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Toronto Star

Working poor get 'appalling' 25 cents raise

Minimum hourly pay to rise to $8, weeks after MPPs gave themselves hefty raises

Toronto Star, Robert Benzie, Phinjo Gombu, Staff reporters, January 04, 2007

Ontario MPPs just gave themselves 25-per-cent raises, but the lowest paid workers in the province will have to settle for a 25-cent-an-hour hike to the minimum wage.

New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo, who has been pushing to have the minimum wage raised by more than $2 to $10 an hour, called plans to raise it instead by 25 cents "just unconscionable."

Labour Minister Steve Peters made it official yesterday the province's minimum hourly wage will rise to $8 from $7.75 as of Feb. 1.

That's a 3.2 per cent increase.

The move comes after MPPs were rewarded with hefty annual pay hikes worth between $22,000 and $39,000 on Dec. 21.

DiNovo also opposed the MPP raise.

"Symbolically it's appalling and in actuality it's appalling," said DiNovo. "We have people out there at $7.75 an hour now even when they're raised to $8 an hour they're still well below the poverty line, working 40 hours a week."

"Over two-thirds of those are women, many of them with children ... and a lot of them are immigrants," she said in an interview.

"We have 13,500 children using food banks in Toronto," said the United Church minister and MPP for Parkdale-High Park.

"If it were only for symbolism, we should not have raised MPPs' salaries," she said.

Premier Dalton McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory have warned that a dramatic $2.25-an-hour increase to the minimum wage would hurt business and jeopardize jobs.

Ontario businesses are already under a lot of pressure, according to Satinder Chera, director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Combined with the high dollar, increasing energy prices, and new regulations for fees and licensing, the increase in minimum wage may cost jobs and the ability for small and medium sized businesses that make up the backbone of the economy to grow in Ontario.

"No one disputes the fact about minimum wage but by increasing the number, you are going to increase salary expectations of everyone else and so you have a structural increase in wage that's going to further put pressure on the business," said Chera.

"If you are going to tie business owners' hands, it's going to make it even harder to employ people."

Since the Liberals came to power in 2003, they have increased the minimum wage by 30 cents each year, saying it would help businesses cope and remain competitive.

Ontario's economy is already lagging behind some of the other provinces like British Columbia and Alberta.

In fact, high property taxes in Toronto have claimed 100,000 jobs in the past 15 years, according to CFIB. And increasing the minimum wage will affect future employment.

"It's great to post $8-an-hour minimum wage on the wall but it means nothing to a person who can't find a job," said Chera.

Ashley Nickles, 18, is one of the slew of Ontario residents struggling to make ends meet on minimum-wage or near-minimum-wage.

Nickles, who moved to Toronto from London, Ont., about seven months ago, earns $8 an hour dispensing ice cream to customers at a downtown parlour. She works about 44 hours a week and after taxes takes home roughly $300.

"It's just enough to get me by," said Nickles, who shares the rent on a Scarborough apartment with her boyfriend. After paying for the essentials, including the rent, food, transportation and hydro, she has about $250 left over for the month.

She has to hold back on luxuries, but she notes, optimistically, "I can survive because I am young."

The 25-cent hike in the minimum wage, "is not high," she says.

But like other minimum-wage workers interviewed by the Toronto Star yesterday, Nickles sees her situation as temporary.

She dreams of becoming a dental hygienist and says she wants to go in "that direction, not this direction" pointing at the ice cream containers.

The latest workforce survey by Statistics Canada shows that Nickles' age is typical of minimum-wage earners.

more than half of all minimum-wage workers in Canada are aged between 15 and 25, and women made up almost two-thirds of them, the survey found.

And minimum-wage earners are typically 4.6 per cent of the workforce. In Ontario, the number rises slightly to 5.3 per cent.

As expected, most minimum-wage workers are concentrated in the accommodation and food services industry.

Meanwhile "highly unionized industries such as construction, public administration and manufacturing" had the lowest rate of minimum-wage workers, the survey showed.

DiNovo's private member's legislation calling for a $10-an- hour minimum wage has passed second reading but is now languishing before the Legislature's estimates committee.

"They're putting this bill on the shelf basically, so we're going to have to fight to get it back," the rookie MPP said.

"All those spurious arguments that this is somehow going to destroy the economy are absolutely ridiculous," said DiNovo, noting European countries with high minimum-wage rates are doing well economically.

In a statement, Peters noted that the Liberals are raising the minimum wage for the fourth time since taking office in 2003.

"We are providing Ontario's lowest-paid and most vulnerable workers with the fourth increase in the minimum wage in four years," the minister said.

"It is to Ontario's economic advantage to see that our workers are paid a fair wage," he said, adding the change fulfils a promise that McGuinty made during the 2003 election.

Peters pointed out that the previous Progressive Conservative government froze the minimum wage at $6.85 an hour until the Liberals took power.

The Liberals raised it to $7.15 in 2004, $7.45 in 2005, and $7.75 last year.

By contrast, MPPs, whose wages were essentially frozen for the past decade, received healthy pay increases as a pre-Christmas bonanza.

Their base salaries soared to $110,775 from $88,771. Cabinet ministers' wages rose to $157,633 from $126,321 and the premier's pay went to $198,620 from $159,166.

Adam Spence, executive director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, said 16.9 per cent of the people forced to use food banks are low-income earners.

"And if you were to exclude children from the mix, it's more like one in three of the people who are served by the food banks are (low-income workers)," said Spence.

"It is a real struggle for a lot of people. Without adequate and appropriate wages, people aren't going to be able to put the basics on their table," he said.

Brenda Campbell, administrator of the Workers' Action Centre, said $8 an hour is inadequate as a living wage.

"People want to work. We want people to work. They should at least be able to live," said Campbell.

"It just does not make sense."

Paulino De Santos, a 35-year-old refugee from Angola, has worked for the past four years as a security guard. He now earns slightly more than the minimum, taking home between $9 and $10 per hour.

But he said he's not unhappy.

"I'll take it because I have to live with it," said De Santos, who hopes one day to be a police officer.

"If it was more it would be better," said De Santos.

"But it's way better here than in Angola," he said.

with files from Surya Bhattacharya

Supporting Child Identity Rights

The Australian

Fathers demand mandatory paternity testing

A men's rights group has called for mandatory paternity testing of all babies after government figures revealed almost 600 instances of men compelled to financially support children they did not father.

Since changes to child support laws four years ago, there had been 586 cases of men successfully using DNA testing to show they were not biologically related to children they had been financially supporting, the federal government has revealed to The Australian.

Paternity Fraud Philippines

DNA paternity test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge | Visayan Daily Star Newspaper | Phillipines

DNA test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge

The Visayan Daily Star, Bacolod City, Philippines, BY CARLA GOMEZ, February 28, 2009

Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Alan Drilon has annulled the marriage of a Negrense couple after a DNA test showed that the child borne by the wife was not the biological offspring of the husband who works abroad.

The family court judge ruled that the marriage of the couple, whose names are being withheld by the DAILY STAR on the request of the court, was null and void.

Due to fraud committed by the wife in getting her overseas worker husband to marry her, properties acquired during their marriage are awarded in favor of the husband, the judge said in his decision, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.

The judge also declared that since the overseas worker is not the biological, much less the legitimate father of the child of the woman, the Civil Registrar is ordered to change the surname of the child to the mother's maiden name and remove the name of the plaintiff as father of the child.

The complainant said he was working as an electronics engineer in the United Arab Emirates and on his return to the Philippines in 2001, his girlfriend of 10 years with whom he had sex, showed him a pregnancy test result showing that she was pregnant.

On receiving the news he was overjoyed and offered to marry her. Shortly after he went to Saudi Arabia to work, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in the same year.

The birth of the child only five months after their marriage puzzled him but his wife told him that the baby was born prematurely, so he believed her, the husband said. Read More ..

Paternity Fraud - Civil Lawsuit
Unfaithful mother fined $120,170

Courier-Mail Newspaper

Unfaithful mother fined $120,170

From correspondents in Rio de Janeiro
Agence France-Presse

September 18, 2007

A BRAZILIAN woman has been ordered by the country's Supreme Court to pay a hefty fine to her husband for failing to mention that he was not the father of two of their children.

The Rio de Janeiro woman, whose identity was not disclosed, was ordered to pay her husband over $US100,000 ($120,170 Australian Dollars) for having hidden from him for almost two decades that the children in question were fathered by a lover, the court's offices said yesterday.

The husband also had sought damages from his wife's lover, the court said.

Associated Press Man Can Sue Woman For Sperm Theft Distress

Man Can Sue Woman For Sperm Theft Distress

Associated Press, U.S.A.
Feb. 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.

Australian Father Wins Paternity Fraud Case

Woman failed to tell man he was not father

West Australian News

21st December 2005

A pregnant woman has a duty of care not to tell a sexual partner he is the father of her unborn child if it is possible another man is the real father a District Court judge has ruled.

And mother-of-three, Kellie Gray, of Pinjarra, was negligent in not having a paternity test done as soon as her son was born, Judge John Wisbey said in his judgement in a damages action by a father who turned out not to be the father.

Rodney Macdonald, of Kewdale, claimed damages of about $70,000AUD from Ms Gray on the grounds that he was tricked into believing he was the father of her son. He gave up a well paid mining job to move to Perth to be nearer the child.

Fathering Magazine

A Woman's Right to be Criminal

December 5, 2002

I read a USA Today article on child support by Martin Kasindorf entitled, Men wage battle on 'paternity fraud'. Paternity fraud is when a woman names the wrong man as a father for the purpose of forcing him to pay child support. The words 'paternity fraud' were in quotes as if they referred to someone's questionable characterization rather than a straightforward fact. This might have moved me to let out a long sigh except that I knew it would not have been worth the trouble. I know from experience that 'paternity fraud' would not have been in quotes unless we were being prepared for some unadulterated bullshit.

South Korean Husband Win Paternity Fraud Lawsuit - Associated Press

South Korean Husband Wins Paternity Fraud Lawsuit

Associated Press, USA
June 1, 2004

South Korean husband successfully sues wife for Paternity Fraud and gets marriage annulled.  Wins $42,380 in compensation

Paternity Fraud - Spain Supreme Court - Civil Damages

Daily Mail UK

Adulterous woman ordered to pay husband £177,000 in 'moral damages'

The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009

An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.

The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.

The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.

Paternity Fraud & the Criminal Code of Canada

Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?

You be the judge.

Associated Press U.S.A. - Man Jailed for not sypporting child who isn't his

Man jailed for not supporting kid who isn't his

Mistaken-identity victim forced to pay $12,000 to someone else's daughter

Associated Press, USA, December 6, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Philadelphia man was forced to pay more than $12,000 in child support for another man's daughter and spent two years in jail for falling behind on payments.

Dauphin County prosecutor Edward M. Marsico Jr. told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that he is examining the case of Walter Andre Sharpe Jr., who has been unable to recover the money even after establishing that he isn't the girl's father.  Read More ..

Former U.S. Army Paratrooper Faces Paternity Fraud

Former Army paratrooper, Walter "Buddy" Everhart, of Powder Springs, Ga., was married for fourteen years in a union that produced five children, or so he thought. After his divorce, his world was turned upside down when he learned that three, and possibly four, of the children he thought were his biologically, are not. DNA testing has conclusively proved it, according to the National Family Justice Association.