Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
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Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants

Child Rights - Virtual Library, Resource Centre, Archives and Advocacy
Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles - 2005

The Canadian Press

Zellers fires poor dad for taking chocolate from trash for his kids

The Canadian Press, various newspapers across Canada, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, December 21, 2005

ST-HYACINTHE, Quebec A single father of three fired for taking chocolate bars from a garbage bin at a Zellers store will get some Christmas cheer from a charitable organization.

Guy Masse, 47, had planned to give the discarded chocolate to his children, ages six, nine and 15, for Christmas.

Masse, who was on welfare and had been working at the store only for a couple of months, was first suspended and then fired.

"I think its inhuman," Masse told CJAD radio station in Montreal of his dismissal. More ..


Herald Sun logo

Mother fronts court over axe attack

Herald Sun, Australia, By Elissa Hunt, December 9, 2005

A YOUNG mum accused of chopping off her son's leg with an axe faced court yesterday charged with attempted murder.

The woman, 21, walked into court No. 1 at Melbourne Magistrates' Court shortly before 1pm with the help of Box Hill CIU detectives.

The little boy, aged 20 months, was the youngest child in Australia and the second youngest in the world to have a leg reattached after it was severed on November 7. More ..


Shouldn't men have 'choice' too?

Los Angeles Times - Meghan Daum: December 10, 2005

: Opinion : Commentary

FOR PRO-CHOICERS like myself, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s position regarding spousal consent for abortion seems like one more loose rock in the ongoing erosion of Roe vs. Wade. Even those of us who are too young to remember the pre-Roe era often see any threat to abortion rights as a threat to our very destinies. We are, after all, the generation that grew up under Title IX, singing along to "Free to Be You and Me" (you know, the 1972 children's record where Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda remind us that mommies can be plumbers and boys can have dolls). When it comes to self-determination, we're as determined as it gets.

But even though I was raised believing in the inviolability of a woman's right to choose, the older I get, the more I wonder if this idea of choice is being fairly applied. More ..


Child Support Agency forced to pay back wrongly accused men

The Guardian, U.K., David Hencke, Westminster correspondent, Monday November 28, 2005

The Child Support Agency has had to refund hundreds of thousands of pounds in maintenance payments to more than 3,000 men after DNA tests revealed that they had been wrongly named by mothers in paternity suits. One in six men who took a DNA test to challenge claims by women that they were the fathers of their children were cleared by the results, according to official figures disclosed by the agency.

Under CSA rules, men must start paying maintenance the moment they are named by mothers as the father of the child. They can challenge the ruling by asking for a DNA test but have to pay for it themselves.  More ..


USA Today logo

More women charged in sex cases

USA TODAY, By Wendy Koch, November 30, 2005

In courtrooms nationwide this month, at least seven women four of them teachers have been charged or sentenced for having sex with boys, mostly teenagers. One of the women is pregnant.

Tuesday in Georgia, Lisa Lynette Clark, 37, was indicted in the molestation of her son's 15-year-old friend, who she says is the father of the baby she's expecting. She was arrested one day after marrying the boy.

No definitive data exists on whether more females are sexually abusing children. Yet the number arrested for sex crimes has risen in five of the past six years as more people consider molestation of boys as heinous as that of girls.

"There's been a decline in the double standard. That's why you're seeing more of these cases," says David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. As more women enter law enforcement, he says the old attitude that boys are willing, even lucky, participants has changed. More ..


Secrets and lies

The Age, Australia, Saturday essay, Leslie Cannold

November 26, 2005

Upon the birth of a child, men ought to be given the opportunity to give one-time-only non rescindable consent to their acceptance of the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood. "Paternity fraud" implies deceptive women cuckolding men into believing children are biologically theirs. But the truth is more complex, and more human, writes Leslie Cannold.

While the DNA paternity test has been around since the early 1980s, it was not until the mid-1990s that concerns about what fathers'rights activists call "paternity fraud" took flight in Australia. It started with the Child Support (Assessment) Act of 1989, which in effect transformed the age-old definition of a father from the man married to a child's biological mother to the man whose sperm caused the child to be conceived. Designed to compel men to take fiscal responsibility for their children, the new law was lauded by politicians as a boon to both women and children. More ..


St. Petersburg Times

No jail time for Lafave

The former middle school teacher pleaded guilty to the charges in Hillsborough and Marion counties. She will serve three years of community control.

Ste. Petersburg Times, Tampa, Florida, U.S.A., By CANDACE RONDEAUX, November 22, 2005   More..


Winnipeg Free Press logo

Child-welfare system lacking: advocate

Winnipeg Free Press, By Alexandra Paul, Tuesday, November 22, 2005

MANITOBA'S child-welfare system doesn't measure up to United Nations standards for protecting children's rights, Manitoba's Child Advocate declared yesterday.

Billie Schibler, the province's watchdog for child-welfare standards, said foster parents' funding rates are too low and kids are too often cut off from help once they hit the age of 18. More ..


Australia's High Court takes support case

United Press International (UPI), Australia, November 19, 2005

MELBOURNE, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Australia's High Court has agreed to hear the case of a man trying to recoup tens of thousands in child support he paid for children he didn't father.

Liam Magill had been thwarted in his efforts for six years to get back the money after DNA tests proved two of three children he thought were his were actually someone else's, The Australian reported Saturday.  More..


Dudded dad wins OK for compo fight

Herald Sun, Australia, by Norrie Ross, law reporter, November 19, 2005

A MAN who found he was supporting two children he had not fathered can continue his fight for compensation.

Liam Magill, 54, hugged his current partner after the High Court yesterday granted him special leave to appeal against a ruling that he was not entitled to compensation.

During arguments in the case Justice Michael Kirby said the issues of parenthood were important in an age of DNA testing.

In March, the Victorian Court of Appeal stripped Mr Magill of a $70,000 County Court payout from his ex-wife, Meredith, on a legal technicality.

Mr Magill had said birth certificates shown to him by his ex-wife led him to believe he was the father of a daughter and son. More ..


The Australian

Court test for duped fathers in 'DNA age'

The Australian, Australia's National newspaper, by Natasha Robinson, November 19, 2005

A FATHER who was tricked into paying tens of thousands of dollars to his unfaithful ex-wife for two children that were not his has won the right to take his six-year battle for compensation to the High Court.

A three-member sitting of the court sent Liam Magill's case to the full bench after finding yesterday that the dispute was an appropriate test of emerging social dilemmas in the "age of DNA" and sperm donation.

Mr Magill was initially awarded $70,000 by the Victorian County Court in November 2002 when he sued his wife for general damages and economic loss from his payment of child support.

However, his former wife, Meredith Magill, 37, successfully appealed against the decision when the Victorian Court of Appeal ruled there was no evidence to show she had intended to deceive her then husband about the paternity of the children. More..


Associated Press

Breast-feeding mother allegedly kills baby

Inebriated 27-year-old told police she fell asleep on top of 4-month-old girl

The Associated Press, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA,  Nov 12, 2005

OshKosh, Wisconsin U.S.A.. - A 4-month-old girl died when her inebriated mother fell asleep on top of her while breast-feeding, prosecutors said.

Lorinda Hawkins told police she fell asleep about 15 minutes after she started breast-feeding the baby Feb. 23 because of her intoxication, a criminal complaint said.

When she woke up about an hour later, the baby was pale and wasnt breathing, the complaint said. Hawkins was charged Friday with one count of child neglect causing a death. If convicted as a repeat felony offender, she could be sentenced to 29 years in prison and fined $100,000.  More..


BodyBark-clad monster guards Senegal circumcision rite

Reuters, U.S.A., By Rose Skelton, Friday, November 4, 2005

ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal (Reuters) - Dressed head-to-toe in a costume of deep red tree bark and with a large knife in each hand, the monster-like figure turns the corner of a quiet street, screeches and strides after a group of fleeing women.

Trampling plastic buckets beneath its oversized bark-clad feet, it slashes at wooden market stalls where minutes before vendors were lazily swatting flies from piles of fish.

Petrified children cry and women scream as they flee the "Kankouran," a mysterious figure believed to be endowed with special powers who appears in the villages of Senegal's southern Casamance region during annual circumcision rites.

During the August-November rainy season, young boys are circumcised during elaborate three-week ceremonies celebrated by the Manding people of Casamance. Celebrants dressed as the Kankouran play a key role in these rites. More ..


Associated Press

Abercrombie Pulls T-Shirts That Girls' Group Found Offensive

The Associated Press, U.S.A., Nov 4, 2005

NEW ALBANY, Ohio, U.S.A. (AP) - Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said Friday that it will stop selling several T-shirts that a group of teenage girls found offensive.

The Women & Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania objected to shirts for women emblazoned with sayings such as "Who needs brains when you have these?" and "I had a nightmare I was a brunette."

"We recognize that the shirts in question, while meant to be humorous, might be troubling to some," the company said in a statement.

The foundation said it was satisfied with the agreement. More ..


The Canadian Press

Senate committee calls for children's commissioner to protect rights

Canadian Press, November 2, 2005

OTTAWA (CP) - A Senate committee says Canada needs a children's commissioner to protect the rights of young people.

In an interim report Thursday, the human rights committee recommends that a commissioner monitor Canada's progress on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The independent appointee, reporting annually to Parliament, would conduct ongoing reviews of federal legislation, services, and funding for programs affecting children and their rights. More ..


Province unveils new meth strategy

The province yesterday announced $6 million in funding over three years for a two-pronged approach to restrict supply and reduce demand for crystal meth in Manitoba.

The Brandon Sun, MB, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

The Manitoba Meth Strategy includes:

Joining Saskatchewan to restrict the sale of 17 single-source pseudoephedrine products, the preferred ingredient in making meth, to make them available for sale only behind the counter in pharmacies and limiting quantities to 3,600 mg per purchase. More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Court weeps as siblings recall beatings

Foster parents recall siblings'wordsJudge to rule whether to allow this evidence

Toronto Star, NICK PRON, COURTS BUREAU, Nov. 1, 2005

Spectators wept in a downtown courtroom yesterday as the trial of two grandparents facing murder charges in the death of 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin heard about life in his house through the eyes of his three siblings.

The two girls and a boy their identities protected by a publication ban were taken from their east-end home after Jeffrey died on Nov. 30, 2002, and now live with foster parents.

It was their "utterances," comments they made to the foster parents and a case worker with the Catholic Children's Aid Society, that were recalled by witnesses during legal arguments to decide if the remarks can be used as evidence against their grandparents, Elva Bottineau, 54, and her common-law husband, Norman Kidman, 53.

Both have pleaded not guilty to one count each of first-degree murder and unlawful confinement in the trial by judge alone. More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Prosecutors' role queried in pathologist review

Chief coroner gives details for review of pathologist's work

Association for wrongly accused urges Crown attorney probe

The Toronto Star, HAROLD LEVY, STAFF REPORTER, Nov. 2, 2005

A Toronto-based group that fights for wrongly accused persons wants Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant to call an inquiry into the role played by his prosecutors in cases involving disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith.

The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted called on Bryant to set up the inquiry yesterday after Chief Coroner Dr. Barry McLellan released details of an independent review of 44 cases involving Smith, including 10 where people are in prison or under some form of constraint such as parole.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Adoption bill passed to cheers, tears

Received support across party lines

Critics want veto clause for privacy

Toronto Star, GILLIAN LIVINGSTON, Canadian Press, Nov. 2, 2005

Supporters sobbed, cheered and embraced one another yesterday as the Ontario government finally passed controversial legislation to unseal the province's adoption records after what proponents of the bill consider 80 years of secrecy and shame.

New Democrat member Marilyn Churley, a birth mother and long-time champion of changes to Ontario's adoption laws, bowed her head and wiped away a tear as the votes were counted, aware that her 10-year battle for change was at an end. More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Jeffrey labeled 'bad', trial told

Sister told of horrific abuse

`Bad things happened in tub'

Toronto Star, NICK PRON, COURTS BUREAU, Nov. 2, 2005.

The revenge the young girl wanted was clear her grandparents should be jailed "forever" and get roughed up in prison for killing her younger brother, 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin.

And, as a court also heard yesterday, the 8-year-old child said she never wanted to see her mother and father again "because they let it happen."

Eight months after Jeffrey's death on Nov. 30, 2002, the anger that had been bottled up inside the girl boiled over one day in a fit of screaming, crying and cursing, her one-time foster mother recalled. Both her identity and the child's are protected by a court order.

"He was just a little boy," the woman recalled the girl saying, adding that she said she hated "all those assholes" who lived at Jeffrey's east-end home. More..


Alberta readying law to seize drug addicts' kids

CTV, October 22, 2005

The Alberta government is trying some drastic new measures to battle a growing problem. The province is preparing a new law that would allow it to seize children from parents who are either addicted to drugs or involved in the drug trade.

Children's Services Minister Heather Forsyth is developing the legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the legislature next spring. If passed, it will be the first legislation of its kind in Canada.

Forsyth says there are four situations in which children will be removed from a home: "If they are involved in a grow op situation, if they are involved in a meth house, if there is drug trafficking or if there's drug use being involved."

Premier Ralph Klein says the legislation is similar to the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act, which allows the province to apprehend and detain child prostitutes. More ..


The Canadian Press

Abused Boys Become Abusive Men: more likely to commit domestic violence

Canadian Press, October 18, 2005

(HealthDay News) - Physically abused boys may be more likely than other boys to become men who commit domestic violence, a new study found.

The study of 197 men, aged 18 to 49, living in areas of Philadelphia with high rates of domestic violence found that a history of childhood physical abuse may be more common in men from cities, and that men who were physically abused as youngsters are more likely to commit domestic violence.

Of the men in the study, 51 percent had experienced some form of childhood physical abuse. The mean age of the start of that abuse was 8 years old and the mean age at the end of the abuse was 14 years old. The abuse included being kicked, hit with an object, choked, burned, bit, scalded or punched.

Approximately 75 percent of that abuse was perpetrated by parents - most often mothers - while the remainder was committed by extended family members and non-family members. More ..


How to end spoilt brat syndrome

The Times, London, UK, By Alexandra Frean October 24, 2005

Far from being kind, overindulgent parents can be a danger to their children but help is at hand to avoid the pitfalls, says the author of The Pampered Child Syndrome

SHE has had her first sexual encounter and made her first suicide attempt; she takes drugs and stays away from home for days at a time. She is 13 years old.

You might think this teenager is the product of an abusive family background and a turbulent upbringing, but she is in fact a much-loved child of well-educated and considerate parents who have always given her everything. And that is her problem. She is suffering from pampered child syndrome.  More ..


Pop quiz: Paternity test a pass-or-fail proof of fatherhood

Even when the genetic issue is settled, legal, moral and humane questions remain.

New York Times, Mireya Navarro, October 23, 2005

Joseph Dixon said he was not exactly thrilled when his girlfriend of 1 1/2 years told him she was pregnant. But, Dixon says, he did not want her to have an abortion and was determined to do the right thing.

''I told her I'd definitely be there''for her, says Dixon, 29, a hotel doorman in Chicago. And he was. The two didn't marry but settled into the common rhythm of separate but shared parenthood, he says, allowing him to see his daughter whenever he wanted.

But when Dixon arranged to buy a life-insurance policy to give his 4-year-old daughter financial security last January, the results of a required DNA test delivered stunning news.

''The probability of paternity is 0 percent,''the results read. He was not the girl's biological father.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Parents plead for treatment to aid sick kidsHealth ministers asked to provide drug coverage for rare disorders

The Toronto Star, DENNIS BUECKERT, Canadian Press, Oct. 23, 2005

Health ministers were confronted yesterday by desperate parents who say governments are condemning their children to death by refusing to cover drug treatments for rare disorders.

Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman had briefly left the closed-door meeting on a bathroom break when he found himself being introduced to Jasmine Sekhon, 7, who suffers from a rare condition called MPS, or mucopolysaccharide.

"I need my IV back," Jasmine told the minister, referring to intravenous infusions that have proven effective in treating the debilitating and eventually fatal condition.

"Well that's what we're working on here, today," said Smitherman, offering the first indication that coverage of rare conditions is on the ministers'agenda for their weekend meeting.  More ..


Alberta readying law to seize drug addicts' kids

CTV, October 22, 2005

The Alberta government is trying some drastic new measures to battle a growing problem. The province is preparing a new law that would allow it to seize children from parents who are either addicted to drugs or involved in the drug trade.

Children's Services Minister Heather Forsyth is developing the legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the legislature next spring. If passed, it will be the first legislation of its kind in Canada.

Forsyth says there are four situations in which children will be removed from a home: "If they are involved in a grow op situation, if they are involved in a meth house, if there is drug trafficking or if there's drug use being involved."  More..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Supreme Court rejects challenge to `residential schools'

Federal policy on natives doesn't create `actionable wrong'

Ruling dismays advocates for victims' compensation

The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, SEAN GORDON, OTTAWA BUREAU, Oct. 22, 2005

OTTAWA - The federal government cannot be sued simply because it took aboriginal children from their homes and placed them in residential schools, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

In a 9-0 ruling, the court said yesterday lawsuits must be based on damages suffered from specific wrongful abusive acts committed at the schools.

Groups advocating for compensation on behalf of residential school victims saw the ruling as a major blow.  More ..


News Release - University of Pennsylvania

OCTOBER 17, 2005

Penn Study Finds Physically Abused Boys May Be More Likely to Commit Domestic Violence As Adults
Most Abuse of Boys Done by Parents ... Most Frequently Mothers

(Philadelphia, PA) - According to a study in the October 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, a history of childhood physical abuse may be common in men from urban settings, and these men with physical abuse histories may be more likely to commit domestic violence. The study found that the childhood abuse was primarily committed by parents, with mothers being the most frequent abusers.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Standardized education tests get a starProf touts their precise analysis of student needs

Parents, educators urged to get over score phobia

The Toronto Star, LOUISE BROWN, EDUCATION REPORTER, Oct. 19, 2005

They've been blasted by teachers, boycotted by kids and brandished by real estate agents trying to rank neighbourhoods by school.

But eight years after standardized tests hit Ontario, there is mounting proof the scores including the latest batch due today are providing schools with a power tool to pinpoint how to help children learn, says Premier Dalton McGuinty's special adviser on education.  More ..


Reports missing in boy's murder case 30 lost files could embarrass Catholic Children's Aid Society

One may have endorsed grandparents as foster parents

NICK PRON, COURTS BUREAU, Oct. 19, 2005

The trial of two grandparents facing murder charges in the death of 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin has been delayed after it was revealed in court that more than 30 files compiled by the Catholic Children's Aid Society on the case are missing.

Some of the apparently lost files could be embarrassing for the agency. One, for instance, described the grandmother, Elva Bottineau, as a child-care worker approved by the agency, the court heard yesterday.

Another key file contained information on an apparently favourable "risk assessment" that was done by the society on the suitability of the grandparents Bottineau, 54, and her 53-year-old common-law husband, Norman Kidman to be foster parents.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Autistic boy kept in New Brunswick jail

No other place for him to stay 13-year-old must go to U.S. hospitalNo other place for him to stay

13-year-old must go to U.S. hospital

The Toronto Star, KELLY TOUGHILL, ATLANTIC CANADA BUREAU, Oct. 19, 2005

HALIFAXA 13-year-old autistic boy now living in a New Brunswick jail compound will be sent out of Canada because there is no home, hospital or institution that can handle him in his own province.

Provincial officials confirmed yesterday the boy is living in a visitor's apartment at the Miramichi Youth Centre and will be moved to a treatment centre in Maine by November.

They stressed he is not under lock and key, has no contact with other inmates and is living outside the high wire fence that surrounds the youth detention centre.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Masked teen on way to fight

Died in fall from car during chaseTwo groups doing battle at Vaughan park

Toronto Star, JIM WILKES, STAFF REPORTER, Oct. 17, 2005

A Woodbridge teen was fatally injured as he and other masked youths armed with weapons chased other teens to assault them, police revealed yesterday.

Pritpaul Singh Dhanoa, 17, died in hospital Saturday, hours after he fell from a moving car and struck his head on a curb along Chancellor Dr. in Vaughan.

York Region police said there was no evidence to support earlier reports that Dhanoa had been repeatedly kicked in the head and thrashed with sticks by up to six assailants in the Friday night fight.  More ..


The Observer (UK)

Violence blamed on teenage mums

Study claims that immature young parents with poor discipline techniques are creating aggressive children

The Observer, UK,  Mark Townsend, Sunday October 16, 2005

Britain's high rate of teenage pregnancies is a principal factor in the cause of violent crime, according to a controversial report by a leading criminologist.

Speaking before the launch of one of the largest ever studies into violence, its author George Hosking said that parents under 16 were contributing to 'a cycle'of aggression that meant people were 25 times more likely to be a victim of violence than 50 years ago. His comments were denounced by many as demonising young parents. More ..


USC student held in newborn's death

Associated Press, U.S.A. October 14, 2005

A University of Southern California student was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly leaving her newborn son in a box next to trash bin where he was found dead.

Holly Ashcraft, 21, of Montana was charged with one count of murder and one count of child abuse, Deputy District Attorney Efrain Aceves said.

Ashcraft, who was arrested Wednesday, made a court appearance Thursday but her arraignment was postponed to Nov. 9. If convicted, she would face 25 years to life in prison.  More ..


Childcare debts ground parents

Courier-Mail, Australia, by Nicolette Burke, October 13, 2005

ABOUT 500 parents have been prevented from leaving the country by the Child Support Agency.

The government agency has the power to direct the Australian Federal Police to stop people at the departure gate at Australian airports, if they have not paid their childcare maintenance bills.

 Figures obtained by The Courier-Mail show that 482 parents were contacted by the agency in the last financial year, and ordered to pay their outstanding debts before travelling overseas. That was up from 100 cases the previous year.

The agency's international director David Mole said parents who persistently avoided their obligations were targeted under the airport crackdown.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Families step aside on Homolka film

'They are not the censor police'  Distribution in Canada now likely

Toronto Star, RICK WESTHEAD, BUSINESS REPORTER, Oct. 13, 2005

The families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy won't try to block the release of Karla, a film about the slayings of the teens, paving the way for the film's Canadian distribution.

"The families recognize that they are not the censor police," Tim Danson, a lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families, told the Toronto Star. "They understand that people have a constitutional right to make a movie or write a book."

The Hollywood film company behind the controversial movie, depicting the horrific murders by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, says it's close to signing a contract with a distributor that would get the picture into Canadian theatres. More ..


The divorce law needs to put kid's rights first

The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, By HOWARD IRVING, Wednesday, October 12, 2005 page A23

Amid all the talk of rights for children, one more right needs to be asserted: Each child should have the right to benefit from long awaited and much needed changes to the Federal Divorce Act.

In May, 1997, when the Divorce Act came into effect, the then minister of justice proposed that a joint committee of the House and Senate make recommendations regarding child custody and access. After 55 hearings, and more than a year of study, the committee made 48 recommendations to Parliament, all with an underlying theme: The adversary system as it pertained to the majority of custody and access disputes put families (especially children) at risk. Despite this disturbing conclusion, Bill C-22, created to amend the Divorce Act, still sits on a shelf. Justice Minister Irwin Cotler recently said that the government aims to reintroduce child-custody and access reforms this autumn. It's about time. Correcting the current act is long overdue. More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Ruling rightly blames adults for teen addictions, says Linda McQuaig

The Toronto Star, Oct. 9, 2005, LINDA MCQUAIG

The tobacco industry and its supporters have long insisted that smoking is simply a matter of "individual choice."

They note that the dangers of smoking are well-known, and yet people choose to smoke anyway just like people choose to drive cars even though they realize many die in car accidents, and people eat junk food even though they know that can cause heart problems.  More ..


Paternity Testing Grows in Popularity

Almost One-Third Of Men Who Took Paternity Tests in 2003 Were Not the Biological Father

Oct. 5, 2005 - Dr. Enrique Terrazas thought his second wife was crazy when she suggested he take a paternity test because she saw no resemblance between him and his 10-year-old daughter.

Terrazas relented and the test results revealed there was a zero percent chance he was the biological father of the girl.

"I was in shock," Terrazas said. "This is the kind of thing that happened on Jerry Springer, I couldn't believe it was happening to me." More ..


Female Teacher Re-Arrested in Alleged Sex Assault Case

ABC News - KVIA-TV, TX, U.S.A. October 5, 2005

EL PASO, TX. [U.S.A.] - An El Paso school teacher faces another criminal complaint in New Mexico, which means she's now been charged six times. ABC-7 has learned that Las Cruces Police have again arrested 52-year-old Donna McKnight for alleged sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old boy.

Ms. McKnight was previously charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Penetration, one count of Criminal Sexual Contact, and two other related charges in Dona Ana County. She was also charged with one count of Indecency with a Child by exposure in El Paso County. More..


Public Health Agency of Canada Releases Key Study on Reported Child Abuse And Neglect

Press Release, October 4, 2005, For Immediate Release

OTTAWA - The Public Health Agency of Canada today released the report of the second cycle of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS), a national child health surveillance activity that provides information in the area of child abuse and neglect.

"The findings from this report give service providers, policy makers and other stakeholders a strong, comprehensive evidence base that can help them to help improve the lives of children in Canada and to protect children from harm," stated Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

The Public Health Agency is working with provinces and territories, researchers and other experts to provide valuable information," said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of State (Public Health). This collaboration demonstrates the Agency's commitment to improving the health of Canadian children through leadership, collaboration, and scientific excellence in public health."   More ..


Painless Paternity Tests, but the Truth May Hurt

New York Times, New York, U.S.A., October 2, 2005, By MIREYA NAVARRO

JOSEPH DIXON said he was not exactly thrilled when his girlfriend of one and a half years told him she was pregnant. But, Mr. Dixon said, he did not want her to have an abortion and was determined to do the right thing.

"I told her I'd definitely be there" for her, said Mr. Dixon, 29, a hotel doorman in Chicago. And he was. The two didn't marry but settled into the common rhythm of separate but shared parenthood, he said, allowing him to see his daughter whenever he wanted.

But when Mr. Dixon arranged to purchase a life insurance policy to give his 4-year-old daughter financial security last January, the results of a required DNA test delivered stunning news.  More ..


Macleans.ca

Girls gone raunch

Increasingly, young women are treating themselves and each other like pieces of meat. Why?

Maclean's Magazine, JUDITH TIMSON, September 26, 2005

Maclean's Girls Go Raunch

She and her friends talk about it constantly. How to go out and have a great time. How to make their way through a sexual landscape that somehow has upped the ante in racy behaviour. The challenge, says Shauna (not her real name), a 20-year-old third-year psychology major at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., is how not to feel like a misfit just because she thinks that the sexual titillation factor has gone too far. "One thing I have noticed more and more," she says of the student scene, "is that girls spend as much time, if not more, dancing provocatively with each other as they do with men. Many girls have made out with each other in front of a group of boys, or for their benefit after having been dared, or even without provocation. I was recently at a bar with a group of friends from high school," she continues, "and a group of girls came wearing short skirts and low-cut tops -- they had each written words on their breasts or upper thighs and were willingly showing this to the guys when asked. The club scene where this behaviour often happens is one that I avoid most often, and look for other ways to have fun -- and I am in a minority in that respect." More ..


The Australian

Mundane matters for dads

The Australian (Australia's national daily newspaper), by Caroline Overington, September 8, 2005

Divorced fathers who see their children only once a week or once a fortnight are at risk of developing a "Disneyland Dad" syndrome, where they are focused on entertaining their children, rather than developing a strong, meaningful relationship.

A report by Bruce Smyth at the Australian Institute of Family Studies says divorced fathers are often denied an opportunity to have "mundane" contact with their children, "doing ordinary things, such as just tucking them into bed, or sitting down to peel potatoes".

The report - to be included in the institute's winter edition of Family Matters, and which reveals that a quarter of fathers have no contact or see their children less than once a year - says the recent debate about child custody was "all focused on the numbers".  More ..


Fathers are 'stricter' over TV dangers

The Scotsman, Scotland, UK, By JOHN INNES, September 6, 2005

CHILDREN are less likely to view scenes of sex and violence on television if they are with their father than if they watch with mother, according to new research.

Fathers are stricter about the dangers of being exposed to post-watershed and other adult programming, said a study of families which found most have concerns about the issue.

The research also found single parents impose much stricter controls on what their kids watch than traditional families.

Possible reasons for fathers being more strict are that married mothers may put their children in front of the television unsupervised while they get on with other jobs around the house. Meanwhile, single parents, and fathers in particular, when at home, will spend the time with their children and by doing so will be more aware of what their children are watching. More ..


Toronto Star logo  
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Why is Exhibit 67 being kept a secret?; Secrecy of courts a growing concern

The Toronto Star, by Moira Welsh, Mon 05 Sep 2005, Page: A1

Exhibit 67 is being kept a secret.

That is the official court name given to a controversial psychiatric report filed in the dangerous offender hearing of Cory Newton, a serial pedophile who groomed and sexually assaulted numerous young boys in the Niagara Region, destroying their lives.

The Ministry of the Attorney General won't let anyone see the report unless they go through the lengthy and expensive process of explaining why they want it, during a hearing before a judge.

The ministry's refusal to release the report by Dr. Philip Klassen, a forensic psychiatrist, highlights a growing concern that Ontario's courts are increasingly withholding documents and exhibits despite more than a century of Canadian legal judgments concluding that open courts are the cornerstone of justice.

The Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized the importance of an open court system in numerous judgments.

"The courts don't own the courts," said Alan Young, a criminal law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. "They are just renting space from us (the public). And we have a right to see what they are doing and that is the way it should be in a democratic country."  More..


EP Female Teacher/Husband Face More Abuse Accusations

Donna McKnight - Female Sex offender

KFOX News, TX, USA, August 29, 2005 -- by: Elizabeth O'Hara

An El Paso teacher and her husband face new allegations of sexual abuse, this time allegedly involving their children

Las Cruces Police arrested 53 year old Donna McKnight and her husband, Ronald, Monday morning at the Century-21 Motel off North Main Street. Police were alerted to the couple by a family member and say the two were not trying to flee but were allegedly going to see an attorney. Both are being held on $50,000 dollar cash bonds.


The Globe and Mail

Four fathers' child-support case will go to top court

Ruling on retroactive payment could affect hundreds of thousands of divided families

The Globe and Mail, By DAWN WALTON, Friday, August 19, 2005 Page A4

CALGARY -- The Supreme Court of Canada agreed yesterday to hear the appeal of four Alberta fathers, some of whom were ordered to pay massive amounts of retroactive child support, in a case that has implications for hundreds of thousands of divorced and separated families across the country.

"The overall message to Canadians is go on and sort out your ongoing child-support issues, but if you have a big retroactive claim you better put it on your backburner until the Supreme Court of Canada makes a decision," said Deidre Smith, whose Toronto-based law firm MacDonald & Partners is representing the Alberta men.

The fathers are appealing an Alberta Court of Appeal decision in January that required parents with child-support payments based on old court orders and separation agreements to pay thousands more in retroactive support to better reflect their higher incomes.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Appeal may cost parents millions

Supreme Court agrees to hear fathers' case. Thousands may face lump-sum back claims

TARA BRAUTIGAM, Canadian Press, Aug. 19, 2005

Canada's highest court will hear the appeal of four Alberta fathers who were ordered to pay retroactive child support in a case that could dramatically impact the financial obligations of countless divorced or separated Canadian parents.

Should the Supreme Court of Canada uphold the original January ruling, it could result in hundreds of thousands of parents being hit with lump-sum support payments totalling millions of dollars, said Deidre Smith, one of the lawyers leading the appeal.

Despite existing court orders and separation agreements, the fathers were ordered by an Alberta judge to make immediate lump-sum child support payments, some stretching as far back as 1997, to reflect changes in their incomes, Smith said.

One of the appellants "is about as opposite from a deadbeat dad as you can get," Smith said from her Toronto office. More ..


The Canadian Press

Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal that could cost millions in child support

MacLean's magazine, and various other publications,  Canadian Press, TARA BRAUTIGAM, August 18, 2005

TORONTO (CP) - Canada's highest court has agreed to hear a case that's expected to determine whether parents across the country who are either separated or divorced would be required to pay millions of dollars in retroactive child support.

Toronto lawyers filed the appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers ordered to make immediate child support payments stretching back as far as 1997.

The appeal was launched to challenge an Alberta court decision in January that required fathers to pay large sums of money in child support based on changes in their incomes over the years.

In one case, a man was required to pay more than half of his annual earnings.  More..


The Canadian Press

High court to determine if parents to pay millions in lump-sum child support

MacLean's and various other publications, Canadian Press, August 18, 2005, TARA BRAUTIGAM

TORONTO (CP) - Canada's highest court agreed Thursday to hear a case that could determine whether hundreds of thousands of divorced or separated Canadian parents who owe millions in retroactive child support will have to make their payments in a single lump sum.

Toronto lawyers filed the appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers who were ordered to make immediate child support payments stretching back as far as 1997.

The fathers are appealing an Alberta court decision in January that required parents with child support payments based on old court orders and separation agreements to pay thousands more in retroactive support to better reflect their higher incomes. More ..


Mom Smoked Meth While Breast-Feeding Son

Pleads Guilty to Endangering 9-Month-Old Boy

ABC News, U.S.A., Aug. 17, 2005

A Salem, Oregon, U.S.A., meth-addicted mother pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that she endangered her 9-month-old son by smoking the drug while breast-feeding him.

Prosecutors say going after mothers who knowingly endanger their children by feeding them drug-tainted breast milk is another way of tackling the state's problem with methamphetamines.

The drug is such a problem that Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed a law Tuesday requiring people to get a prescription to buy cold and allergy medication containing pseudoephedrine, one of the key ingredients people use to make meth. More ..


Teacher jailed for sex with boy

The Guardian, UK, Martin Wainwright, Tuesday August 16, 2005

A married primary schoolteacher was jailed for 15 months yesterday after admitting having sex with an underage teenage boy.

Hannah Grice, 32, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of indecent assault on the boy, who was aged 14 and 15 at the time of the offences.

Sentencing her at Stafford crown court, Judge John Shand told Grice, from Cannock, Staffordshire, she had abused her position of trust.

"Cases such as this are, of course, made worse by the fact that you were a member of the teaching profession," he told her. "You should have been very sensitive indeed to child welfare issues." Grice was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.  More ..


Paternity fraud penalises the innocent

News Weekly - Melbourne Australia, 13 August 2005, By Babette Francis

Businessmen who are caught committing corporate fraud or insider trading are exposed and punished - with fines, jail or both - and rightly so. However, women who commit paternity fraud, i.e. deceive their husbands about the paternity of "their" children, appear to get away with it and seem to have the Victorian Women's Legal Service and the Child Support Agency on their side, reports Babette Francis.

Paternity fraud not only involves infidelity, but also deception at a most fundamental level of the husband, the children and the community. Birth certificates need to record accurately who the biological parents are - not only for legal reasons, but also because medical issues and issues of consanguinity may arise. Here is the story of the paternity fraud inflicted on Liam Magill.  More ..


CBC FILM Review

A First Look at Karla

An exclusive review of the contentious film

By Matthew Hays, August 12, 2005

Not many films have created as much of a furor in Canada as Karla. Nice, polite Canadians reacted with abject horror when it was announced last year that a Los Angeles-based film company had a movie about Karla Homolka in the works. Later, as questions about the films distribution surfaced, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty urged Ontarians to boycott it. The project, it was assumed by many from the get-go, could amount to nothing but sheer exploitation in pursuit of profit.   More ..


Australian Associated Press

One in 25 raise another's child: claim

AAP, Australia, Aug 11 2005

One in 25 fathers could unknowingly be raising another man's child, British scientists say.

Researchers at Liverpool's John Moores University examined the findings of dozens of studies, published over the past 54 years, on cases of paternal discrepancy - where a man is proved not to be the biological father of his child.

The studies, most of them peer reviewed, came from countries as varied as the United States, Finland, New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico. More ..


The Telegraph

1 in 25 men in dark as they raise others'children

The Telegraph, by Celia Hall, Medical Editor, August 11, 2005

One father in 25 could unknowingly be bringing up a child who is not his own, says new research that suggests a rise in genetic testing has opened a Pandora's box of sexual secrets and lies.

Genetic testing for diseases in families is growing and can reveal a child's real paternity, leaving doctors to decide how much to disclose to the family.

One of the authors of the study, Prof Mark Bellis, of the centre for public health at Liverpool John Moores University, said: "Twenty years ago doctors would have tended not to tell when they came across this information unless it was important for the health of the child.

"But advances in genetics mean that there is now more pressure for a child to know who his or her biological parents are." More ..


The Telegraph

I had to find out whether I was really the father

The Telegraph, U.K. by Celia Hall, Medical Editor, August 11, 2005

It was a whirlwind romance. Within four months Michael and his girlfriend were hopelessly in love and discussing a life together and the prospect of children, not immediately, but in the future.

They moved in together then bought a house. Life was very good, said Michael, who asked for his identity not to be disclosed. "I was infatuated."

But his career in banking took him away from home all the time. He was effectively commuting to France and, before long, he said, he had reason to believe his girlfriend had not been faithful. "But I was in love and I put the thoughts to one side.

"Then she became pregnant," Michael said. "It was sooner than we had planned but we had wanted children together and I was still in love." More ..


One in 25 fathers 'not the daddy'

Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, UK health researchers estimate.

Increasing use of genetic testing for medical and legal reasons means more couples are discovering the biological proof of who fathered the child.

The Liverpool John Moores University team reached its estimate based on research findings published between 1950 and 2004.

The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Biological father

Professor Mark Bellis and his team said that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy were huge and largely ignored, even though the incidence was increasing.

In the US, the number of paternity tests increased from 142,000 in 1991 to 310,490 in 2001.  More ..


Judge Delivers Sentence In Female Teacher's Sex Trial
Dawn Reiser To Serve 8-Year Prison Sentence

NBC5i TV, Dallas-Forthworth, Texas, U.S.A., August 3, 2005

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A Fort Worth judge Thursday sentenced a Grapevine teacher for having sex with her 13-year-old student.

Judge Wayne Salvent followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced former seventh-grade teacher Dawn Reiser, 30, to as many as eight years in prison and at least two years of probation.

NBC 5 reported that Reiser was sentenced to 10 years of probation to be served concurrently with her prison term. If she serves the full eight years, she would serve two years of probation.  More ..


Teacher's Sex Trial Begins

NBC5i TV, Dallas-Fortworth, Texas, U.S.A. August 2, 2005

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A 13-year-old boy took the witness stand in the Tarrant County Courthouse Tuesday to testify against a teacher at a Catholic school. The boy told jurors that he and the teacher had a sexual relationship, and that she promised the boy she would leave her husband so she and the boy could get married when he turned 18.

The allegations of sexual contact included episodes of bondage, during which 30-year-old Dawn Reiser is accused of tying up the boy to engage in repeated sexual encounters. The prosecution produced scarves allegedly used by Reiser to bind the boy.

The jury also saw love letters allegedly sent by Reiser to the boy. A DNA expert testified about saliva that sealed the envelopes. More ..


8-Year-Old Charged For Sexual Conduct With Sitter

KUTV, CBS Broadcasting,  Salt Lake City, U.S.A., July 28, 2005

(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY, Utah A mother is upset after a 14-year-old babysitter engaged in sexual conduct with her eight-year-old boy, and the eight-year-old was charged with lewd conduct.

Prosecutors have since dropped the charges against the boy, but his mother is still concerned.

The sexual conduct occurred during a game of "truth or dare" while the boy was being watched by the babysitter.

Prosecutors say that, while the babysitter initiated the contact, the young boy was a willing participant.  More ..


America's Union Movement (AFL-CIO)

Protest Wal-Mart Child Labour

Write CEO Lee Scott to say you won't buy school supplies from Wal-Mart.

from America's Union Movement (AFL-CIO) Dateline: Friday, July 22, 2005

Connecticut just fined Wal-Mart for child labour law violations. And in January, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $134 540 after being cited for child labour violations in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

Really, that's not the kind of place we want to shop for our children's back-to-school supplies, is it?

This is a great opportunity to send a strong message to Wal-Mart and start the children in your life on the way to activism. Help them write letters, by August 1, to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott telling him why their families won't buy school supplies from Wal-Mart this year. Here are some unpleasant facts about Wal-Mart they can use as they write their letters:

Several states have found Wal-Mart workers younger than 18 operating dangerous equipment, such as chain saws.

Wal-Mart has racked up huge fines for child labour law violationsMore ..


Associated Press Logo

Mother injected child with faeces, say police

Associated Press, U.S.A. , July 16th, 2005

Bear, Delaware - A former paediatric nurse has been charged with trying to poison her toddler son by injecting human faeces into his bloodstream.

Stephanie McMullen, 29, was charged on Thursday with assault and reckless endangerment and released on bail.

Doctors at the hospital where McMullen worked alerted police that her 22-month-old son had been admitted to hospital six times since he was four months old for "serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses", acting police chief Lieutenant Colonel Scott McLaren said.  More ..


National Post logo

Gay rights, children's rights

Opinion by Margaret Somerville, founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law; author of 'The Ethical Canary: Science, Society, and the Human Spirit'

National Post,  July 14, 2005.

As its advocates claim, same-sex marriage will be a powerful public

 statement against the discrimination suffered by homosexuals. But it will also affect the fundamental rights of children, a vulnerable group of Canadians with no power to protect themselves at the ballot box. So let me try to speak for them, and put forward the case that accepting same-sex marriage requires that we enact new legislation to protect children's rights.

When limited to the union of a man and a woman, marriage establishes, as the norm, children's right to an identified biological mother and father, and to be reared by them, unless there are good reasons to the contrary. Same-sex marriage, in disconnecting marriage from procreation, compromises this right for all children, not just those brought into same-sex marriages. The new law, Bill C-38, implements that change by redefining parenthood from natural parenthood to legal parenthood -- from an institution defined by biology, to one defined solely by law.  More ..


Spousal violence affects almost 1.2 million: Statscan

The Globe and Mail, By TERRY WEBER, Thursday, July 14, 2005

More than one million Canadian women and men have been the victim of spousal violence over the past five years, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The government agency also said the overall rate of spousal violence for the five-year period stretching from 1999 to 2004 has remained steady at 7 per cent.

That means an estimated 653,000 women and 546,000 men experienced some degree of violence at the hands of a current or former partner. More ..


Demande d'ordonnance de sauvegarde rejet??e Karla Homolka est libre

Presse Canadienne, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, 04 juillet 2005

peine sortie de prison, lundi, apr??s avoir purg?? une peine de 12 ans pour sa participation aux meurtres de deux adolescentes ontariennes, Karla Homolka a jug?? qu'elle devait s'expliquer publiquement plut??t que de chercher se cacher.

TOKEN BLOC LIEN  La femme de 35 ans, nerveuse et l'air contrit, s'est rendue la Maison de Radio-Canada Montr??al moins de deux heures apr??s avoir quitt?? le p??nitencier de Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines pour y offrir une entrevue exclusive, a affirm?? sur les ondes de RDI la journaliste Joyce Napier, de l'mission Le Point.

L'entrevue d'une dure de 20 minutes dans laquelle elle dit entre autres tr??s remplie de remords pour les gestes qu'elle a commis a t diffuse lundi soir.

La criminelle la plus m??diatise du pays en ce moment s'est pr??sente aux installations de la soci??t?? d'tat dans une mini fourgonnette, de la m??me faon qu'elle a quitt?? la prison situe au nord de Montr??al.  [cliquez ici]


The FRO under scrutiny

The Women's Post, "Canada's national newspaper for professional women", by Leslie Whatmough, July 7th, 2005

On June 9, 2005 the McGuinty government announced the passage of Bill 155, legislation that promised to increase enforcement, improve fairness and enhance efficiency at the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). However, the legislation did not address the problem of accountability and, as things now stand, the FRO is a threat to every Canadian affected by a government regulated support and custody arrangement system. Think of George Orwell's 1984 and you'll have a good picture of how issues are handled at the FRO.

They have legal power to extort money from Canadians, but are not responsible or accountable for their actions. Last year an FRO staff member decided not to wait for a court date to review the financial status of an out-of-work truck driver and took it upon themselves to suspend his license because he was, understandably, behind on his payments, having lost his job earlier in the year. Although he was looking for work, the FRO cut off the only way he knew of to earn a living. His suicide note explained how he'd lost all hope. Is this what we want FRO to be doing? It is one thing to chase after dead-beat dads (this philosophy is an integrated part of the FRO mandate), but what of the majority of people who pay regularly and lose their job or run into tough times? Should they too be stripped of their civil rights?  More ..


Does the FRO have a feminist perspective?

The Women's Post, "Canada's national newspaper for professional women",  July 7th, 2005, by Joseph Young

When families fall apart, they can make for the bitterest of enemies. The intensity of their hostility, the personal rhetoric, the posturing and positioning, and the utter faithlessness of remembrance in the relationship's good deeds and consequences is a breathtaking phenomenon. It's as if the positive qualities and countless achievements are struck from history as a revisionist might strike the Holocaust. Into all of this the family court system wades, often inelegantly. Divorce lawyers drive up the emotional and financial toll of separation and transformation. Family and friends frequently collude to make things worse.

And when government decides to rear its head, well, it's a mess for all the world to see. Witness the recent attention on Ontario's euphemistically branded Family Responsibility Office. A job in advertising doubtlessly greeted the person who came up with its title, because it suggests some sort of feel-good missionary work to hold together the sanctity of the institution.  More ..


Infant Abuse Linked To Early Experience, Not Genetics

Science Daily, July 3, 2005

Intergenerational transmission of infant abuse is more likely caused by early experience than genetic inheritance, new University of Chicago research on macaque monkeys shows.

"Maternal abuse of offspring in macaque monkeys shares some similarities with child maltreatment in humans, including its transmission across generations," said Dario Maestripieri, Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago.

"The mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of abuse are not well understood," said Maestripieri, who is also an affiliate scientist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University. " Ours is the first study to show that rhesus monkey females who are abused by their mothers in infancy tend to become abusive mothers themselves, and the first to provide experimental evidence that the intergenerational transmission of abuse is the result of early experience and not genetic inheritance," he said. More ..


Paternity fraud an urban myth: study

Australian Associated Press (AAP), (Australia's national news agency), Wednesday June 29, 2005

Alienated fathers' rights groups and the paternity testing industry are responsible for urban myths about paternity fraud, a university study has found.

Professor of Sociology at Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology, Michael Gilding, said figures suggesting that up to 30 per cent of paternity tests showed that the nominated father was not the parent of the child in question were based on unreliable sources or studies.  More ..


Senator apologizes for supporting Homolka

CTV.ca News Staff, Jun. 23 2005

A Liberal senator who sat with Karla Homolka's defence team during a court hearing on June 3 has apologized.

Senator Michel Biron, 71, sat beside Homolka's lawyer in a show of support. At one point he even gave Homolka a slight smile, witnesses say.

He later called Ontario's application to place restrictions on Homolka after her release from prison "unjustified."

"I have to give her a chance... I don't consider her dangerous," he said. More..


Washington Post logo

Where's Daddy?

The Washington Post, By Richard Morin, Sunday, June 19, 2005, Page B5

Psychologists Linda M. Fleming and David J. Tobin can't tell you where to look for today's fathers. But they do know where not to look: on the pages of modern books on child-rearing.

Forget those statistics showing that fathers are playing an ever-increasing role in the lives of their small children. Daddies who change diapers, cart the little one to the pediatrician or help cook for Baby Dearest rate barely a mention in the typical child-care book, Fleming and Tobin of Gannon University in Pennsylvania claim in an article for the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

Instead, they found that recently published guides to raising babies, when they mentioned dads at all, typically perpetuated outdated stereotypes that portray fathers as being little more than what these researchers termed the "parenthetical parent."  More..


Dad: his role in today's world is changing

Fort McMurray Today, Fort McMurray, Alberta, By NICOLE FITCH, Today staff, Friday June 17, 2005

Don't call him Mr. Mom.

From making video documentaries to changing diapers and attending Kindermusik lessons, stay-at-home dad Will Gibson has taken on a very different role in the last few years.

Gibson, 37, has learned a great deal after spending the past five years at home with his children during the day and working from his home office. He stresses that its not as easy as it sounds, however.  More ..


Sexual Abuse Accusations Color Custody Battles Consider child's age, physical or mental disabilities, feelings of alienation when evaluating allegations.

Clinical Psychiatry News, U.S.A., June 2005 Volume 33 Number 6, Heidi Splete, Senior Writer

HOUSTON, U.S.A. Sexual abuse allegations in a child custody case are not always true, and even professionals who work with these children can have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy in the children's stories, Joseph Kenan, M.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry.

When a forensic psychiatrist evaluates potential sexual abuse of a child in a custody case, he or she considers a host of factors, including the child's age, any physical or mental disabilities, and a child's feelings of alienation toward one parent or history of siding with one parent during arguments, he said at the meeting cosponsored by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Although psychiatrists use careful questioning and information-gathering skills to evaluate children's allegations, a study of 12 professionals showed that none of them could tell the difference between true and false stories after viewing videotapes of 10 different child testimonies, said Dr. Kenan, chief forensic psychiatrist at the Psychological Trauma Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. More ..


Dads no longer playing a supporting parenting role

Sudbury, Ontario, BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN,  June 17, 2005

Sidney Osmond has been around to see a lot of things most dads never do. He's witnessed his 18-month-old son, Sidney Osmond Jr., learn to sit up on his own, eat solid food, crawl, take his first steps and speak his first words.

The federal government allows dads such as Sidney Osmond to take a five-year family leave. Sidney Jr. approves. When the baby has a temper tantrum, Sidney is the one to soothe him, and when he wants to watch his favourite Thomas the Train DVD, he pushes play on the remote.

Sidney is a stay-at-home dad. When his wife, Chantal, became pregnant, they decided he would take a leave of absence from his job at Human Resources Development Canada and care for the baby.  More ..


Missing: Males on College Campuses

FOX News, U.S.A., Wednesday, June 15, 2005, By Wendy McElroy

Some researchers call them the "Lost Boys."  They are the students you don't see on college campuses.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)  tracks the enrollment in all degree-granting institutions by sex. From 1992 to 2000, the ratio of enrolled males to females fell from 82 to 78 boys for every 100 girls. The NCES projects that in 2007 the ratio will be 75 males for every 100 females; in 2012, 74 per 100.

In short, your son is statistically more likely than your daughter to work a blue collar job.

Thomas Mortenson, senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, argues that leaving a generation of boys behind hurts women as well. In a    Business Week cover story, Mortenson observed, "My belief is that until women decide that the education of boys is a serious issue, nothing is going to happen."  More..


Toronto Sun

Ex-pal: Karla psychopath

Wants her jailed for life

Toronto Sun, By ALAN CAIRNS AND BRODIE FENLON, Sun Media, Wed, June 1, 2005

TORONTO -- The woman who initially supported Karla Homolka as a "battered woman" now believes Homolka is dangerous and should be kept in prison for life.

"I think she should still be in there serving the same time as Paul," said Wendy Lutczyn, who worked with Homolka at the Martindale Animal Clinic in St. Catharines.  More ..


Court set to weigh terms of Homolka's freedom

CTV news network, CTV.ca News Staff,  June 1, 2005

Little more than a month before her scheduled release, Karla Homolka's future will be argued in a Quebec court Thursday.

Homolka is set to walk away from a Joliette, Que. prison within weeks, but a team of Ontario lawyers is seeking to ensure that she won't be free to reoffend when she does.

Under the direction of Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant, they intend to present evidence that could lead Judge Jean Beaulieu to impose further restrictions on the notorious criminal.  More ..


Associated Press Logo

Canadian Officials Fear Convicted Murderer

Associated Press, Various newspapers around the World and in particular the U.S.A., June 2, 2005

JOLIETTE, Quebec -- Canadian authorities fear a convicted murderer may commit new crimes when she is released from prison, and authorities were seeking a court order requiring her to submit a DNA sample for a criminal database, officials said.

Karla Homolka pleaded guilty in 1993 to the sex slayings of two southern Ontario teenagers, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. She has served her 12-year manslaughter sentence and is set for release from a Quebec prison July 5, though she could be freed as early as June 23.  More ..


Jailed Homolka falls for controlling killer

The London Free Press, by ALAN CAIRNS AND STEPHANIE RUBEC, Special to The Free Press June 6, 2005

JOLIETTE, QUE. -- Karla Homolka's prison lover and avowed future husband is an abusive and controlling killer.

He is Jean-Paul Gerbet, 38, a French national serving a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Cathy Carretta, when she tried to leave him seven years ago.

Gerbet was named on Quebec TV yesterday by Cathy Carretta's father, Christian, who said he fears Homolka has found herself a replacement for ex-husband Paul Bernardo.

"He (Gerbet) is an individual who can be evil and I don't know what will come of him being chaperoned by Karla," he said.

"They are a diabolical couple and a horrifying couple," Carretta told the TVA network. "It resembles Bernardo."  More..


Associated Press Logo

Canadian Officials Fear Convicted Murderer

Associated Press, Various nespapers around the World and in particluar the U.S.A., June 2, 2005

JOLIETTE, Quebec -- Canadian authorities fear a convicted murderer may commit new crimes when she is released from prison, and authorities were seeking a court order requiring her to submit a DNA sample for a criminal database, officials said.

Karla Homolka pleaded guilty in 1993 to the sex slayings of two southern Ontario teenagers, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. She has served her 12-year manslaughter sentence and is set for release from a Quebec prison July 5, though she could be freed as early as June 23.  More ..


National Post logo

Media circus descends on sleepy town

The National Post, by Katherine Wilton, CanWest News Service, Thursday, June 2, 2005

JOLIETTE, Que. - As a courthouse clerk, Annie Gallant normally spends her days sifting through divorce papers.

But those duties were shelved yesterday as Ms. Gallant was instructed to give courthouse tours to dozens of journalists who have descended on this sleepy town in anticipation of Karla Homolka's first courtroom appearance in 10 years.

"This is a lot of fun," said Ms. Gallant, who admits to being caught up in the Karla-mania that is sweeping through Joliette. "We are all talking about her at work. Everyone knows what she did."  More ..


The Canadian Press

Homolka weeps as public gets glimpse of one of Canada's most hated convicts

Canadian Press, by Luann Lasalle And Nelson Wyatt, Thursday, June 02, 2005

JOLIETTE, Que. (CP) - It was a rare glimpse of Canada's most notorious female convict - Karla Homolka, weeping and wearing leg irons as the details of her horrific crimes were read out to a packed courtroom.

Like every other chapter in the saga of Homolka and her ex-husband, Paul Bernardo, Thursday's hearing to determine whether her movements should be restricted once she's out of jail was a media spectacle that featured at least one courtroom reporter gazing at her through binoculars.

Homolka began blinking and breathing heavily when Brian Noble of Niagara Regional Police described the deaths of schoolgirls Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, the two teens whose abductions and sex slayings stunned and sickened southern Ontario in the early 1990s.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

The real shame about adoption

We don't need more sealed files or vetos that ensure even more secrecy

 The Toronto Star, By Valerie Hauch, Toronto Star writer and editor, May 26, 2005

"Unmarried and pregnant - you have sinned. For shame!''Such finger-wagging reproofs were not uncommon for a different generation of women who dared to have sex outside wedlock and unlucky enough to have it bear fruit.  In fact, moral denunciation of perceived wanton behaviour has been such a powerful force in society that it lingers today in the debate about whether to pass the provincial government's adoption disclosure bill.

Ontario's Privacy Commissioner Anne Cavoukian says it will be an invasion of privacy for women who gave up babies if identifying information is released - their lives would be ruined.  But the government's proposed bill already carries a stringent "no contact'' veto that could be levied by the birth parent or adoptee. More..


National Post logo

Police seek mother of abandoned baby

The National Post, May 24, 2005

TORONTO -- Police in Toronto are looking for the mother of a newborn found abandoned in a church parking lot this morning.

The baby girl was found in a cardboard box outside the Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church in the city's east end. More ..


Tara Brown talks to the kids of Australia about divorce

60 Minutes - Australia - Transcript - Listen up

May 15, 2005, Reporter: Tara Brown,Producer: Sandra Cleary

LISTEN UP

INTRO:

 TARA BROWN: There's no escaping it divorce changes your kids forever. Even the most amicable split will have a life-long effect. How do we know? Well, the longest continuous study of the impact on kids when mum and dad separate is revealing some tough truths. It followed the same children for 35 years, followed them from the break-up to adulthood. They're scared of relationships and less likely to marry and those who do are more likely to divorce, just like their parents. So tonight listen up, for Australia's children have something to say in their own haunting words, how divorce changes everything.  More ..


Fathers'rights group protests in Toronto

CTV.ca News Staff, May 6, 2005

A fathers'rights group took its fight for justice to new heights today as one dad scaled the outside of a Toronto city court building.

Dressed in a Superman costume of a blue spandex bodysuit and a red cape, Brad Mastin shimmied up repair work scaffolding outside Old City Hall to unfurl a banner on behalf of the "Fathers 4 Justice."

Mastin claims he's typical of many fathers who've been given a raw deal by Canada's court system after a marriage breakup and have been denied access to their children. More ..


Female teacher jailed over affair

Thursday, May 5, 2005

 SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- An Australian female teacher has been jailed for six months for having sex with a teenage student, with a warning from the judge that future offenders could not expect such "lenient" treatment.

Karen Louise Ellis, a 37-year-old physical education teacher, had earlier received a suspended sentence of 22 months after she pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration with a boy aged under 16.  More ..


Associated Press Logo

Stepdad, Mom Charged in Precious Doe Slay

By MATT SEDENSKY, Associated Press Writer,  May 5, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For four years, she was known only as Precious Doe, a little girl whose headless body was found along a road. On Thursday, police identified the girl, arrested her mother and stepfather on murder charges, and pronounced the sad mystery solved.

The girl with big brown eyes and neat cornrows in her hair was identified as Erica Michelle Marie Green, just shy of 4 when she was found.

Her mother, Michelle M. Johnson, 30, and stepfather Harrell Johnson, 25, were charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said Harrell Johnson admitted that under the influence of alcohol and the hallucinogenic drug PCP, he became angry with Erica when she refused to go to bed, grabbed her, kicked her and threw her to the ground, leaving her unconscious. After she died, he said he used hedge clippers to sever her head.  More ..


The Virginian-Pilot

Man charged with hiring prostitute for young boy

The Virginian-Pilot, By STEVE STONE, Virginia, U.S.A., May 1, 2005

SUFFOLK - Police have charged a 58-year-old man with hiring a prostitute for a 15-year-old relative.

The woman, who police say was paid $13 for her services, has not been located.

The boy remains in the custody of his mother, who went to police after the man asked her to reimburse him.

Lt. Debbie George, a police spokeswoman, said the man, identified as Roy Lee Richardson, was arrested Friday after he surrendered to police.

An indictment was handed down by a grand jury on Wednesday, charging Richardson with crimes against nature, conspiracy to commit a felony, solicitation to commit a felony and taking indecent liberties with a child in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

Richardson's relationship to the boy was being withheld by police in an effort to protect the youth's identity. More..


Mothers must tell the truth

The Australian, March 23, 2005

IT has been called sex, lies and DNA. That complex web snared Tony Abbott when, on Monday, he revealed that the son he was reunited with just a few months ago was not his son. Abbott's anguish, his shock and disappointment, as he faced cameras was only too real. Recall the beaming Abbott when just a month ago he talked about "my boy" Daniel O'Connor. It is impossible to imagine the even greater torment that O'Connor is now confronting.

While the Abbott saga has mesmerised the nation, other cases slide under the radar. This is a web that entraps more men and children than we may care to believe. And when the tangled skein involves deliberate deceit, the devastation is often worse.

Consider the case of Liam Magill. When his wife Meredith gave birth to two babies, each born with blue eyes and blond hair, Liam assumed they were his. He had no reason to think otherwise. He signed the birth certificates as any new father does. He cared for the children, loved them, cherished them as most fathers do. But Liam's world fell apart when he discovered neither child was his.  More ..


The Government of Australia Attorney-General's Department

Media Release 042/2005

17 March 2005

GOVERNMENT ACTS ON CHILD MAINTENANCE RECOVERY IN CASES OF PATERNITY FRAUD

The Government has acted this week to enable people who, through the use of DNA testing, have found they are not the parent of a child to recover child maintenance payments.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said legislation introduced in the Parliament yesterday would address the issue of people who had wrongly believed they were the parent of a child.    More ..


Husband makes cheating wife pay for time spent raising lover's child

The London Times, London, U.K., from Adam Sage in Paris, May 3, 2005

A FRENCHMAN has won a ground-breaking ruling against his former wife and her lover, ordering them to pay back the money that he had spent on bringing up a child he had mistakenly assumed to be his own.

The man, named as G in the ruling, was awarded 23,000 (15,600) after a DNA test revealed that he was not the father of the 13-year-old child, Astrid.

He had raised her as his own daughter, paying for her food, clothing, toys, schoolbooks and holidays, the Caen Appeal Court in Normandy said. It added that his former wife, B, from Cherbourg, had always had doubts about the identity of Astrid's father: she was unsure whether it was her husband or her lover.

The judges said that she had committed a "fault" by failing to tell her husband that she had been having an affair at the time of the conception and that she did not know whose daughter Astrid was.  More ..


Man charged with hiring prostitute for young boy

By STEVE STONE, The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia, U.S.A., May 1, 2005

SUFFOLK - Police have charged a 58-year-old man with hiring a prostitute for a 15-year-old relative.

The woman, who police say was paid $13 for her services, has not been located.

The boy remains in the custody of his mother, who went to police after the man asked her to reimburse him.  More ..


Herald Sun

Widow's new bid for baby

Herald Sun, Victoria, Australia, Patrick O'Neil, April 27, 2005

SEVEN years after the death of her husband a young widow is fighting a landmark legal battle to use his sperm to conceive their baby.

The woman's husband, then 29, died in a motorcycle accident in Melbourne in 1998.

Within 24 hours of his death the woman, known only as AB, won a Supreme Court order authorising the removal and storage of her husband's semen.

The order was believed to be the first of its type in Australia.  More..


It's Tough to be a Boy in American Schools

It's a bad time to be a boy in America, Christina Sommers says in her important new book, The War Against Boys. We are turning against boys, she writes. Boys need discipline, respect and moral guidance. They do not need to be pathologized. Sommer's book is packed with examples of the anti-male attitudes that pervade the public schools.

In my eldest daughter's pre-kindergarten class, run by parents in Greenwich Village, the children were from all sorts of ethnic and class backgrounds, but they always sorted themselves out by sex. The girls sat quietly at tables, drawing and talking. The boys all ran around screaming like maniacs, bouncing off the walls, raising so much ear-splitting commotion that my first reaction each day was a fleeting urge to strangle them all.

I do not believe that these male tots were acting out their assigned masculine gender roles in the patriarchical order. I think the obvious is true: Boys are different from girls. They like rough-and-tumble play. When they alight somewhere, they build something, then knock it down. They are not much interested in sitting quietly, talking about their feelings or working on relationships. They like action, preferably something involving noise, conflict and triumph.

Teachers know that girls are better suited to schooling. So if you want to teach boys, allowances must be made. One of the tragedies of the last 20 years or so is that school systems are increasingly unwilling to make those allowances. Instead, in the wake of the feminist movement, they have absorbed anti-male attitudes almost without controversy. They are now more likely to see ordinary boy behavior as something dangerous that must be reined in. Or they may tighten the screws on boys by drafting extraordinarily broad zero-tolerance and sexual-harassment policies. Worse, they may simply decide that the most active boys are suffering from attention deficit disorder and dope them up with Ritalin.  More ..


Alberta bill allows parents force kids into detox

CTV.ca News Staff, April 17, 2005

A law was passed in Alberta giving parents the power to force their drug-addicted teenaged children into detox.

In the Alberta Legislature on Thursday, MLAs voted unanimously in favour of Bill 202 -- the Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act.

After an assessment by drug counsellors, moms and dads can apply to have their addicted kids placed in a five-day detoxification program, in hopes of getting them to agree in the end to pursue further drug treatment.

After a child turns 18, it then becomes up to the individual whether or not to seek long term treatment.

"This will enable parents to grab their children and hopefully get them out of danger, at least for a short period of time," Edmonton mother Audrey Bjornstad told CTV News.  More ..


Duped 'dad'to fight court ruling

The Age, By Peter Gregory, Chief court reporter, April 16, 2005

A Melbourne man who found he was paying maintenance for another man's children is challenging a court decision that removed a $70,000 damages payout earlier awarded to him.

Liam Neal Magill, 54, has lodged an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court against a ruling made last month in favour of his ex-wife, Meredith Jane Magill, 38.

Mr Magill took legal action in January 2001 after DNA tests proved he had not fathered two of the couple's three children. More ..


Signed, Sealed But Not Delivered

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child popular, but hard to enforce

Embassy, By Sarah McGregor, April 13th, 2005

The construction of a legal framework required to fully satisfy obligations under a United Nations convention to protect children will be an ongoing process in Canada, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told the Senate Human Rights Committee on Monday. Mr. Cotler said that each new law or regulation passed by Parliament will continue to obey the rules of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as with all international norms. However, he stopped short of endorsing complete compliance with each one of the Convention's elements, some of which have provoked controversy since its UN approval over 15 years ago.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Amber Alert ends as Toronto baby found

Canadian Press, various newspapers and media throughout Canada, April 13, 2005

TORONTO A six-week-old baby girl has been found unharmed after she was allegedly abducted by her mother, a former Playboy model with a history of mental problems.

The baby was found at 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday, about six hours after Toronto police issued a province-wide Amber Alert.

Staff-Sgt. Kim Yeandle said the baby's mother was arrested along with an unidentifed man. Both were in custody and police said the mother faces a charge of abduction.  More ..


National Post logo

Cotler hopes to reintroduce child-custody legislation

The National Post, Cristin Schmitz, CanWest News Service, Tuesday, April 12, 2005

OTTAWA - Justice Minister Irwin Cotler says his government hopes to reintroduce child custody and access reforms this fall. Mr. Cotler told the Senate human rights committee yesterday he still intends to revive a contentious Chretien-era bill, with some changes. The defunct bill, which was supported by the Canadian Bar Association but condemned by fathers' rights groups, died when Paul Martin became prime minister.  More ..


'Dancing mom' gets 3 years for daughter's death

CTV.ca News Staff, Mon. Apr. 11 2005

A Toronto father pronounced himself "sick" after the salsa-dancing mother of his toddler daughter was given a three-year sentence in connection with the child's death by abandonment.

"I'm sick to my stomach," Mark Yetman told reporters outside a Toronto courthouse on Monday. "You go out and beat up a guy on the street corner, you get five or 10 years. You kill my kid, it's totally fine."

Clara DaSilva, his former girlfriend, went salsa dancing in September 2002. She left her two-year-old daughter Adrianna alone in a sweltering apartment for 33 hours.

The temperature in the apartment rose to at least 35 degrees Celsius, and she had no food or water. DaSilva had lied to people, saying someone was at her apartment taking care of Adrianna.  More ..


'Dancing mom' gets 3 years for girl's death

CBC News, April 11 2005

TORONTO A woman was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for abandoning her young daughter to die in a sweltering apartment.

Last fall, Clara Dasilva pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the September 2002 death of her two-year-old daughter, Adrianna.

The court heard that Dasilva, 25, left the toddler unattended for 33 hours during hot weather.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Legal fight looms over huge support payments

Canadian Press, Edmonton Sun, Toronto Sun, various other newspapers March 28, 2005

TORONTO -- A Toronto legal team wants the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers ordered to make immediate child-support payments retroactive to 1997. Family lawyer Gary Joseph says if the case is not heard, families across the country may find themselves owing thousands of dollars in retroactive support.

Joseph filed the appeal application to challenge a recent Alberta decision requiring the fathers to pay large sums of support - more than half of one man's annual earnings in one case - based on changes in their incomes over the years. More..


Why we're powerless to get back abducted children

Vancouver Sun, front page, By DAPHNE BRAMHAM. March 15, 2005

Murray Wood had no idea last November when he kissed 10-year-old Takara and seven-year-old Manami goodbye at Vancouver International Airport that his ex-wife was abducting them.

That doesn't mean the Richmond elementary school teacher didn't take every possible precaution to ensure that Takara and Manami were only going for a couple of weeks to see their dying grandfather.

Wood had sought and was granted sole custody nearly nine months earlier. Ayako Maniwa-Wood not only didn't contest sole custody, she didn't even bother showing up for the 2 1 /2-day trial.  More ..


DNA: Why the truth can hurt

The Sunday Times, Australia, By NADIA MIRAUDO, March 27, 2005

IT sounded too good to be true and it was.

The fairytale that saw Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott reunited with the son he thought he had given up for adoption 27 years ago, ABC sound-recordist Daniel O'Connor, ended this week when DNA tests confirmed another man had fathered Mr O'Connor. The revelations were devastating for all involved, not least Mr O'Connor.

Still reeling from the emotional reunion with his mother, Kathy Donnelly, and Mr Abbott a few months ago, a simple test of truth has thrown the trio into disarray a situation familiar to thousands of other Australians.

Paternity testing in Australia is a burgeoning industry.

The simplicity of the test cells are collected from a mouth swab grossly underestimates the seriousness of the situation. More ..


Ontario Government Press Release

March 8, 2005

McGuinty Government Moves To Make Ontario's Child Advocate Independent

Delivering On Key Commitment To Vulnerable Children And Youth

QUEENS PARK - The McGuinty government will introduce legislation this spring that, if passed, would better protect the interests of vulnerable children and youth by establishing an independent child advocate in Ontario, Children and Youth Services Minister Marie Bountrogianni announced today.

"There can be no room for political interference when it comes to the rights of our youngest citizens," said Bountrogianni. "This legislation would entrench the rights and voices of children and youth to an extent never before seen in Ontario."  More ..


Campbell blasted on child welfare

Ex-watchdogs say letter raising concerns about the system has gone unanswered for nearly a year

Lindsay Kines and Jeff Rud Sound Off

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC,  March 9, 2005

Three former government watchdogs say they've been waiting nine months for Premier Gordon Campbell to answer their concerns about B.C.'s child-protection system.

The former ombudsman, children's advocate and children's commissioner couriered a letter to Campbell's office last June complaining that his government had undermined public oversight of child-protection issues.  More ..


Globe and Mail

Ontario urged to help male victims of sex abuse

The Globe and Mail, By OLIVER MOORE, March 7, 2005

Ontario's male victims of child sexual assault are being ignored by a provincial government that focuses all its attention on women, a newly launched lobby group that wants equitable funding argued Monday.

The group the Ontario Association of Male Survivor Services says that one man in five was sexually abused as a child and that ignoring the problem makes it harder for these men to recover.

"We've got to stop thinking that sexual violence is just a women's issue," said Rick Goodwin, executive director of the not-profit organization that will operate the lobby group, in a telephone interview from Ottawa. "In this day and age, that's absurd."  More..


Globe and Mail

Man leaps onto 401 with daughter

Globe and Mail, by COLIN FREEZE, Monday, March 7, 2005

Toronto A suicidal father who used his five-year-old daughter as a weapon to terrorize his estranged wife threw himself and the child from an overpass onto Highway 401 last night.

The father died. Miraculously, the girl survived.

"This guy was a loaded missile. He was going to kill himself and he was going to take his daughter to punish his wife for whatever he thought she had done wrong in the relationship," Inspector Brian O'Connor said at a news conference last night.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

5-year-old survives bridge fall. Youngster seen clutching man's leg
Police watched tragedy helplessly

The Toronto Star, by GABE GONDA AND HENRY STANCU, STAFF REPORTERS, March 7, 2005

It's a miracle: A 5-year-old girl taken by her father, who was bent on killing her and himself, was thrown 15 metres from an overpass into oncoming traffic and survived without a broken bone.

The man, who died after jumping, led police on a frantic chase yesterday afternoon to a bridge on Don Mills Rd., over Highway 401. They were called there by the girl's mother at 4:30 p.m. after she found a suicide note at her nearby apartment.  More ..


Female Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse

The Braxton County teacher admitted having sex with three middle school students, State Police said.  March 3, 2005

Toni Lynn Woods Photo Credit: West Virginia Regional Jail

A Braxton County middle school teacher is in police custody after allegedly confessing to sexual misconduct with five of her students.

Toni Lynn Woods, 37, of Strange Creek was arrested Wednesday on eight counts of sexual assault.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Mom charged with murder Daughter, 4, drowned in tub last year
Arrest 'so unexpected', husband says

Toronto Star, by TRACY HUFFMAN AND NICHOLAS KEUNG, STAFF REPORTERS, March 2, 2005

When they saw homicide officers at their Scarborough home Monday afternoon, Scarlett Chen's parents thought they were going to be updated on the drowning of their four-year-old daughter last year.

Instead police arrested the girl's mother, Xuan Peng, 33, and charged her with first-degree murder.  More ..


Globe and Mail

Wife didn't kill daughter, husband says Man found four-year-old submerged in tub when he returned home from work

The Globe and Mail, By JOE FRIESEN, March 2, 2005

Dave Chen came home on a warm summer evening last year to discover his four-year-old daughter's lifeless body submerged in the bathtub of their Scarborough home.

After helping police with their inquiries for the past eight months, he was stunned on Monday afternoon as homicide detectives arrived on his doorstep to charge his wife with the first-degree murder of their daughter, Scarlett Chen.  More ..


BBC News

Girls' teenage years 'a misery'

Nine out of 10 girls aged 14 and 15 claim to have suffered depression, with 6% saying life was "not worth living", a poll for Bliss magazine has found.

BBC, UK, February 24, 2005

Top sources of stress were the pressure to look good (94%), school work (84%), bullying (67%) and broken homes (52%).

Almost a third said they had harmed themselves, usually because they were "confused" or "no-one was listening", and 15% had binged on drink and drugs.

The Stressed and Depressed? survey polled 2,000 girls aged 14 and 15.  More ..


Associated Press Logo

Man Can Sue Woman For Sperm Theft Distress

Associated Press, USA, February 24, 2005

CHICAGO (AP) A woman accused of using her lover's sperm to impregnate herself without his knowledge can be held liable for the unwitting father's emotional pain, the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled.

In the ruling released Wednesday, a three-judge panel reinstated part of a lawsuit against Sharon Irons, a doctor from Olympia Fields. The ruling sends the case back to Cook County Circuit Court.

Irons was sued by her former lover, Chicago family physician Richard O. Phillips, who accused her of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" of him after a brief affair they had six years ago.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Child care to get $5B boost

Five-year plan aims to create national program
Ottawa promises first $700 million without strings

The Toronto Star, by Laurie Monserbraaten, Staff Reporter, February 24, 2005

OTTAWA - The first $700 million of Ottawa's long-awaited $5 billion national child-care initiative goes to the provinces this year with no strings attached.

The money, to be paid through a third-party trust and available to provinces according to population, is a sign of "good faith" while federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to negotiate a formal funding agreement, Social Development Minister Ken Dryden said.

Dryden was hoping to secure a deal in Vancouver earlier this month, but his provincial and territorial counterparts balked, saying they wanted to see Ottawa's financial commitment in the budget before signing on. More ..


Parenting style can change child behaviour

CTV.ca News Staff, February 21, 2005

Parents who are more punitive tend to have aggressive children. But a new survey suggests that when parenting practices change, a child's behaviour also changes.

The results of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) suggests children show higher levels of aggression, are more anxious and less altruistic when parents have a more punitive parenting style. More ..


Educator dreams of curbing bullies

`I don't think kids can learn in fear,' says Susan Bosak

Proceeds from her book to fund school programs

The Toronto Star, by Tess Kalinowski, Education Reporter February 2005

Educator and author Susan Bosak remembers her own fearful school days and hopes to make life better for today's children.

In biting, 25C weather, a young Susan Bosak would walk around and around her north Winnipeg school, hoping to find a door she could enter without being taunted by the students who hung around outside smoking.

Inside, she learned to avoid the washrooms. They were the girl gang hangouts. If she made it through to a stall, other girls would leer over the wall, taunting Bosak with obscenities or pelting her with wads of wet paper towels.

"I remember living in fear constantly from about Grade 5 onward," the Stouffville-area author said in an interview. "I was bullied in school and I was bullied to and from school. I remember trying to find the most strategic path home."

A target because she was smart but not assertive, Bosak, 40, says teachers must have been aware of her plight but accepted it then as a normal part of growing up. That's an attitude Bosak who brings her latest book to the Canadian Safe School Network annual conference today wants eliminated.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Student's vice-regal suspension lifted

Canadian Press, LORRAYNE ANTHONY, February 17, 2005

Jeremy Patfield, 15, of Whitby, says he was suspended after a tour of Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

A high school in Whitby has lifted its three-day suspension of a student whose question about Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson's spending prompted a tour guide to abruptly end a school tour of Rideau Hall, the boy's dad said today.

"I had a meeting with the school the superintendent, the principal and the vice-principal," said Dan Patfield, father of the 15-year-old high school student.

"After everything the media did ... the school has lifted the three-day suspension."

Jeremy Patfield was touring the Governor General's official residence with about 60 students on Tuesday when he spotted Clarkson and asked: "Is that the woman that spends the money on the Queen when she comes?"

The question was uttered within earshot of Clarkson. A tour guide who overheard the teen's comment immediately ended the tour.  More ..


The mothers who fight 4 justice

BBC News, UK, By Anna Browning, February 14, 2008

The Fathers 4 Justice campaign has hit the headlines over the last year - but what about the mothers who are forced out of their children's lives?

For women the issues are largely the same as for fathers - maybe it is difficulties with an estranged partner, perhaps court orders are continually ignored.

But for a mother the social stigma of losing her children runs deep and the label of "bad mother" is a bitter pill to swallow.

As a form of defence some simply keep quiet, and as Marian Jayawardene of Mothers Apart from their Children (Match) says, it has become a "much hidden" problem.  More..


Adoptees deserve access to family health histories

The Baltimore Sun Newspaper, By Adam Pertman, February 14, 2005

THE U.S. SURGEON General, Richard H. Carmona, has embarked on an admirable quest. Citing the obvious fact that many diseases are inherited, he has created a national campaign that encourages all American families to learn more about their health histories.

To make this important task easier to accomplish, Dr. Carmona's office has created software that all of us can download at no cost to help track medical information about our parents, grandparents and other relatives. And to underscore how serious the surgeon general is about getting us all to act, he designated an annual National Family Health History Day to coincide with Thanksgiving.

For tens of millions of people, though, this well-intentioned initiative is nothing more than a mirage, an enticing glimpse of water in the desert that they know they cannot reach. Because all of the Americans to whom Dr. Carmona refers do not include the vast majority of those who were adopted, rather than born, into their families. More ..


Associated Press Logo

Mother drowns daughter, hangs herself, authorities say

Associated Press, various media in the U.S.A. and Canada, February 14, 2005

EPPING, N.H. An Epping woman who apparently was depressed drowned her daughter before committing suicide by hanging herself, authorities said Monday.  More ..


Billboards remember slain dad

Houston Chronicle, February 13, 2005

Some new billboards in Houston are intended to keep alive the memory of Dr. Rick Lohstroh, the surgeon who police say was shot and killed by his 10-year-old son last year.

Several of Lohstroh's friends have formed a group called Help Stop Parental Alienation Syndrome, named for the unofficial disorder that they say contributed to the 41-year-old father's death.

Lohstroh's family and friends believe his 2003 divorce was so

 contentious that his ex-wife turned their children against him,

 setting the stage for the Aug. 27 shooting.  More ..


Abuse cases face double standard

USA TODAY, By Charisse Jones, U.S.A. national newspaper, February 11, 2005

When a female teacher in Tennessee was charged this week with having sex with a 13-year-old male student, the case focused attention on a type of sexual abuse that often goes unreported.

While there is a greater awareness of such crimes, the Tennessee prosecutor pursuing the recent case, along with several psychologists, say such incidents are still viewed less seriously than those involving grown men and girls.

"Unfortunately, they look at it as the 'Mrs. Robinson syndrome'and think everything is OK," says Dale Potter, district attorney for Warren and Van Buren counties in Tennessee. He was referring to the woman in the 1967 film The Graduate who seduces a younger man.

"But it's my understanding there are some long-term effects for male victims in this kind of situation," he says. "And from my perspective, a sex-abuse case is a sex-abuse case. We don't look the other way as to who the victim is and who the suspect is."

Pamela Turner, 27, an elementary school teacher in McMinnville, Tenn., was charged Monday with having sex with a student at his home and at school. More ..


When Ms. Teacher Goes After Male Pupil

FOX News, U.S.A., By Catherine Donaldson-Evans, February 12, 2005

Female teachers accused of sex crimes against underage male students have been grabbing headlines lately. Many of them are young and beautiful, their stories sordid and intriguing.

But to law enforcement, they're something else criminals who have committed statutory rape against a minor.

This week alone, two cases have hit the news: Cops say one Texas teacher, Kathy Denise White had sex with a 17-year-old, and Tennessee teacher Pamela Rogers Turner had sex with a 13-year-old boy.

They join at least three other recent cases: Florida teacher Debra LaFave (search), 24, is expected to plead insanity to charges she had sex with a 14-year-old student, according to her lawyer; California teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, allegedly molested two boys when they were 12 and 14; and 33-year-old California teacher Rebecca Boicelli was arrested last month on statutory rape and related charges after DNA tests confirmed that a former student fathered her 2-year-old baby when he was 16.  More ..


No early child-care deal, Dryden predicts

CBC, Feb 12, 2005

VANCOUVER - Social Development Minister Ken Dryden predicted Friday there would be no quick deal on a national child-care program.

"There won't be a deal today but we're getting there," Dryden said as he sat down with representatives from the provinces and the territories at a hotel in Vancouver.

Dryden said the different governments have made substantial agreements on many points but there's a long way to go. More ..


Mom Allegedly Beats Sons Over Marijuana

Associate Press, various media in U.S.A. and Canada, Information from: Marietta Daily Journal, February 11, 2005

SMYRNA, Ga., U.S.A. - A mother has been arrested for throwing cans of beer at her children and beating her oldest son after he refused to roll joints for her, police said.  More ..


On Handcuffed and Felonious Children

FOX News, Thursday, February 10, 2005, By Wendy McElroy

What should have been a minor incident at an Ocala, Fla., elementary school has attracted national attention because of the school's response.

Two boys, aged 9 and 10, were charged with second-degree felonies and taken away in handcuffs by the police because they drew stick figures depicting violence against a third student.

There was no act of violence, no weaponry. According to news reports, the arrested children had no prior history of threatening the student depicted in the drawing. The parents were not advised or consulted. The school's immediate response was to call the police and level charges "of making a written threat to kill or harm another person."

The incident was not an aberration but one of three similar occurrences in the Florida school system during the same week. In another case, a 6-year-old was led away in handcuffs by police. And those three incidents are only the ones that managed to attract media attention.

Another indication that the incident is not an aberration: The police have adamantly and repeatedly defended the slapping of cuffs and felony charges onto the 9 and 10-year-olds.  More ..


INDEPTH: DAY CARE

Day care in Canada

CBC News Online, February 9, 2005

It was first proposed in 1970 a program that would provide affordable day care across the country. It was promised when Brian Mulroney and the Conservatives swept to power in 1984. And again four years later.

By the time Jean Chrtien's Liberals did some political sweeping of their own in 1993, promises of a national day-care strategy had fallen victim to the realities of a government wallowing in debt. With budgetary knives sharpened and drawn, day care would have to wait.

But the economic climate began to shift and in 1997, Quebec introduced its own day-care system, offering spaces at $5 a day. Demand quickly surpassed supply.  More ..


Divorced dads face bigger support bills

Calgary father told higher salary means larger payment

Calgary Herald, Suzanne Wilton, with files from Cristin Schmitz, for CanWest News Service, Tuesday, February 8, 2005

A Calgary man has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in back child support in what's being described as a landmark court ruling that could affect fathers across Canada.

The case potentially opens the door to a flood of claims by custodial parents -- usually moms -- seeking retroactive payments, say family lawyers.  More ..


National Post logo

The time for shared parenting is now

National Post, by Edward Kruk, Professor of Social Work and Family Studies at the University of British Columbia, Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Six years after the long-awaited report from the Joint House of Commons-Senate Committee on Custody and Access, and four ministers of justice later, where are we on the issue of parenting of children after separation and divorce? Shared parenting, the principal recommendation contained in the joint committee's report, has yet to be realized, as courts continue to remove loving parents from the lives of their children via sole-custody judgments.

Given the benefits it offers, shared parenting -- a post-separation arrangement that attempts to approximate the parent-child relationship in the original two-parent home -- should not be controversial. Yet upon receipt of the special committee report in 1998, then-justice minister Anne McLellan demanded more research before she would move toward implementation. Her successors have found similar excuses for inaction. During the interim period, public support for shared parenting has increased: A recent National Post poll showed that 91% of respondents are in support of shared parenting after divorce.  More ..


National Post logo

Court to dads: pay up

Alberta case may lead to flood of retroactive obligations

National Post and Global TV, CanWest News Service, by Cristin Schmitz, Tuesday, February 8, 2005

OTTAWA - Children of divorced parents should no longer bear the burden of judges' leniency towards people who pay child support, Alberta's highest court has said in a landmark judgment that paves the way for thousands of retroactive support awards. More ..


Alberta says it won't participate in national day-care program

CBC News, February 7, 2005

EDMONTON - The meetings haven't even taken place yet, but already Alberta is saying "no thanks" to the idea of joining a national child-care program.

Negotiations between the federal and provincial governments are set to begin later this week on Ottawa's proposal for a $5-billion program. But the Alberta government says it has already opted out.

The province's minister for children's services, Heather Forsyth, says Alberta wants to take the money Ottawa has to offer and create its own program.

"We have said 'no, we won't be signing any agreement,' because we do not want to be told from Ottawa where our parents have to go, or where our children have to go. We want parents in this province to have [a] choice."


'I don't get to see her'

Man protests child support ruling

By AJAY BHARDWAJ, EDMONTON SUN, Sat, February 5, 2005

A 26-year-old Bonnyville man who recently discovered he's not the father of a three-year-old girl says he shouldn't have to pay her child support. A Court of Queen's Bench Justice has said Justin Sumner must still shoulder the $165 monthly fee because he acted as the girl's father for two years before divorcing her mother.

"I don't want to pay child support for a kid that's not mine," said Justin Sumner yesterday. "The real father gets away scot-free whether he's got money or not."  More ..


Ruling a big red flag for men

Calgary Sun, By MINDELLE JACOBS, February 5, 2005

If men knew more about family law, they'd run screaming from single mothers prowling for relationships and father figures for their children.

Any lawyer will tell you that the nature of your relationship with a child - not biology - determines whether you're on the hook for child support.

Sperm has nothing to do with it, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled a few years ago. More ..


Non-dad on hook for support

Edmonton and Calgary Sun, By TONY BLAIS, SUN MEDIA , February 5, 2005    

EDMONTON -- An Edmonton judge has decided a divorced dad has to make child support payments, even though the child isn't his. Justin Sumner had an on-again-off-again relationship with the woman he eventually married, Dawn Sumner.

She already had a child from a previous relationship with a man named Rob Duncan, and as she and Justin broke up and reunited, Dawn was sexually involved with both men.

When she found she was pregnant, she called Justin, who recognized there was a possibility that Duncan was the father, but later concluded he was the dad. More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

One school system should satisfy all

Opinion, The Toronto Star, Feb. 2, 2005

Response letter to "Our kids deserve equality" opinion Jan. 31.

"Equalizing" the school system by awarding government funding to religious schools is as ridiculous as it is impractical. Such a policy is not only doomed to fail, it's just plain wrong. Where exactly would Archbishop Sotirios draw the line with regards to religious funding? How big does a religion have to be to receive government dollars? What of minor religions, super-cults, or non-religious secular humanists, who could all legitimately accuse the government of being marginalized?

Simply stating that this funding will not impact the public system does not make it so. Every dollar given to the Catholic school system is a dollar that could not be spent improving the public one.  More..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Our kids deserve equality

There is clearly a continuing public demand for Catholic schools and the same option should be available to other faiths

The Toronto Star, Opinion, January 31, 2005

By METROPOLITAN SOTIRIOS, AARON BLUMENFELD, M.D. KHALID AND RIPSODHAK SINGH GREWAL

With the recent flip-flop of the Quebec government on religious school funding, it's time to reconsider the issue in Ontario. Minority religious schools should be funded in Ontario not only to end the discrimination between Catholics and other religious groups, but also because our schools provide a necessary public service that public schools cannot offer.

In Western Canada and Quebec, faith-based schools receive substantial government funding.   More ..


Deadbeat parents lose licences

CBC PEI January 24 2005

CHARLOTTETOWN - The province has begun revoking the driver's licences of some parents who don't make child support payments.

The government has had the power to revoke licences from delinquent parents for a decade, but just began to exercise that power a few months ago.

One Island woman is wondering why the province took so long to act. She has a 14-year-old son, and she supported him on her own for the first few years. But in 1995 she went to provincial Maintenance Enforcement to force the boy's father to help out. More ..


National Post logo

A Travesty Punished

The Nation Post,  January 22, 2005

In recent years, courts have gone out of their way to crack down on "deadbeat dads" -- or, in a few cases, "deadbeat moms" -- who fail to pay child support. That's a good thing: Any parent who effectively abandons his or her child deserves to be punished. But what about the flip-side -- loving, committed non-custodial parents, usually fathers, who are denied access to their children?

Such cases are all too common, and rarely is any penalty levelled against the guilty party selfishly denying their child a two-parent upbringing. So it was encouraging to learn this week that an Ontario mother who refused to allow her three children to see their father and deliberately turned them against him has paid the price.

At the time of Superior Court Justice Lorna Lee-Snowie's recent ruling, David Cooper, a 53-year-old Air Canada pilot, had not seen or spoken to his two youngest daughters since his ex-wife, Nancy Cooper, told him to leave the family home in 1998. That lack of contact does not appear to have been through any fault of his own: Judge Snowie has stated that Mr. Cooper "loves" his children, "has tried to be a good father" and "has been a good provider throughout their lives." But according to the judge, Ms. Cooper has sabotaged her children's relationship with him in a "knowing, wilful and deliberate" way.  More ..


Woman Charged With Giving Crack to Son, 4

Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., January 21, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A mother has been arrested on charges that she gave crack to her 4-year-old son to "calm him down."

Michelle R. Shelton, 32, of Kansas City, was arrested Thursday on a child endangerment charge. Police said the boy did not suffer any obvious injuries from taking the highly addictive drug. He remains in state custody. More ..


Woman gives birth to 'giant baby'

A woman in Brazil has given birth to a "giant baby" weighing 17lb (8kg) - twice the size of an average newborn.

BBC News, UK, January 21, 2005

Ademilton dos Santos is the heaviest boy ever born in Brazil, says the Brazilian Gynaecological Association.

Ademilton was born by Caesarean section on Wednesday at a hospital in Salvador in north-eastern Brazil.

He is Francisca Ramos dos Santos' fifth child and doctors said his unusual size was probably due to his mother's diabetes condition. Paediatrician Luiz Sena Azul said Ademilton "could truly be considered a giant baby, for he was born weighing what a six-month-old-baby normally weighs". More ..


Domestic Violence or Paternity Fraud?

Townhall, U.S.A. January 10, 2005,

A judge in Spokane Washington declined a woman's request for a divorce. Her husband did not object to the divorce, and her husband is in jail for assaulting her. Naturally, women's advocates are in a tizzy.

women's advocates worry the ruling sets an unsettling precedent.

"This is a woman in domestic violence asking to get out of the relationship," said Hughes' attorney, Terri Sloyer. "We're telling abusers that if you can get her pregnant you can keep her married to you."

On what grounds would the judge deny the divorce? The woman is now 7 months pregnant, a fact that she did not disclose during the divorce proceedings. Evidently, she didn't bother to tell her husband of her pregnancy. She says that her husband is not the father of the child. Rather she became involved with a childhood friend, who now happens to be in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial on a federal drug charge.  More ..


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10 young students strip-searched in Texas

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, various newspapers and media in the U.S.A. and Canada, Friday, January 7, 2005

LA MARQUE, Texas -- Ten students between the ages of 11 and 12 were strip-searched as officials at their charter school tried to find a missing $10 bill.

 Seven girls and three boys at the Mainland Preparatory Academy were searched down to their underwear Thursday after one of the girls reported the money missing, said Principal Wilma Green. The money was not found."It's not illegal," La Marque Police Chief Richard Price said. "We don't see it as a criminal offense." But he said an investigation was underway.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Moms and murder in spotlight

Toronto Star Newspaper and other TORSTAR newspapers, January 9, 2005, by DEIRDRE HEALEY, TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE, Guelph Mercury newspaper

GUELPH - It is believed nothing is stronger than the bond between a mother and her child.

So what would push a woman to kill her own young?

"Mothers will kill their own children for a number of reasons," said Dr. Donna Stewart, University of Toronto psychiatry professor and chair of Women's Health at Toronto Hospital. "Concealing a pregnancy, a fit of rage, a lack of a strong bond or sometimes depression."

The subject of desperate mothers is once again in the news after a 24-year-old Guelph woman was charged Thursday with killing her two infant sons in 1998 and 2002 after police received new information last week. The woman also has two other children.  More ..


Kids in crisis

Families with children struggling with mental illness face many obstacles as they seek proper treatment

Ottawa Sun,  By NELLY ELAYOUBI, January 9, 2005

Jeff Kettle asks his mom how long she can visit. She's there with his dad and she tells Jeff she can stay until 8:15 p.m.

Jeff sleeps in a small room, with a single bed. He has his stuffed toy, the Grinch, tucked behind the mattress.

Jeff sneaks a kiss on his mom's cheek. With his dad, he knocks knuckles, flashing the peace sign with his fingers.

Atop a table pushed against the wall, Jeff has a row of Nintendo video games, his favourite is Spiderman. His electric toothbrush is a Spiderman one and beside it rests a stick of toothpaste.

Jeff grabs a mini bubble gum machine from this table and offers his dad some bubble gum. His father takes a blue one and tucks it away for later.

He shows off his MP3 player and lists some of his favourite groups -- Kittie, Pearl Jam and Prozac are just a few.

Jeff's parent's, Dave and Karen Kettle, visit Jeff in his room every weekend and talk to him daily.

Jeff has schizophrenia and has been a patient at the Royal Ottawa Hospital for two years.

At age 20, he functions at the level of a 10-year-old.  More ..


Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Beat stepson, man tells trial

Also admits he has assault convictions
But says teen had no reason to kill him

Toronto Star, PETER SMALL, STAFF REPORTER, January 8, 2005

The stepfather of a youth accused in the grisly "Johnathan" slaying admits he physically disciplined his stepson "five or six times" but denied causing injuries or attracting the attention of the children's aid society.

The 42-year-old cook also admitted under cross-examination by two defence lawyers in youth court yesterday that he had several assault and drug convictions and successfully battled a narcotics addiction.

He agreed his stepson, who is accused of trying to murder him and killing the teen's younger brother Johnathan, showed suicidal tendencies, was treated for depression and failed Grade 9.

The 17-year-old stepson and two 16-year-old friends have pleaded not guilty in the savage stabbing death of 12-year-old Johnathan. The boy was found in the basement of the family's east Toronto home with 71 cuts to his body on Nov. 25, 2003.  More ..


Mom accused in baby murders

Ottawa Sun and various newspapers across Canada, By KIM BRADLEY, Sat, January 8, 2005

TORONTO -- A 24-year-old Guelph woman has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of two of her infant sons four years apart. Guelph and Waterloo police re-opened the cases and charged the woman Thursday after receiving new details in late December about the deaths.

The woman is accused of killing her first child in Guelph in September 1998 when he was seven months old. She's accused of killing her third child in Kitchener in December 2002 when he was nine months old. Her other children -- a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl -- are being cared for by Children's Aid.  More ..


N.S. has 1,500 teens addicted to gambling

The Chronicle Herald, By AMY SMITH / Provincial Reporter, January 7, 2005

Hundreds of Nova Scotians not old enough to vote or drink are addicted to gambling.

About 1,500 adolescents are problem gamblers.

As well, the province estimates that very serious gambling problems affect 15,000 adult Nova Scotians, half of them VLT players who lose an average of $1,200 a month.  More ..


Role reversal

The Washington Times, By Amy Doolittle, January 6, 2005

It's the classic fairy tale: The boy gets the girl, and they live happily

 ever after. But modern society has offered a new twist on the story: The girl is expected to play the aggressor, "hook up" and move on.

Movies such as "Mean Girls," TV shows such as "Desperate Housewives," women's magazines and pop music all celebrate female romantic aggression as "girl power," but critics say these portrayals fail to show what such power leaves behind: physically and emotionally scarred women.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Kidnapper mom convicted.
Alberta woman found guilty in cross-border flight with son

Canadian Press, January 6, 2005

RED DEER -- An Alberta woman whose son reportedly discovered he was a missing child when he typed his name into an Internet search engine was found guilty of child abduction yesterday.

Gisele Marie Goudreault, 46, took her son, Orey, from Red Deer in May 1989 just as his father, Rod Steinmann, 42, was to be granted sole custody of the boy.

She fled to Mexico and then to the U.S. where she was arrested last February.  More ..


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Court throws out Andrea Yates' conviction in drowning of three of her children

Associated Press, Various newspapers in U.S.A. and Canada, January 6, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) - Andrea Yates' murder convictions for drowning her children were overturned Thursday by an appeals court, which ruled a prosecution expert witness gave false testimony at her trial.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Woman guilty of abducting son

CNEWS.canoe.ca , Canadian Press, various newspapers and radio stations in Canadian and the U.S.A., By JOHN COTTER, January 5, 2005

RED DEER, Alta. (CP) - An Alberta woman whose son reportedly discovered he was a missing child when he typed his name into an Internet search engine was found guilty of child abduction Wednesday.

Gisele Marie Goudreault, 46, took her son, Orey, from Red Deer in May 1989 just as his father, Rod Steinmann, 42, was to be granted sole custody of the boy. She fled to Mexico and then to the United States where she was arrested last February. The couple were never married and Steinmann only learned he had a son 18 months after Orey was born.

...........The charge carries a maximum punishment of a $2,000 fine or six months in jail.    More ..


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Canadian woman arrested in LA convicted of abducting son in 1989

The Associated Press, various newspapers and radio stations in U.S.A. and Canada Wednesday, January 5, 2005

RED DEER, Alta. (AP) - An Alberta woman whose teenage son discovered he was a missing child when he typed his name into a computer search engine in Los Angeles was found guilty Wednesday of child abduction.  More ..


The Canadian Press

Alberta woman found guilty of abducting son to U.S. 15 years ago

Canadian Press, various newspapers and radio stations across Canada and the U.S.A., Wednesday, January 5, 2005

RED DEER, Alta. (CP) - An Alberta woman whose son reportedly discovered he was a missing child when he typed his name into an Internet search engine was found guilty of child abduction Wednesday.

Gisele Marie Goudreault, 46, took her son, Orey, from Red Deer in May 1989 just as his father, Rod Steinmann, 42, was to be granted sole custody of the boy. She fled to Mexico and then to the United States where she was arrested last February. The couple were never married and Steinmann only learned he had a son 18 months after Orey was born.  More..


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Judge orders drug addict to stop having children

Associated Press, Various newspapers in Canada and the U.S.A., Wednesday, January 5, 2005  

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) -- A Family Court judge who last year stirred debate about parental responsibilities ordered a second drug-addicted woman to have no more children until she proves she can look after the seven she already has.

The 31-year-old mother, identified in court papers only as Judgette W., lost custody of her children, ranging in age from eight months to 12 years, in child-neglect hearings dating back to 2000. Six are in foster care at state expense and one lives with an aunt.

The youngest child and two others tested positive for cocaine at birth and all seven "were removed from her care and custody because she could not and did not take care of them," Judge Marilyn O'Connor said in a December 22 decision made public Tuesday.  More ..


Firefighters Find Baby's Body In Washing Machine

Fire Officials Claim Fire Intentionally Set

NBC4-TV, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., January 4, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Murder charges are expected to be filed against a woman whose infant son's body was found in a washing machine after firefighters doused what they say was an intentionally set fire, authorities said Tuesday.

Latunga Starks, 32, was taken into custody last night, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.

Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Dennis Shirey identified the mother and her nearly 3-month-old son, Michael Kelvin Thompson. More ..


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Mother will not stand trial for drowning death of children

Associate Press, ABC affiliate 9NEWS KUSA-TV, January 3, 2005

LAMAR - The Lamar woman charged with first-degree murder for the drowning deaths of her two children will not stand trial.

Rebekah Amaya's 4-year-old daughter, Grace Headlee, and 5-month-old son, Gabriel Amaya, were drowned in the bathtub of the family's home in October 2003. Amaya, 34, was found the same day with her wrists slashed in an apparent suicide attempt. More ..