by Maurice Vellacott, MP.  April 24, 2014.

OTTAWA – Maurice Vellacott (MP Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) accuses the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada of not caring about Canada’s children of divorce in light of their continued opposition to Bill C-560. Bill C-560 introduced by Vellacott, would mandate a rebuttable presumption in favour of equal shared parenting for children whose parents are divorcing.

The Bill, which would amend Canada’s Federal Divorce Act, is currently in the midst of second reading in Parliament. Debate on second reading continues on May 7, 2014, after which a vote will be held to determine if it would move forward and be studied by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

The concerns expressed by the Justice critics for the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party during the first hour of parliamentary debate on Bill C-560, have been fully addressed and answered in a document titled “Myths and Facts Concerning Bill C-560”, which was distributed to all 309 MPs. A copy of this document has been posted on the website of the Canadian Equal Parenting Council.

. Vellacott states, “The issues raised by my colleagues from the Liberal and New Democratic parties are founded on misapprehensions as to the actual content and effect of Bill C-560 and reflect a lack of understanding of the critical need to address Canada’s broken family court system. Litigating over children as spoils of war in divorce is not working.”

. Vellacott adds, “If my colleagues in the Liberal and New Democratic Parties would actually take the time to think about the substance of the issues instead of repeating the same rhetoric over and over they will see that their concerns are misplaced. Bill C-560 prescribes an urgently needed balanced and well-constructed answer to the current plague of custody litigation.”

Canada’s family courts are universally viewed across the country as backlogged, overburdened and not providing a satisfactory response to litigation over parental responsibility and parental timeshare with children. Bill C-560 is a response to those issues.

Vellacott says, “The family court system (including facilities, judges, court staff, filing offices, therapists, mediators, assessors and others) costs the Canadian economy and taxpayers many billions of dollars each year. However, what cannot be calculated is the impact on children of custody litigation, as well as the impact on the economy and on personal lives of parents distracted from their work and other endeavours during the many years that a typical custody litigation case takes.”

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, has indicated that she and her party are firmly in support of Bill C-560. The Canadian public is overwhelmingly in favour of the solution proposed by Bill C-560. Public opinion polls consistently indicate support around 80% of the population, with 10% undecided and less than 10% opposed, roughly consistently across all demographics, regions, genders and across all party affiliation.

Vellacott states, “I remain puzzled and concerned as to why my colleagues in the Liberal and the New Democratic parties fail to heed the overwhelming desire of the Canadian public for the solution proposed. Everyone touched by our current family court system understands that fundamental reform is necessary. I challenge my colleagues in the Liberal and New Democratic parties to consider why they think they know more than the Canadian public and taxpayers and why they hold to their current rhetoric in the face of overwhelming social science understanding that children of divorce need to continue to have two primary parent relationships and not one home and a place they go to visit from time to time.”

Bill C-560 returns for the second hour of parliamentary debate on May 7, 2014 and Vellacott challenges his colleagues in the Liberal and New Democratic Parties to put the needs of Canada’s children of divorce and the voice of the public ahead of the influence of special interests and support Bill C-560 moving to Committee for further study.

Source:  Media Release
Maurice Vellacott, MP  Saskatoon-Wanuskewin

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