown attorney ‘interrogates’ surety for 20 minutes. Many questions are completely unrelated to the assessment of a person’s ability to act as surety. Steps made by the crown include: 

      1. Trying to prohibit activists from wearing their F4J tshirts claiming they should be treated as ‘colors’ and compares it to Satan’s Choice bike gang. Judge thankfully says, this is a stretch.
      1. Crown makes argument that Mr. Layton has been ‘targeted’.
      2. Crown is able to convince judge to put in bail condition that the two charged activists cannot participate in ANY form of protest.
      3. The crown asks that one bail condition be that they cannot attend at ANY elected officials constituency office ( pronounced CONSTITUTION about 5 times by the Judge! ) without prior written permission.
      4. Activists are to be released on $10,000 bail!
      5. Crown asks both sureties if they feel police over reacted, both said in their opinion YES! Both reiterated it was a peaceful protest.
      6. Crown tries to establish that activist on the ground is ‘ring leader’.
    1. Ground support and Spiderman are released, both have since been told to remain quiet about events until they have been properly briefed by legal council.
    2. Plywoodman remains in custody and will hopefully be released Monday morning.
    3. Return date for first appearance for first two released is Friday, August 15th @ 10:00AM
    4. Other attorney approaches us outside courtroom and is expressing his ANGER at what was allowed to happen in the courtroom. Subsequently two more lawyers express their anger and dismay.
    5. Fathers 4 Justice UK member climbs judges house in England!

    Next steps

    An open letter is being issued to Mr. Layton to answer on the issue of equal parenting and to assess if there is any change in support for M483. To be sent Monday AM.

    Any constituents of Jack Layton please contact us to be included in this meeting should it occur.

    If no response or insufficient response received by Thursday, August 14th in the PM a peaceful street level protest will be staged at 221 Broadview Avenue after the first appearance of the F4J Fathers 4 Justice superheros and support.

    F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada will be making official complaint about police conduct and charter violations so as to protect our activists from such extreme measures. Please know that despite the measures used by police, F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada activists have NO INTENTION of stopping their current campaign and course of action. ( We do note that not all officers were hostile or aggressive! )

    We will defend our right to peaceful protest and non-violent direct action.

    Any questions please direct them specifically to myself

    Kris Titus – National Coordinator, F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada,

    officefathers4justicecanada@gmail.com

    Hal Legere – Legal Director – F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada,

    Rob Robinson – National Action Coordinator, F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada.

    We are greatly appreciative of all the support our activists have received.

    The ratio of congrats to complains is approx 10:1.

    Most sincerely;

    Kris Titus

    FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS OF THE The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    EVERYONE HAS THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS:

    A) FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION

    B) FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, BELIEF, OPINION, AND EXPRESSION, INCLUDING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

    AND OTHER MEDIA OF COMMUNICATIONS;

    C) FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY; AND

    D) FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

    “Your Guide to the The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

    Get your copy by calling       1 819 994 3458

    Connie Brauer, activist


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