Canada's largest daily newspaper
Rich Nation, Poor Children
The Toronto Star, by Vipal Jain, November 20th, 2009 ( Canada's Child Day and the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child)
One in nine Canadian children, more than a million, live below the poverty line according to the 2008 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada. Although this should be a concern every day, it is especially a concern on Nov. 20, National Child Day and the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC).
Fifteen years ago, the Canadian government resolved to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. Nine years later, nothing has changed. The rate of child poverty has remained at 12 per cent for two decades now, according to Statistics Canada.
"For many families, it's very difficult to get out of poverty. There isn't enough money to feed the children, clothe them properly, or even enough money to pay for the bus fare or to look for a job," says Grant Wilson, President of Canadian Children's Rights Council. It's even harder for new Canadian children and aboriginal families as they are at a greater risk of living in poverty, according to the report.
Wilson says that the main reason for child poverty is lack of political will. Canada has ratified the UNCRC, requiring it to report on how it is fulfilling its human rights obligations. Countries are required to report every five years and the most recent deadline was January 2009. Canada still hasn't completed the report. "The federal government doesn't take this seriously and it's not really a priority," says Wilson.
Michele Peterson-Badali, Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto takes the issue one step further by criticizing the fact that the convention doesn't have any legal force or impact any areas of Canadian law. "In other countries, when they ratify the convention, it becomes part of the law. Many European countries work that way." She says that Canada's legal system isn't built to fight child poverty, as there aren't any penalties for not meeting the standards of the convention.
Peterson-Badali says tackling this problem requires the Canadian federal government to make social commitments and long-term social policy, which supports parents and their children. Countries with reduced child poverty have achieved their goals by having effective child benefits, quality childcare practices, more childhood education for parents and national affordable housing systems.
"There's an important role people can fulfill by taking to their Member of Parliament about child poverty," Wilson says. Canadians need to show concern in order to set new targets and deadlines and finally put an end to child poverty in Canada.
Vipal Jain is a Grade 12 student from Mississauga. She hopes to travel to a developing country one day and learn more about the issues affecting children.
TV Show about Parental Alienation
W5 investigates: Children on the frontlines of divorce
November 7, 2009
The world of divorce is scary for any child. But when a divorce becomes especially toxic, children can become the target of an unrelenting crusade by one parent to destroy the child's relationship with the other. Experts call it parental alienation.
A Kidnapped Mind
What does Parental Alienation Syndrome mean? In my case, it meant losing a child. When Dash was 4 1/2 years old his father and I broke up. I dealt with the death of our marriage and moved on but Peter stayed angry, eventually turning it toward his own house, teaching our son, day by day, bit by bit, to reject me. Parental Alienation Syndrome typically means one parent's pathological hatred, the other's passivity and a child used as a weapon of war. When Dash's wonderful raw materials were taken and shaken and melted down, he was recast as a foot soldier in a war against me.
Divorced Parents Move, and Custody Gets Trickier
The New York Times, New York city, U.S.A. August 8, 2004
Not too long ago, Jacqueline Scott Sheid was a pretty typical Upper East Side mother. Divorced and with a young daughter, she had quickly remarried, borne a son, and interrupted her career to stay home with the children while her husband, Xavier Sheid, worked on Wall Street.
Early last year, Mr. Sheid lost his job and saw his only career opportunity in California. But Ms. Sheid's ex-husband, who shares joint legal custody of their daughter, refused to allow the girl to move away. So Ms. Sheid has spent much of the last year using JetBlue to shuttle between her son and husband on the West Coast and her daughter (and ex) on the East.
The New York court system, which she hoped would help her family to resolve the problem, has cost her tens of thousands of dollars in fees for court-appointed experts, she said, and has helped to prolong the process by objecting to her choice of lawyers.
The View - Parental Alienation - Alec Baldwin and Jill Egizii - Both Genders Can be Victims
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 ..
Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father
Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.
ABC13 Eyewitness News, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Dec. 29, 2004
The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father's death.
Some psychiatrists call it Parental Alienation Syndrome and they say that's why the son killed Doctor Rick Lohstroh last summer. The syndrome is basically caused by a bitter parent who poisons a child against the other parent, usually in cases of divorce.
THE CANADIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
L'ASSOCIATION DU BARREAU CANADIEN
Parental Alienation Syndrome: A 'Hidden' Facet of Custody Disputes
Parental Alienation - Myths, Realities & Uncertainties:
A Canadian Study,
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.
Custody judges rule on vengeance
Courts criticized for recognizing 'parental alienation'
March 27, 2009
Toronto -- The scope of the courts' reach into family affairs has long been contentious, but a recent trend in Canada's legal system has brought a new controversy that has some onlookers praising judges and others condemning them for accepting what they call "voodoo science."
More than ever before, Canada's judges are recognizing that some children of divorced and warring parents are not simply living an unfortunate predicament, but rather are victims of child abuse and suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome. Read More ..
Parenting: Baldwin Speaks Up
May 7, 2007
Many celebrities would shrink from view after a PR nightmare like Alec Baldwin's leaked voice mail in which he calls his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, a "rude, thoughtless little pig." But Baldwin wants to use the media scrutiny to give exposure to parental alienation, the controversial "syndrome" caused by one parent's systematically damaging a child's relationship with the other parent.