Conservative MPs Maurice Vellacott and Steven Blaney have drafted a bill under the guise of protecting the rights of fathers; Bill C-422, "Equal Shared Parenting".
However, anything drafted by Vellacott always has hidden meanings, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what his are.
Using the Promise Keepers "oh, we just want men to take responsibility in the family" smokescreen, the intent of this bill is to LEGISLATE men's rights against the rights of women and protection of children. The next step will have to do with an unborn fetus, where the man will have the final say over whether or not a woman decides to have an abortion.
Supposedly Vellacott is a preacher, but he obviously has never read the Bible, or he would know that the 'good book' makes it very clear, that only a woman can decide whether or not to have a child.
And of course keeping promises to the Promise Keepers, by removing a judge's discretion when it comes to the best interest of the mother and children, is also a bonus.
So we have an alleged crook and a confirmed liar writing up a piece of anti-feminist legislation. Rich. And of course we have all the Religious Right groups pouncing on it like Stephen Harper on a photo-op. This can't be good.
Maurice Vellacott's Private Bill C-422 is bad news for mothers and children
People concerned with women's and children's rights would do well to warn their MP of a private Bill designed by advocates of what they call a « presumptive equal parenting » upon divorce.
Bill C-422, fashioned by Conservative MPs Maurice Vellacott and Steven Blaney - with the support of Liberal MP Raymonde Folco, is a new version of Motion M-483, which died on the agenda during a previous session.
It is aimed at what the proponents are calling an "overall bias" favouring women in divorce and child custody law. (No mention is made of the available statistics as to whom actually does the parenting before separation and whom commits to doing it after it.) This private bill is really about enthroning male entitlement, ending child support and imposing paternal authority.
Ignoring the reality of domestic violence - the main reason for divorce today - and criteria such as parental skills and demonstrated commitment, features NOT equally shared in most divorcing couples*, this law "would make it mandatory for two parents who are divorcing to discuss with either a mediator or a judge how they would divide the time with the children," said Folco to a Laval newspaper, adding that "equal parenting means that 50 per cent of the time a child would be with one parent and 50 per cent with the other."
The lobby behind this one-size-fits-all fathers' rights bill is the "Canadian Equal Parenting Council," and includes the obnoxious Fathers for Justice organization of Batmen and Spidermen-garbed media darlings.
"Men in Canada need to quite literally start protecting themselves from the flawed family law system," an anonymous spokesman from Fathers for Justice said in a statement supportive of Bill C-422.
The Canadian Equal Parenting Council claims support from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, quoting a 2002 book where he called unspecified shared parenting legislative changes sensible and overdue (they always misrepresent Mr. Ignatieff's views by not giving both sides of his argument, which he always provides. An asset when teaching at schools like Harvard and Oxford, but not good for attack ad fodder) .
As for the Bloc Québécois, F4J accuses it of favouring women. It rants, on its website: It's time for Mr. Duceppe to step away from the dark side and stand behind equal parenting.
*In The Canadian Family in Crisis (2003), John Frederick Conway wrote : « ...the anti-feminist men's movement has won some victories but they have not been total... it failed to win the imposition of compulsory joint custody... joint custody must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and situations of marriage breakdown that include domestic violence, addictions to drugs and/or alcohol, and psychological abuse ought not to involve joint custody, co-parenting provisions. » This caveat gets short shrift in C-422.
Bill C-422 "Equal Shared Parenting" - controversy
Friday, July 24, 2009
Maurice Vellacott's Private Members' Bill C-422 is stirring up a storm of controversy. Although a private members' bill it is apparently related to Conservative party campaign pledges to social conservative groups. Other groups question the meaning of "equal" in the bill.