Sunday, July 26, 2009

Maurice Vellacott and Steven Blaney Want to Remove Protection of Women and Children to Promote Promise Keepers Agenda

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.


  1. I note you are linking to a male feminist site and you are also accusing parliamentarians of the following" 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."

    Would you provide details of these accusations for the record in this blog.

    Also would you explain the dichotomy of Feminism once being equality for all but now having a dad equal is somehow anti-feminist.

    Here is a partial comment made on the feminist Dufresne article which you quote:

    Mr. Dufresne:

    I want to impart some facts with respect to divorce in Canada, with some reference to other countries similarly predisposed to treating dads in a negative manner and to help you with your references and lack of citations.

    Firstly not all divorces in Canada end due to Domestic Violence. This is an unfounded, non-scientific observation. In our country Intimate Partner Violence is pretty much equal. Here is a quote from Stats Can: "Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2005. An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men representing 653,000 women and 546,000 men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004".

    Domestic Violence is serious problem but it is not gender specific. It is a family problem that needs a new paradigm to resolve. You may wish to read Dr. Don Dutton's scientific observations here Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 on the relationship of gender and DV.

    Dr. Dutton, from UBC, is Canada's foremost researcher on this matter and is sought and cited the world over for his work.

    You may also want to have a look at this link which is REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY by Martin S. Fiebert , Department of Psychology California State University, Long Beach. This is the largest bibliography of its kind and current to May of this year.

  2. Thank you for the statistics and your well thought out comments. Where I see a problem with Mr. Vellacott's proposal is that he is taking away a judge's discretionary rights.

    We all know how he and much of his Party feel about the court system and he has been quoted before dismissing the judiciary as ineffective or bias.

    Something as important as child custody can never be dealt with in a cookie cutter fashion. EVERY case is different and most courts today give shared csutody when they see no reason reason to exclude a parent.

    We need to let the courts do their work to protect the most vulnerable, and if that happens to be the man, then him too.

    But I've visited the website that's calling the shots on this, and beleive me, it's ALL about the rights of the man, whether he's destroyed those rights or not. I've also studied the Promise Keepers in depth and this has their fingerprints all over it.

    Women have fought too hard for our rights, and protection under the law; to allow them to be reversed so easily.

    This bill was to appease the Social Conservatives who have gotten very little they were promised. It is dangerous and arbitrary but indicative of Mr. Vellacott's priorities.

  3. My comments re:

    People concerned with non-custodial parents and children's rights would do well to canvass the support of their MP's on Bill C-422.
    Bill C-422 picks up on the all-party commitment made in the 1998 "For the Sake of the Children" Report. In May, CEPC met with two Justice Critics and found they support the principle of equal/shared parenting together with a non-partisan approach to this legislation. Subsequent to those meetings, Justice Minster Rob Nicholson agreed to contact all Justice Critics to explore legislative options to proceed on a non-partisan basis. This suggests that the current Private Member's Bill status of the legislation may be escalated in parliamentary priority.
    Canadian support for these reforms has remained uniformly strong over the past decade. A recent Nanos poll indicated about 80% of Canadians support shared/equal parenting with little variation by gender, region, age, or political affiliation.
    RE: Equal Parenting Bill C-422‏
    Hello Paulette,

    Thank you for your email and understanding. MP Brown is in support of Bill C-422 and will be voting in favour of it.
    I have printed a copy of the report and will forward it to his reading file.

    Alison Eadie
    Executive Assistant
    Patrick Brown MP
    ____________ _________ _________ _________ _
    Private bill for 'equal parenting' goes on Parliament's order paper
    http://www.. lavalnews. ca/articles/ TLN1714/parentin gBill171408. html
    "That's so that the two parents can come together for the good of the child."
    Canadian Parliament Considers Equal Parenting Bill http://www.glennsac index.php# blog
    "Not only that, but the emphasis of equal parenting is on the best interests of children, not parental rights."

    I am a divorced woman, a mother, grandmother, step mother and second wife. I have seen both sides; "Second Wife Sees the Family Court System for What it is"
    The System as it stands right now is not working in the best interest of the child and it is time for change.
    Bill C-422 will release all innocent "Prisoners of Divorce" allowing both (fit) parents to have a loving unhindered relationship with their children.
    Paulette MacDonald
    Love Is For Everyone!
    Support Equal Parenting Bill C-422
    Call or Write:Your Member of Parliament
    Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson at Nichor1@parl.
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper at
    Tell them to support MP Maurice Vellacott and Bill C-422.

  4. I think you have been mislead. The CEPC is not aligned with any political party and a Nanos poll shows almost 80% in favour of it including the NDP supporters. The leader of your now favoured party has written in his book he favours it having gone through a divorce and expensive custody dispute.

    The presumption of equality is just that. You seem to not favour equality between genders. Our goal to achieve equality is made up of men and women, including many grandmothers. Our co-president is a woman in a shared parenting environment. We are apolitical and non-denominational. I am an agnostic and you can be assured their are no religious organizations driving this. We are your neighbours, your friends, and every day Canadians. As Iggy well knows divorce and loss of access to your child can impact anyone.

    Judges will still have discretion and a one size fits all 50-50 will not be workable for all parties. In countries where this is enacted couples work out the best fit and present it to the court. The outcomes for children are much better. Once, as a grandparent, you find you don't have access to the kids any further because the custodial parent deny's access you will see why we have many extended family members involved. All studies show the best interest of children is to have both parents in their lives. A minimal 40% contact is needed to maintain a parental-child bond.

    I am disappointed you think men having equal custody in a country that claims to have a constitution enshrining equality is all about men. I have 10 years experience as a stay-at-home dad and am fully qualified to raise children. I just don't get the rabid opposition based on rumour, hearsay and misandrists like Dufresne. He is clearly a self loathing man!

    If you think 50-50 equal shared parenting is all about men I am baffled. In math as in life equal doesn't mean its all about any gender.

  5. Perhaps you're right. I did phone a friend of mine who has worked for many years in a women's shelter, and she also has concerns about this bill.

    Not surprisingly, a lot of it stems from the fact that Mr. Vellacott is involved. He rarely does a thing that isn't motivated by some social conservative agenda like ending abortion or making homosexuality a crime.

    I guess once you establish that reputation it's hard to gain any credibility.

    I'm not a neo-feminist, man-hater and do understand that a father's rights have to be considered, without question, but feel that it needs to be examined on a case by case basis.

    I also oppose so many mandatory sentences and the like, that are removing the discretionary power of judges.

    I will look into it a bit further and appreciate your comments.

    Do you not find though that the courts are becoming more considerate of both parents? Many fathers are now awarded custody and women are being forced to pay child support.

  6. In answer to Paulette. I've posted your comments in support of the bill. Divorce can often be ugly and children the victims of their parents tug of war. I'm still not entirely sold on it until I research it a bit further.

    My questions would include how much both parents were involved in the raising of their children, before the divorce, and naturally what would be in the best interest of the child.

    Will this end child support?

    Can this be used as a threat to a spouse who wants out of a bad relationship?

    Will the bill include same sex partners?

    I'm still seeing the Promise Keepers behind this and it scares the hell out of me. Maybe if it was anyone but Maurice Vellacott. His proposals always put up a lot of red flags.