It has been a busy year educating Canada about parental alienation. Thank you and happy holidays to so many wonderful people who encouraged me to keep writing and fighting for our children.
~ Kevin Pedersen
Warm Holiday Advice From PAAO
Enjoy Your Children, Even Though December Increases Divorce Conflict
As usual, this year’s December holidays are still a period of intensified conflict between some separated or divorced parents, as they try to prevent holiday visits with the other parent. This is true child abuse in the regular, ordinary meaning of the words. And here in British Columbia, this type of abuse was discovered to be violence against children this year, in the British Columbia Supreme Court case of M.W.B. v A.R.B. .
The wonderful folks at the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) have always said we should enjoy holidays with our children, if we get a chance to see them and not worry about the time or the day. One way to share Christmas is to spend noon on December 24th till noon on December 25th with one parent, and noon on December 25th till noon on December 26th with the other parent. One parent gets December 24th every even year, the other every odd year. But if you don’t have a court order like that, then you can always celebrate a couple weeks before or after your holiday.
And if your parenting time is interfered with…? First tell someone, so you are not alone. Try to find other adults to spend the day with. And use your memories of previous fun times you had with your children to enjoy them anyway. Sometimes alienators will restart parenting time after the holidays. Have a holiday party then to show kids how to adapt.
The Race Towards Equality
Canada’s Equal Shared Parenting Bill C-560 vs A Charter Challenge
I am happy to see Canada’s Private Member’s Equal Shared Parenting Bill C-560, but saddened that it is not the Prime Minister’s own bill. I am also saddened not one of Canada’s ten provincial Ministers of Justice, or three territorial Minister’s of Justice, or even Canada’s Federal Minister of Justice have upheld the Constitution of Canada or stood up against this abuse of children. This should be Canada’s Equal Shared Parenting Bill, since we all agree children need both fit parents, even more so after family breakdown.
As for my own Charter Challenge, it is relatively simple. A Mom in both British Columbia and New Brunswick were given many months to rehabilitate their parenting. The process of giving parents a chance to rehabilitate themselves has been reviewed by the Supreme Court of Canada, our National Court of last resort, and was approved in 1999.
Parenting is very hard work. But parenting is made harder for fathers who are never given the legal chance to rehabilitate themselves. Besides not providing equal protection under the law, the practice of never or rarely giving parents a chance to rehabilitate themselves, let alone to be able to legally parent equally is a violation of children’s right’s to life, liberty, and security of person and to know and be cared for by both fit parents. There has been 30 years of research proving that dual parenting helps children – even after separation. Every judge in Canada has been ignoring the clear, and convincing implications of New Brunswick v. G.(J.).  for the last fifteen years – that it is a violation of Canada’s Constitution and of everyone’s rights, and especially children’s rights, to withhold a child from parenting time with a fit parent, merely for bureaucratic reasons. In G.(J.).’s case, the Court told her, she had not filled her paperwork out properly, refused her a lawyer, and withheld her parenting time from her children for an additional half a year, over nothing but paper work. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled G.(J.).’s case was a violation of Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, even children.
There are parallel fact patterns in any Canadian divorce where children are denied one parent’s equal parenting time while legal paperwork is being done, but no clear child safety issue is present. In any Canadian divorce where a father had been parenting half of each week for 20 years, and their children are growing strong, it would be hard to argue that any child safety issue existed or that the judge held any discretion that would allow their children to be ordered anything other than equal, shared parenting.
Canadian judges have been failing to uphold this law, which they are bound by, failing to be the Guardians of the Charter, and failing to be the Parents of our Nation as is their fiduciary duty towards our children. As Emmett Macfarlane said on Twitter on December 14, 2013:
If a law infringes the Constitution, a judge should say so and strike it down. Simply choosing to ignore the law is an impeachable offence.
Canada’s Divorce Act Violates Our Canadian Constitution.
50/50 Equal, Shared Canada Child Tax Benefits
At first I was amazed to be one of the first father’s I know to be supported by Revenue Canada in attempting to collect ten year’s worth of back payments towards our children’s entire childhoods without Canada’s support at Dad’s house. Then I realized why.
Since the Canada Child Tax Benefit is income dependent, getting my former spouse to pay back half her tax credit and then sending a small portion on to me, will be a net gain for Revenue Canada. This is why they are so eager to make a ten year claim, because most Canadians owe taxes, and will not be collecting a ten year refund. On the bright side, Revenue Canada is the only agency that ever fought for our children’s interests besides me by myself.
La fête des bulles d’amour – le 25 avril, 2014
Ensemble, nous sommes capables de beaucoup.
Il n’y a que 130 jours avant la journée de sensibilisation!
Bubbles Of Love Day – April 25, 2014
Together We Can Make A Difference
Only 130 days till Awareness Day!
It was a busy week for family court, with parents seeking parenting time. There was a sensitive parenting case involving a chronic but rare childhood disease called Diamond-Blackfan anemia. There are only 30 cases in North America. It’s hard to think of children who need at least two parents more desperately than those facing lifelong health struggles, but mom had to be encouraged to release pediatric appointment dates. Dad had been volunteering $500 – $1,000/month child support but stopped once excluded from parenting time. His actual child support will be $350/month. And I found the BC legal aid booklet called How to Make a Rowbotham Application in the Court registry.
Below is my first rough attempt to try to modify this criminal application for family court. New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Social Services) v. G.(J.). (1999) is a children’s aid case that actually mentions the Regina v. Rowbotham (1988) criminal case, and both these cases discuss the values of our Canadian Constitution, like liberty and security of person, that led to the first judge being asked to appoint a lawyer to replace legal aid. Then I found a copy of the actual publication on the legal aid website, called How to Make a GJ Application.
I first wrote about the landmark GJ case on this website in 2013, but I was unaware of the connection to the Rowbotham criminal case. The British Columbia Legal Aid publication states GJ can only be used in the Provincial Court of British Columbia and only in cases under the Child, Family and Community Service Act. But of course our Constitution applies to all courts and all laws. As we pause at the beginning of the new year to reflect, let’s hope we can extend the use of this application to create fairer child support and shared parenting.
IN THE _____________ COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE
(Constitutional Question Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 68, Section 8;
Constitution Act, 1982, Part 1, Sections 7, 11(d) and 24(1))
TO: Attorney General of Canada
900-840 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3P9
TO: Attorney General of British Columbia
Parliament Buildings, Room 232
Victoria BC V8V 1X4
TAKE NOTICE that the applicant will make an application to a judge of the ________________ Court on the day of ______________________, 20______at______________________(time), or as soon after that time as the application can be heard at the _______________________Court at(address):_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
THE APPLICATION IS FOR an Order staying the proceedings until the Attorney General of ____________________________________provides the necessary funding for counsel subject to any assessment of counsel’s bill.
THE GROUNDS FOR APPLICATION ARE:
1. The applicant has a hearing date of __________________________________________with respect to child protection issues, including issues of:
(list protection issues here)___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. The applicant wishes to retain counsel to maintain custody of their children. To that end, the applicant applied to the Legal Services Society for legal aid and legal aid has been refused.
3. The applicant cannot pay for a lawyer.
4. Representation of the applicant by counsel is essential to a fair trial and to the ability of the applicant to fully address these child protection concerns. The applicant believes the protection issues are serious and complex. The applicant is ______________years old and his/her level of education is______________________________.
5. The applicant relies on section 8(c) of the Family Court Rules (CFCSA).
6. The applicant also relies on Sections 7 and 11(d) and 24(1) of the Charter, and the common law.
7. Section 7 and 11(d) of the Charter guarantee the applicant the right to a fair hearing in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and accordingly require funded counsel to be provided if the parent wishes counsel, cannot pay a lawyer, and representation of the parent by counsel is essential to a fair trial: New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. G.(J.), (1999), 3 S.C.R. 46.
8. Sections 7 and 11(d) of the Charter also guarantee the right to make full answer and defence.
9. The proper remedy is a stay of proceedings pursuant to Section 24(1) of the Charter until the necessary funding of counsel is provided.
There were 2 issues in G.(J.).: 1)The best interest of the child is paramount and presumed to lie within the parental home. 2)Section 7 rights to liberty, and security of person are so significant they are rarely overridden by other social interests. Effective parental participation at the [custody] hearing is essential for determining the best interests of the child in circumstances where the parent seeks to maintain custody of the child. Without the benefit of counsel, an unacceptable risk of error in determining the children’s best interests is created, thereby threatening to violate both the parent’s and his/her children’s s. 7 right to security of the person.
. . . I would have thought it plain that the right to nurture a child, to care for its development, and to make decisions for it in fundamental matters such as medical care, are part of the liberty interest of a parent ~ La Forest J. in the B.(R.) case.
G.(J.). at paragraph For a restriction of security of the person to be made out, then, the impugned state action must have a serious and profound effect on a person’s psychological integrity. The effects of the state interference must be assessed objectively, with a view to their impact on the psychological integrity of a person of reasonable sensibility. This need not rise to the level of nervous shock or psychiatric illness, but must be greater than ordinary stress or anxiety.
G.(J.). at paragraph I have little doubt that state removal of a child from parental custody pursuant to the state’s parens patriae jurisdiction constitutes a serious interference with the psychological integrity of the parent.
G.(J.). at paragraph  I agree with the Chief Justice that: “In proceedings as serious and complex as these, an unrepresented parent will ordinarily need to possess superior intelligence or education, communication skills, composure, and familiarity with the legal system in order to effectively present his or her case”.
The Canadian Constitution (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) says everyone has
the right to a fair trial.
In child protection matters, once someone has been denied legal aid, they have
the right to ask the court to appoint a lawyer to ensure they have a fair trial.
This request is called a “JG application.” JG is the name of a New Brunswick court
case (1999) about the right to have a lawyer in a child protection case..
Canadian courts create errors in determining the best interest of the child because of unfair trials without any ethical legal advice. These are devastating loses for any of us, which is why so many Canadians are seeking shared parenting arrangements.