C-41 and its impact on Second Wives, Step-Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters, Extended family

  1. The impact of C-41 on second wives, step-mothers, grandmothers and extended family has not been studied. The federal government has made a commitment to do Gender-based Analysis of the impact of new policies and legislation before implementing them. It has failed to do so.
  2. Parliament has failed to make a commitment to preserving contact with grandmothers and extended family when a family separates. A typical extended family access problem is that after a breakup, the custodial mother feels so angry and bitter toward the ex-husband that she violates court orders to keep the father away from the children, but also extends this access denial to his mother, extended family, and, if he remarries, his new wife. C-41 will exacerbate existing problems in this area and make children's contact with extended family more difficult, thus disadvantaging the children.
  3. While C-41 does not directly target the income of second wives, grandmothers or extended family , the "standard of living" measure of C-41 will inevitably mean that support will consume all or virtually all of the income of those non-custodial parents who return to live with their parents after a family breakdown. Similarly if all or virtually all of the income of a non-custodial parent is consumed in C-41 based child support and taxes, then upon re-marriage the burden of the cost of supporting the non- custodial parent falls to the new spouse, typically the second wife.
  4. Privacy concerns: draconian provisions of C-41 which will reveal income and data bank information to a wide array of provincial and other government agencies concerned with support will inevitably also risk violating the tax and information privacy of mothers and second wives of non-custodial parents, without appropriate controls.
  5. Federal Government may be repeating the "Native Residential Schools" disaster. The federal government, in alliance with a powerful special interest group, the Churches, removed children from their parents, putting them in the sole custody of the church, with the best of intentions. This backfired, leaving the children abused, neglected and disadvantaged. An equally important effect, almost unrecognized, is the effect on the native communities who lost their children. These communities lost purpose and cohesiveness. Increased rates of lawlessness, suicide, depression, anti-social behaviour and violence marked these communities who suffered this government and special interest group interference. Yet government forced the residential schools on these communities and spent substantial sums of money to provide a better "standard of living". This is generally recognized now as having been a mistake. Families and their children give purpose to a community. Community disintegrates without families with purpose. Nations disintegrate without strong families. The analogies with C-41 are striking: If the federal government is repeating the native residential schools mistake, only with divorcing families and the loss of one parent and extended family, and on a larger scale, Canada's children will pay a heavy price. Families will pay a heavy price. Canada will pay a heavy price.

Report prepared by
Single Fathers' Network and FatherCraft Canada,
73 Eccles Street, Ottawa K1R 6S5
Tel: (613) 238-3208 Fax: (613)238-3491
E-Mail mencan@comnet.ca