Canada – Equal parenting bill C-422 introduced this morning in Parliament by MP Maurice Vellacott

Please send a note about this to the Justice Minister as soon as possible.

Congratulations to everyone who has been a part of this initiative and kudos to Maurice Vellacott.

The bill will not be available to view onine for a day or two and will be under the 40th parliament, second session Bill C-422

See below

Mr. Vellacott introduced a Private Member’s Bill this morning that would require a presumption of equal parenting. This is a BILL, not a MOTION. It’s # is C-422. Don’t refer to it as M-483 if contacting others such as politicians or media about this bill because M-483 as an equal parenting measure was terminated with the last election call, as most of you already know, so nobody will know what you are talking about if you refer to it incorrectly. Mr. Vellacott’s introductory statement in introducing this bill this morning was as follows (Check Against Delivery):



Intro Statement – Equal Shared Parenting PMB – June 16, 2009


Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to be introducing a Private Member’s Bill today which would direct courts in regard to divorce, to make equal shared parenting the presumptive arrangement in the best interests of the child, except in proven cases of abuse or neglect.

Over 10 years ago, a Joint House-Senate committee presented to Parliament a report entitled “For the Sake of the Children.” That report urged Parliament to amend the Divorce Act to make equal shared parenting the normative determination by courts dealing with situations of divorce involving children. This non-partisan recommendation from that Joint House-Senate was based on compelling research made available to the committee members. Over the past ten years, the best research has continued to demonstrate the far superior outcomes for children, in general, when both parents – mom AND dad – are actively involved in their children’s lives, even if the parents divorce or separate.

Polling from the past two years demonstrates overwhelming support from Canadians for equal shared parenting. There is, in fact, slightly more support among women than men for equal parenting. This strong support from almost 80% of Canadians exists across the country, with the strongest regional support coming from Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

        Canadians claiming to be Liberal and Bloc supporters, expressed the strongest endorsement for equal shared parenting, at 80.6% among Liberals and 82.9% among Bloc Quebecois supporters.

        A variety of countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Australia, and various U.S. states, have implemented equal parenting, joint custody or shared parenting presumptive legislation, which has resulted in lowered court costs, less conflict and improved social outcomes for the children of divorce.

This bill is one of the most a-political, non-partisan pieces of legislation introduced in this current Parliament. I look forward to strong support for this important piece of legislation from all Members of Parliament who are committed to the best interests of our Canadian children.



Support equal parenting bill C-422
Call & Write:
Your Member of Parliament
Federal Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
and tell them to support MP Maurice Vellacott and this bill.


14 Responses to Canada – Equal parenting bill C-422 introduced this morning in Parliament by MP Maurice Vellacott

  1. Sharon Taylor says:

    HUGE “THANKS” TO MR. VELLACOTT AND TO ALL MP’S WHO SUPPORT BILL. please push hard and fast on equality for families. I am wondering tho, does equal really mean EQUAL??? and how are the agreements in place now going to be affected by this Bill C-422??? thanks for your time sharon and tony if this turns out as good as it sounds for the children and their families it will be one of the BEST LAWS CHANGED IN HISTORY!!!!!!!

  2. Stephen Burke says:

    I`m pinching myself, can`t believe the law may actually change. As someone who has been witness and endured the destruction of finances, leftover goodwill of ex-spouses and my son`s childhood experience, I am confounded that the existing laws were sanctioned in the first place. Intellgent people made these against all common sense, and have ignored too long the success of the shared parenting assumption in other countries. I am not religious in any way but am motivated to say a prayer that this bill comes to pass. Kudos to Maurice Vellacott for listening to a desperate segment of society and his courage to do something about it.

  3. Paul Goodman says:

    Amen. I have fought for 7 years since my two sons’ mother left me for her boyfriend. I have always been a family man, as involved as any dad since each of my boys were born – diapers, midnight feedings, hospital runs, meals, playtime, bedtime, coaching, school work, etc. My lawyer’s advice at the time was “courts still favour the mother; there are 5 family court judges – 3 will give you alternate weekends, 1 will give her alternate weekends and 1 will go 50-50… feel like gambling?” No. So we settled on 10 days in a 4 week period, maximizing my time without crossing the magic 40% threshold which would reduce the child support. The animosity from 7 years of seeing my sons and money go out the door has not been good for any involved. Not every parent – married or divorced – deserves shared access, or any access… but this Bill is long overdue.

  4. […] recomended reading: Brownstone: Tug of War Tug of War | ECW Press See Bill 4222 Equal Parenting Canada – Equal parenting bill C-422 introduced this morning in Parliament by MP Maurice Vellac… 11998 Study- For the Sake of Our Children Canada's Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access – […]

  5. Jacqueline says:

    The article is the Toronto Star stated that this bill has no chance of passing. Shame on our elected officials! It is time to stand up for the children and the best interests of all families. Children need to know and love both parents.

  6. neville barnett says:

    The introduction of this bill was like a breath of fresh air for good parents.(dad and mums who have been put through the ringer by the injustice of our court system)But it does not do any good sitting on the floor of the house of commons.Since its
    first reading back in June not too much has been heard about it.When will the second and third reading proceed and when will it go to the senate after a vote in the commons.Pressure has to be put on MP’s for progress of this bill.God forbid we have another election in the next few months,that bill will die.

  7. Tonni DuMoulin says:

    What has happened to this Bill?
    Can’t seem to find out the outcome.

    thx, tonni

  8. Kris Titus says:

    Hi Everyone

    Thanks Jim for asking me to post an update about Bill C-422. Someone pointed out that there has not been much about the bill since it was introduced last June.

    Our parliamentary private member process ( C-422 is a private member’s bill ) does not lend itself to speedy passing of bills into law.

    MP Maurice Vellacott is one of the last MPs on the list to present his private member bill for equal parenting. This bill will not likely see second reading for another year or two and yes, by then we will likely be into an election.

    C-422 however has, and continues to, be debated in the media and the public. The Canadian Bar Association, family law division, has sent a report to our Justice Department urging them to defeat C-422 on the Anniversary of the bill’s first reading.

    I laugh at their alarmist attitude over a bill that, they know as well as we do, may never see the light of debate in our House of Commons.

    Now, all of that being said, I can also tell you that the Canadian Equal Parenting Council has not put all its eggs in one basket and we continue to maximize the exposure of the issue that C-422 provides and we continue to seek other MPs willing to introduce a private member bill in parliament for equal parenting.

    I do hope we will have more announcements in the fall.

    We also have another private member motion, M-267, which is to recognize April 25th nationally as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. What is interesting about this motion is that it is being introduced by a member from the opposite side of the House from Mr. Vellacott.

    Ultimately, unless or until the sitting government of the time decides to step in and introduce legislation, we will be stuck in the private member process which can take 5 introductions or more before one sticks.

    And so we continue on, dilligently, United in Purpose & Spirit

  9. Christine says:

    This Bill may be good for some, but there are some children out there that will suffer. My children have suffered over the years of joint custody. Now that their father is “done” with them. I can pick up the pieces. Both parents need to remember that in shared or joint custody situations, this also means shared resposiblitlities. Both will take turns taking time off work to take the kids to the dentist(and pay), doctor’s appts, and sporting activities(and pay)etc. Shared custody should not be a means of keeping the kids from the other parent. The children are the ones that will ultimately suffer. This type of parenting only works when you have mature parents invilved!

  10. Tonni DuMoulin says:

    Well I have been watching an 3 year battle for a father to have equal access and parenting rights and responsibilities. Thousands of dollars later after disproving numerous allegations from the ex – he is finally getting an answer this month from the courts.
    From what I have seen in all of this – the mother is always innocent and if it is proven that she makes repeated false allegations nothing happens to her – and the father is guilty until proven innocent.
    It has cost the children 3 years of getting to see each other on a regular basis and 3 years of a 5 year old’s life not seeing her father and brother.
    Although some say it won’t work unless both parents are mature and sensible – which is an unrealistice expectation in ‘angry’ divorces – I believe it will work if the courts establish right off the bat – that both parents are accountable for their actions and finances surrounding the children they have brought into this world, and the courts actually show that the law will enforce those who break the court orders.
    Will there be glitches? of course, will there be situations that don’t warrant 50/50 custody/access? – yes of course. But if the norm is joint/equal parenting – then the courts will be filled with the exceptions not every contankerous divorce battle.
    It is interesting to note also – as I watch this particular custody/access battle – I have seen many fathers coming and going – who gave up the battle due to almost total financial ruin trying to ‘fight back’.
    I wish this law was already passed. I do believe there are a lot of fathers out there who would be more active in their children’s lives if given the opportunity.
    Let the courts be jammed with parents not willing to be responsible – Give those who wish to continue to have a voice and responsibity in their children’s lives the opportunity to do so.

    I believe that it is time we legislated the end of parents using the court system as a battlefield and their children as pawns when they have decided they no longer want to be with their spouse.

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