F.A.C.T. Information: Department of Justice Consultation 2001
More great information is available through F.A.C.T. See our home page at www.fact.on.ca
And what is the memory that's valued so highly
that we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment for those who have died,
when we cry out they have not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing that
justice would somehow prevail.
This is the burden, this is the promise,
and THIS is why we will not fail.
Don't let the light go out
It's lasted for so many years
Don't let the light go out
Let it shine through our love and our fears
by Peter Yarrow, from the song Light One Candle performed by Peter, Paul and Marry
The Department of Justice, has published the "results" of the Consultation. Of course, what is published bears little resemblance to what happened. About all we can say is that the Reporters decided to lump and catagorise the groups into father/children/non-custodial/non-feminist/parents groups called "men's organisations", and the feminist groups into "women's organisations" and "professionals" (see the last page of the Executive Summary). So we all know and expect the results. You can find, on Justice Canada's website the Executive Summary in HTML format or in PDF format. The entire report, which is quite large, is only available in PDF format
Here it goes. With time getting short, and after much discussion, FACT presents some suggestions in completing the Consultation Form. We have taken the PDF consultation draft, created fields and put some suggested words in it. If you want to modify them or add your own personal comments, you can do so even with only the Acrobat Reader. You can print with your changes and file that, or copy the text, with your thoughts, into your booklet. Unfortunately you need the whole Adobe Acrobat package to create new fields, or to save your results.
FACT would be delighted to get a copy of your response too. It is important that we know how many people responded, and their general principles. It is a shame to say we cannot trust this government, especially any thing about trust., but we do need to check on these people.
The Department of Justice, in 1999 on the last day possible, delayed implementing any of the provisions of the report of the Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access, entitled For the Sake of the Children by saying they need to do more study. They hoped that many of the concerned people who presented to the Committee as it travelled across Canada would be shut out and, when the public portion came, they would choose a method that we would not respond to. That public portion of the "consultation" has now come.
We need to respond. There is a lot of technical stuff in this material that needs to be discussed, to make sure you are not running into a legalese trap. I anticipate that FACT meetings, and meeting of formal and informal groups across the country, will be discussing this. Email groups such as our "action" group will undoubtedly be discussing this. Join and contribute. Every divorced or separated parent, and every child from a divorced or separated family, should be responding to this report to make sure that the laws are changed to protect our children.
The Department, as is typical for reports it tries to hide, sent copies with a note to select groups and promised the material would be on their website. The material was repeatedly there and gone for the first day, but seems to be back again -- hopefully for a while. All the material is in PDF format. Due to the problems, we have made copies and here is what is currently available:
- the covering letter for the package to those selected few who got a copy. This includes information about ordering your own paper copy (if you don't want to print those below),
- the Document on which the consultation is based that is entitled Putting Children's Interests First: Custody, Access and Child Support in Canada, and
- the Feedback Booklet in which you are supposed to respond. Include this, but add extra pages if you need to. This material is going to a survey company, so make copies and send them to your MP, to the Department of Justice, and keep an extra if we need to ask for a copy too.
With the exception of the first item, this material was taken from the Department of Justice's website at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/cons/consultations.html.
The consultation paper makes reference to a number of resource materials. Some of these are available through the Department of Justice website, others are not. Many have been known about for a long time, but the Department of Justice while offering to send out copies just never do. This is identical to the ways in which they handled the development of the Child Support Guidelines to cover up the job that they did.
We will endeavour to secure electronic copies of the material, and establish links and/or provide copies as we do so. Some of the material is available from the Department of Justice though the Custody and Access webpage at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/cca/index.html or the Child Support webpage at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/index.html.
- Keeping Contact with Children: Assessing the Father/Child Post-separation Relationship from the Male Perspective by CÚline Le Bourdais, Heather Juby and Nicole Marcil-Gratton of the University of Montreal. These three women were commissioned by the Department of Justice to tell you what men think -- as if they had the slightest idea. This report is an analysis of no-data, the production of tables with no relevance and conclusions based on "data not disclosed" (because it was so bad). I must find three guys who have not valide data to wirte a report on what women think. You can find this joke of a report on the Department of Justice website it at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/pub/CSR-2000-3.pdf in PDF (4.0) format. It is also knows as Research Report CSR-2000-3E.
- Selected Statistics on Canadian Family Law: 2nd Edition by the Department of Justice Child Support Team is a summary of Statistic commissioned by the Department of Justice and available for some time. You can find this on the Department of Justice website it at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/pub/rap/SelStats.pdf in PDF format and http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/pub/rap/SelStats.doc in Word format.
- The Sage report (PDF format) entitled Focus Groups on Family Law Issues Related to Custody and Access commissioned by the Department of Justice and held in hiding for over a year. However it is now on their website at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/cca/reports/2000fcy5e.pdf.
- A PDF-formatted studied entitled Divorce Reform and the Joint Exercise of Parental Authority: The Quebec Civil Law Perspective is a look at the Quebec civil law model which assumes that both parents will be active and important participants in their child's lives. This is available through the Department of Justice's website at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/cca/reports/2000fcy3e.pdf.
- A PDF-formatted studied entitled Custody, Access and Child Support: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study Children and Youth by Nicole Marcil-Gratton and Céline Le Bourdais of the Université de Montréal looks at the data from the NLSCY -- a study that considers women's opinions, and the basis of them being the "most knowledgeable parent" whether they have custody or not, as to the status of children. Even with this, the data is much different than is implied in many cases in this consultation document. This is available through the Department of Justice's website at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/pub/anlsc.pdf.
- In PDF format, a study entitled Use of Dispute Resolution in Access Enforcement Effectiveness, Description of Models, and Police Issues prepared for the B. C. Ministry of the Attorney General. This study figures that non-judicial intervention is good at handling disputes. This is also available through the B.C. Attorney-General's site in HTML format (and the above PDF format) at http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/public/dispute_res_access_enf.htm (removed by BC, PDF only).
- In PDF format, a study entitled Custody and Access Terminology: Options for Legislative Change in BC prepared for the B. C. Ministry of the Attorney General. This study looks at the impact of changing terms in custody and access -- mostly from the viewpoint of B.C. Legislation. This is also available through the B.C. Attorney-General's site in HTML format (and the above PDF format) at http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/public/custody_access_term.htm (removed by BC, PDF only).
For those who want copies of other information.
- The Senate/Commons Special Joint Committee report, For the Sake of the Children is on-line at http://www.parl.gc.ca/InfoComDoc/36/1/SJCA/Studies/Reports/sjcarp02-e.htm. We would, however, strongly encourage all of you to contact your (federal) MP and request your own paper copy. Don't tell him or her that it is out of print -- the point of the phone call is to let them know you are concerned. Tell him/her you are in favour of shared parenting and that this affects you. MPs sometimes respond to the needs of their constituents.
There is a PDF copy of this document available through the Parent and Child Advocacy Coalition at their website at http://pcaccanada.tripod.com/
- Minister McLellan's response to the report of the Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access is in three parts. The press release is at:
the backgrounder is at:
and the full statement is at:
- The feminist groups talk about how the poorly implemented, hostily received (by judges and lawyers), initial 3 years of the Australian Family Law reform was met. Given the active "constitutional challenges" launched, and the inadequate co-operation, by these groups over the bodies of the children, it is no real surprise. You can get a PDF copy here of the "University of Sydney" study entitled The Family Law Reform Act: 1995, the first three years, by Helen Rhoades, Reg Graycar and Margaret Harrison, and see how the Canadian Department of Justice wants to muck the process up so that they can go back to destroying kids.
April 6, 2001