Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

The Canadian Press

Top court to rule on support enforcement

 Canadian Press, January 16, 2007

OTTAWA A plastic surgeon accused of fleeing the country to avoid paying support to his ex-wife and children is raising a thorny problem for the Supreme Court of Canada.

The question is whether divorced dads can be cited for contempt and jailed for ignoring court orders in such disputes. The answer could reach well beyond the immediate case of Kenneth Dickie, his former wife and their three now-grown children.

"It's really about how to deal with every divorced or separated woman's worst nightmare . . . that their husband is going to disappear or default in his support obligations," said Harold Niman, lawyer for Leaka Dickie.

"The broader issue is how can the courts deal with a chronic problem of non-payment of support, and the systemic problem that raises for families across Canada."

Rochelle Cantor, who represents Kenneth Dickie, retorts that her client paid both spousal and child support for a decade after the couple first separated in 1991.

"He continued to pay it until he ran out of money," said Cantor.

The complications started when Leaka Dickie went back to court after the initial support agreement lapsed in 2001. She won an interim judgment never finalized awarding $9,000 a month in payments for the three children and $2,500 a month in spousal support.

A year later, in late 2002, Kenneth Dickie, who had been practising in Sarnia, Ont., moved with his second wife and their two children to the Bahamas. There were no further support payments.

Back in Canada, Leaka Dickie obtained yet another judgment from Ontario Superior Court ordering her ex-husband to issue a letter of credit to her for $150,000 to cover his support obligations. Dr. Dickie was also ordered to put up an additional $100,000 as a security to cover potential court costs.

Canadian court orders can't be legally enforced in the Bahamas. But when Kenneth Dickie returned to Ontario for a hearing in February 2004, he was promptly held in contempt and led away in handcuffs to serve 45 days in jail.

He had argued, in his defence, that he was financially unable to provide the letter of credit and security deposit demanded, but the judge rejected the contention.

Kenneth Dickie went back to Freeport upon his release, where he continues to operate the Bahamas Institute of Plastic Surgery. The clinic's website offers a wide range of services, from breast enhancement and tummy tucks to more complex procedures.

Patients from Canada and the United States are offered packages that include post-operative stays at upscale hotels. The site also notes that financing terms are available, once credit approval has been obtained by filling out a form disclosing income and assets.

Written material filed by Niman at the Supreme Court describes Kenneth Dickie as owning a Porsche, a Mercedes and a luxury house on a waterside estate. Meanwhile, says Niman, Dickie's ex-wife and children, now living in St. Albert, Alta., are struggling to make ends meet.

The main issue before the Supreme Court, however, isn't the extent of Kenneth Dickie's wealth or the precise amount owed in support payments it's the fact that he was held in contempt at his 2004 hearing.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 split decision last year, ruled that the judge in the case had no power to issue a contempt citation, much less to jail him.

Justice John Laskin, in a scathing dissent, said Kenneth Dickie had shown an "appalling disregard" for his support obligations, concluded that he had fled the country to escape them, and said he shouldn't even have been allowed to challenge the contempt finding.

Cantor is arguing at the Supreme Court that sending people to jail for failing to pay their bills is a "Dickensian concept" reminiscent of debtors' prison.

Cantor also contends that Kenneth Dickie, who wasn't represented by a lawyer at the contempt hearing, didn't get fair treatment and was denied a chance to offer a full defence.

Niman argues that, in some circumstances, the use of contempt citations against those who don't live up to their support obligations is justified.

Oral arguments in the case are set for Wednesday. It usually takes the high court several months to deliver a ruling.

Lesbians who split up sue sperm donor for child financial support

Two lesbians sue sperm donor for child financial support when the lesbians split up.

Divorced Dads:
Shattering the Myths

Dr. Sandford L. Braver and Diane O'Connell

picture book Divorced dads: Shattering the Myths

This is the result of the largest federally funded 8 year study of the issues confronting parents and their children in the United States.

Shattering the Myths. The surprising truth about fathers, children and divorce.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

Landmark Ruling Grants Father Custody of Children

PA News (U.K.), July 3, 2004

A key court decision to grant a father custody of his daughters after the mother flouted contact orders for four years was today welcomed by campaigners.

Fathers 4 Justice said that the High Court ruling was a vital victory and called for more judges to take a similar stance when faced with resistant parents.

The comments come after Mrs Justice Bracewell transferred the residence of two young girls to their father because the mother persistently refused him contact, despite court orders.  Read More ..

Family Conflict and Suicide Rates Among Men

by Dr. Hazel McBride Ph.D. June 9-10, 1995

Violence and Abuse within the Family: The Neglected Issues

A public hearing sponsored by The Honourable Senator Anne C. Cools on June 9-10, 1995 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Transcript of Dr. Hazel McBride's presentation on the relationship between family conflict and suicide rates among men.

Toxic Parents Study Australia

Sydney Morning Herald

The sins of the mothers

The Sydney Morning Herald
September 12, 2008

Wayne Warburton, a research fellow at Macquarie University's Children and Families Research Centre, said: "Mothers have a really powerful effect on the way their kids view the world and themselves, probably because kids spend Read More with their mothers, especially in the crucial early years." Dr Warburton asked 441 university students to fill out detailed questionnaires on the parenting styles of their mothers and fathers, and on their own patterns of thinking. He asked them to recall 72 parenting behaviours, including "making a child feel ashamed", being unloving or rejecting, and frequently telling the child they were stupid or would fail. He also asked questions designed to uncover destructive thinking patterns in the students, such as being "clingy" out of a fear of being abandoned. He found young adults were two-thirds as likely to develop unhelpful patterns of thinking if the toxic parenting they had experienced came from their father rather than their mother.   Read More ..

Canada Flag

Health Canada

Aggressive Girls
Overview Paper

This overview paper summarizes recent research on girls who exhibit aggressive and violent behaviours. It defines relevant terms, outlines factors which may contribute to girls' aggression and violence, and presents ideas for preventing these behaviours. A list of resources is also included. 2002, 13p.

A Not Very Funny Valentine

"The Vagina Monologues" are coming to a theater near you … again.
Eve Ensler's politically correct-feminist play is being dusted off on campuses and in communities around North America for production, often at taxpayer expense.

By Wendy McElroy
January 27, 2004

Since 1998, the play has been part of a drive to convert Feb. 14 from chocolates and Valentines to Vaginas and Violence.

Canadian Press - Youth / Child Incarceration rates - jails Canada

Canadian incarceration rate rises for first time in more than a decade

Canadian Press
November 21, 2007

OTTAWA - The number of Canadians behind bars rose in 2005-06 for the first time in a decade, as Read More ..ults were jailed while awaiting trial or sentencing.

However, the average number of young people aged 12 to 17 in custody on any given day continued a decline that began with adoption of the Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003.