National Post, By Barbara Kay, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010
Last week Ontario announced it will begin impounding cars of fathers who fall behind in their child support payments. What, are mere licence suspensions not driving enough men to despair?
On Aug. 31 Paul Donovan, age 50, a reliable long-haul trucker, lay down beside train tracks near his home in London, Ont., and rolled himself into the path of an oncoming train. Most people would call it a suicide. Not his common-law partner, Brenda Higgins. Ms. Higgins holds Ontario's Family Responsibility Office (FRO) liable for his death, and will launch a lawsuit to that effect.
Paul's ex-wife works, owns a home and drives a new car. Neither she nor their children -- today adults of 18 and 21 -- are, or ever were, impoverished. Paul had been paying regular child support since 1996. But during the trucking industry's recent hard times, Paul was temporarily unemployed, and missed two support payments.
Although he was soon back at work, Paul's commercial licence was suspended by the FRO. They refused to reinstate it without payment of $1,500 Paul hadn't yet earned. Their irrational licence suspension ensured he couldn't earn it. Ms. Higgins' scant income is only sufficient to support her three children. According to Ms. Higgins in a telephone interview, several pleas to negotiate the amount and schedule of payments with the FRO by Paul, his MPP and an ombudsman were rebuffed. Read More ..
Tags: Infanticide laws in Canada, Criminal Code of Canada, Mother who kill their children, killing newborn babies
Calgary Sun, by Mindelle Jacobs, September 25, 2010
For six decades, women who have killed their babies have typically benefited from reduced sentences under our infanticide law because of the belief their minds were disturbed from giving birth.
University of Alberta law professor Sanjeev Anand wonders why only mothers who kill their infants get a break.
Fathers and adoptive parents should have a shot at judicial compassion as well, he argues in a provocative article in the Alberta Law Review. Read More ..
CBC News top story, September 2, 2010
Sexually explicit pictures of a prominent Manitoba judge must be returned to her husband, a judge ruled Thursday.
Justice Joan McKelvey of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench ruled that Alex Chapman must immediately return "all documents, emails and photographs" ever sent to him by Winnipeg lawyer Jack King.
McKelvey's ruling also compels Chapman to ask that any of the material held by someone else be returned. He is forbidden to distribute the material to anyone else.
The photos show King's wife, Justice Lori Douglas, associate chief justice of the family division of the Court of Queen's Bench, naked and in various forms of bondage, with sex toys and performing oral sex.
Another hearing will be held Sept. 9 for Chapman to have an opportunity to oppose the motion. Chapman told McKelvey he doesn't know if he can trust any lawyer in the city to handle his case, so he may be forced to retain counsel from another province.
"Right now, I am under a lot of psychological stress," Chapman said. "I will seek counsel because there are some very important points ... with respect to the public's interest in this matter."
On Wednesday, Chapman filed separate lawsuits against King, Douglas and the Winnipeg law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, where King and Douglas were once partners.
In the statements of claim in the lawsuits, which are seeking $67 million in damages, Chapman claims he was harassed and suffered emotional distress when he was allegedly coaxed by King to have sex with Douglas in 2003. Read More ..
CBC News, Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The B.C. government has suspended a controversial test called a penile plethysmograph, which it was using to assess young sex offenders to determine their risk of reoffending after treatment.
On Wednesday, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association demanded the government intervene after it learned of the tests.
Within hours, the government suspended the sex testing after the provincial advocate for children and youth announced she would conduct a review. Read More ..
CBC News, Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Kenneth Klassen, 59, of Burnaby, B.C., was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison for committing sex tourism with children and importing child pornography.
Klassen received 10 years for the sex-tourism charges and one year for importing pornography.
Prior to his sentencing in B.C. Superior Court in Vancouver, Klassen offered an apology. Read More ..
National Post, Drew Halfnight, Friday, Jul. 16, 2010
Declaring his province's courts too lenient on child molesters, a P.E.I. judge decided he should single-handedly change the paradigm: He imposed an unusually harsh sentence on one man in hopes other judges would follow suit.
"It appears to me that the established range of sentences imposed on P.E.I. for crimes such as those for which the accused has been convicted is too low," Justice Gordon Campbell wrote in his decision. "Once a range has developed, it becomes a self-perpetuating instrument."
Judge Campbell sentenced Alan Wade White to 2Â½ years in jail. He had assaulted a girl for about four years, starting when she was seven years old. Read More ..
Courier-Mail, Australia, by Matthew Fynes-Clinton, July 11, 2010
A CHILD custody trial was aborted when a Brisbane Family Court judge disqualified himself after being accused of holding secret talks with a case social worker.
The week-long trial - which involved an allegation of sexual abuse against a young girl - ended abruptly on April 28 following an application to Justice James Barry from the child's representatives for him to stand aside on the grounds of "apprehended bias".
Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant has summoned Justice Barry to a formal interview in Melbourne this week and alerted Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland to the issues.
Justice Bryant told The Courier-Mail that while she had no specific disciplinary powers, she would be spelling out to Justice Barry the "gravity of the situation for the Court and the serious inappropriateness of the conduct".
"Whilst not entirely agreeing with all that was asserted . . . to have been said between him and the (social worker), (Justice Barry) accepted that he had inappropriately discussed the contents of the family report with the (social worker)," Justice Bryant said. "The report was evidence in the proceedings."
Applying for the disqualification, barrister Jacoba Brasch - counsel in the trial for the court-appointed Independent Children's Lawyer - told Justice Barry that the social worker had informed her of the private talks which took place in the judge's chambers. Read More ..
Toronto Sun, By MOIRA MACDONALD, June 29, 2010
School's out but Corina Morrison, co-founder of the London Anti-Bullying Coalition (London ABC), is urging parents to do their homework in advance of fall trustee elections.
"What I want parents to do is educate themselves. I want them to be Read More .. aware of what's going on out there in their school system â€¦ and I want parents to demand Read More .. their trustees," Morrison told me over the phone Monday.
Morrison often gives parents looking for help a crash course in School System 101 - who to talk to, how to talk to them, who their trustee is and how the trustee might help. Read More ..
Toronto Sun, June 21, 2010 ( Fathers' Day )
Yesterday was Father's Day, a B-list occasion when compared to Mother's Day, or even Valentine's Day.
This is no secret.
Yes, we're a day late and a penny shy.
But so what?
Fathers will understand this, especially if yesterday passed with little or no fanfare -- with only a card, perhaps, or some cheap cologne.
The good fathers, at least, will understand. Read More ..
National Post, by Katherine Laidlaw, June 15, 2010
The father and stepmother of a 15-year-old Brampton girl were arrested and charged with second-degree murder Tuesday, Peel Police said.
Police responded to a call Saturday morning and found Tiffany Gayle, 15, dead in her home on Savita Road in Brampton. She died from blunt force injuries, police said.
"In this incident, we waited for the post-mortem results [before making the arrests]. It indicated to us that the cause was blunt force trauma," said Constable George Tudos.
Fedrick Gayle, 42 and Tiffany's father, and Elizabeth Gayle, 43 and her stepmother, both of Brampton, are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice tomorrow to be formally charged with second-degree murder. Read More ..
Then Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, by Petti Fong, Eastern Canada Bureau ( The print edition of the Toronto Star stated “Western Canada Bureau” ), April 30, 2010
VANCOUVER- As early as the 12th century, some churches had "foundling wheels" where mothers could place an unwanted baby in a cylinder from the outside, turn the repository to the inside, and ring a bell to alert those within of the infant's presence.
A downtown Vancouver hospital is becoming the first in North America to install a modern-day version of the wheel, with a baby hatch where desperate mothers can drop off their infants.
Under an angel sign near the hospital emergency entrance, St. Paul's Hospital has arranged for a baby drop repository where women can leave their babies in a bassinet. The repository is a built-in portal accessible from inside the hospital and from a protected area just outside of the entrance.
Once the door to the repository is opened, there is a 30-second delay before an alarm sounds, alerting hospital staff to the baby's presence, but giving the mother enough time to depart.
Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff, the head of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Paul's, said there are women who can't or don't pursue other available resources and believe they have no alternative but abandonment. Read More ..
Investigation started in November, grew into global search with suspects in 20 countries, police say
Canadian Press - Brampton, Ontario, March 30, 2010
A Toronto-area child-pornography arrest has led to a sweeping investigation uncovering 73 suspects in 20 countries, police said Tuesday.
The investigation began last November with the arrest of a 29-year-old man in Brampton, Ont., on child-pornography and sexual-assault charges, police said.
That probe went global, culminating in police gathering evidence against the 73 suspects.
This kind of offence knows no bounds in the Internet age, police said. Read More ..
Canada's largest daily newspaper
Stephen Watkins' two sons were abducted by his estranged wife. Police believe they are in Poland. Watkins had custody, and tried to prevent the abduction. Completely consumed with the search for his boys, Watkins marks the one-year-anniversary of their disappearance this weekend.
The Toronto Star, by Katie Daubs, Staff Reporter, March 8, 2010
The Polish lessons didn't bother Stephen Watkins. Sure, they made him a little uneasy, but he couldn't object to his children learning their mother's native language.
When they didn't show up for school one day last March, it was painfully clear the lessons weren't cultural enrichment.
Watkins' nightmare, the culmination of a toxic separation and years-long custody battle, became real. His estranged wife Edyta had taken Christopher, then 4, and Alex, then 7, out of the country on her court-ordered weekend access.
Police confirmed the boys had crossed into New York state with their grandfather and mother on March 8 and later boarded a flight to Germany.
One year later, Stephen Watkins' life is on hold. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries pass without news.
Those close to the investigation say the mother of his children was a force to be reckoned with, a woman no system could stop.
Her name is Edyta Watkins. Her whereabouts are unknown, although York Regional Police believe she is in Poland, the place of her birth. Read More ..
The Edmonton Journal, By Sarah Sacheli, Canwest News Service, January 29, 2010
WINDSOR, Ont. -- She gave him life and was the only parent he ever knew. In the way she snapped photos of him sleeping and playing happily, she was like any other adoring mother. But she also committed unspeakable acts to his little body, turning him into a human sex toy in her pornographic broadcasts.
The set of facts involving the Windsor-area mother who sexually abused her two-year-old son horrified both those involved in the case and those who'd only heard about it.
"Society expects the mother of a toddler would do everything in her power to make sure her child is protected from harm," said the judge who on Friday handed the 24-year-old woman a 3 1/2-year prison sentence.
He called her crimes "appalling" and "abhorrent."
While female sexual abusers are rare in the court system, those who deal with child sexual abuse know the woman is not unique. She may be the first Ontario woman to be jailed for making child pornography featuring her own offspring, but she's not the first mother to sexually abuse a child.
A national study released in 2005 shows that biological mothers were the perpetrators of sexual abuse in 5% of the substantiated cases investigated by child welfare authorities.
The instance is probably higher, since researchers are certain that many cases of child sexual abuse never come to light. "A lot of people have difficulty believing women are capable of sexually abusing children," said social worker Angela Hovey, whose doctoral thesis deals with a topic related to this theme. Read More ..
The Telegraph Journal, Maritimes Canada, Letter to the Editor, published January 19,2010
Charles W. Moore uses an unpublished, and hence unverifiable, study to express approval of spanking and "the strap" as used 50 years ago during his school days. His approval is based on "thousands of years of parenting," the American College of Pediatricians, and Section 43 of our Criminal Code.
For "thousands of years" children were treated as the property of parents with few rights of their own. Beatings and floggings in the name of discipline were the order of the day. This historical legacy was only seriously challenged in the last century and is hardly a sound basis for current policy. Read More ..
May 12, 2009
By Nicholas Bala, Suzanne Hunt & Carrie McCarney
Faculty of Law
Kingston, ON Canada
Alienation cases have been receiving a great deal of public and professional attention in the past few months in Canada. As with so many issues in family law, there are two competing, gendered narratives offered to explain these cases. Men's rights activists claim that mothers alienate children from their fathers as a way of seeking revenge for separation, and argue that judges are gender-biased against fathers in these cases. Feminists tend to dismiss alienation as a fabrication of abusive fathers who are trying to force contact with children who are frightened of them and to control the lives of their abused former partners. While there is some validity to both of these narratives, each also has significant mythical elements. The reality of these cases is often highly complex, with both fathers and mothers bearing significant responsibility for the situation.
Two of the many findings are:
Mothers are twice as likely as fathers to alienate children from the other parent, but this reflects the fact that mothers are more likely to have custody or primary care of their children; in only 2 out of 89 cases was a parent with only access able to alienate a child from the other parent.
Fathers made more than three times as many unsubstantiated claims of parental alienation as mothers, but this too reflects the fact that claims of alienation (substantiated and unsubstantiated) are usually made by access parents, who are usually fathers. Read More ..
Hundreds of them.... female teachers who sexually assaulted 12 year old boys. Read about a lesbian tennis coach who sexually assaulted her 13 year old female student.
Read how a 40 year old female sexual predator blamed a 7 year old boy whom she claimed was "coming on to me" and whom she "hoped to marry someday." Read More ..
Scotland's National Newspaper
5,000 women polled
Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner. Read More ..
"At the end of our audit in April 2010, there were approximately 91,000 bring-forward notes outstanding, each of which is supposed to trigger specific action on a case within one month. The status of almost one-third of the outstanding bring-forward notes was "open," indicating either that the notes had been read but not acted upon, or that they had not been read at all, meaning that the underlying nature and urgency of the issues that led to these notes in the first place was not known. In addition, many of the notes were between one and two years old."
"For ongoing cases, the Office took almost four months from the time the case went into arrears before taking its first enforcement action. For newly registered cases that went straight into arrears, the delay was seven months from the time the court order was issued."
The Ottawa Citizen
January 14, 2012
TORONTO - Ontario's controversial Family Responsibility Office has been overbilling 1,700 parents, mostly fathers, for as long as 13 years, the province admitted Friday.
The 1,700 parents were overbilled by an average $75 each month, after the agency wrongly applied a cost of living adjustment that was eliminated in 1997.
Those who were overpaid will not be forced to give the money back.
Instead, taxpayers will foot the $5.3 million bill for the agency's mistake.
"This error's been found and it's being corrected," said Liberal cabinet minister John Milloy. "We're going to be reaching out to those individuals (who were overbilled) and talking to them about their situation, formally alerting them."
The Family Responsibility Office, or FRO, is responsible for ensuring court-ordered child support payments are made. Read More .. than 97 per cent of all payers overseen by the office are male.
Milloy said the agency discovered the problem at some point in 2011. No one will be fired for the mistakes, he added.
"I see this as something very serious," he said in an interview. "I'm not trying to minimize it, but â€¦ there's been lots of action taken to reform FRO, to update computer systems, to update customer relations and it's on a much firmer footing."
The billing mistake is only the latest controversy to engulf FRO. Read More ..
Ontario's Family Responsibility Office has many problems
Quote from Ontario Government Ombudsman -"an equal opportunity error-prone program,."'
Support recipients not getting their money.
Men who've been meeting their court-ordered obligations have trouble getting the FRO to stop taking payments when it's supposed to. Read More ..
"Canada's National newspaper for professional women"
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. Read More ..
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences. Read More ..
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 ..
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