Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles 2012

Ottawa Citizen

Ontario agency admits to overbilling on child support payments

The Ottawa Citizen, January 14, 2012, by Lee Greenberg

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 … 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 ..


The Telepgraph UK

Boys raised by traditional families 'do better at school'

Boys raised in traditional families are Read More ..kely to perform well at school and avoid suspension than those brought up by single mothers, it has emerged.

The Telegraph, UK, By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, 03 January 2012

Boys brought up by single mothers are Read More ..kely to struggle, according to the report by the University of Chicago.

In a major study, researchers said family structures had a much Read More .. significant effect on boys' early education than school type or even the gender of teachers.

It found that boys were much Read More ..kely to misbehave, be excluded from school and go on to achieve low grades after rebelling against "emotionally distant" parents.

The pattern is particularly marked in single-parent families where mothers "invest disproportionately less in their sons or feel less warm toward them" than daughters.

The disclosure comes amid continuing concern over the gender gap at the heart of the education system. Read More ..


Nationa Post

Ottawa woman turns to Kijiji to search for the father she never met

Peter Mazereeuw, National Post Staff, September 13, 2012

Eva Carter is going online to find the father she has never met, turning to Kijiji after struggling for years with family members who refuse to reveal his identity.

"My name is Eva. I am searching for my biological father or any relatives or any one with information [about] him. My mother is Suzanne Watson you would have met her when she was in Toronto in 1988," wrote Ms. Carter in an ad she re-posts on the site every few months.

The 23-year-old Ottawa woman turned to Kijiji after consulting non-profits, lawyers and even the Toronto police without finding a clue to her father's identity.

She isn't alone: Ads seeking a biological parent fill a significant chunk of the "long lost relationships" section of the Quebec-based classified website's Ottawa-Gatineau page.

Several specialized websites are devoted to reuniting parents and children separated at birth, especially for those who were adopted. Canadianadoption.com, Canada Adoption Registry, the Canadian Children's Rights Council, and Parent Finders of Canada are just some of the sites that offer help or information for those seeking to find parents or children. Read More ...


Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

CNN, U.S.A.
March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any Read More ..bies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  Read More ..

CYF project halves child suicide rate

The New Zealand Herald, BY LEAH HAINES, October 10, 2004

A three-year project by welfare and health agencies has halved the rate of suicide among some of the country's most at-risk children.

Researchers say the project has the potential to put a massive dent in New Zealand's youth suicide rate - currently the highest in the developed world.

The results of the Towards Well Being suicide monitoring project were due to be presented to an international conference on youth suicide this weekend and are expected to gain global attention. Read More ..