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Supreme Court says divorced parents must report pay increases

CBC News TV and Radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Mon,  July 31, 2006

Canada's top court ruled Monday that divorced and separated parents have a duty to report increases in their income when it comes to paying child support.

The decision could affect hundreds of thousands of parents across the country.

The 7-0 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada means that former spouses could face big retroactive support payments. The court left the door open for lower courts to decide on those payments on a case-by-case basis.

The top court ruled that once a court decides to make a retroactive award, it should generally make the award retroactive to the date when "effective notice" was given to the parent paying child support. Effective notice occurs when the parent receiving support gives any indication child support should be paid, or if it is already being paid, that the current amount of child support needs to be renegotiated.

However, the court said, when a parent paying support engaged in "blameworthy conduct," such as avoiding or reducing support, the date when the paying parent's circumstances changed materially will be the presumptive start date of the award.

Monday's ruling stemmed from four child support cases that went to the Alberta Court of Appeal. In those cases, the fathers in each case were ordered to make retroactive payments, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

In Monday's decision, the Supreme Court upheld the decisions against two of the fathers and ruled in favour of the other two fathers.

"I think the court has been very clear that all support payers have an obligation to pay child support in accordance with their income at the time," Dee Smith, lawyer for the four Alberta fathers who challenged support awards imposed on them, told CBC News.

"The income goes up, the child support should be going up as well."

Smith said the top court has also been clear that everyone now has an obligation to let the support recipient know when there has been a change in the income, at least annually.

"I think the court has narrowed substantially the circumstances in which significant retroactive awards are going to be made," she said.

A Quote Worth Remembering

"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."

John Diefenbaker

A Quote Worth Remembering

About The truth

"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

A Quote Worth Remembering

"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."

Bill Clinton
(William J. Clinton)
42nd President of The United States of America

national "Child Day"

November 20th

Canada's "Child Day" is held on November 20th each year as designated by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.

It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths.  Read More ..

United Nations

Canadian appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour took up her duties on July 1, 2004 as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her term in office ended in June 2008.

Mrs. Arbour was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada immediately preceding her appointment to the UN as  Commissioner for Human Rights.

Law Times

Louise Arbour: a colleague we have failed

Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008

This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.

On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.

The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.

She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.

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Day Care in Canada

CBC Television 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 Chretien'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.