National Shared Parents Association
Conference in Regina, May 1999
REGINA LEADER POST/SASKATOON STAR PHOENIX
Saturday, April 17/99
Association Seeks Changes to Divorce Laws
(Photo of Blaine Collins)
"Blaine Collins is excited about the national conference"
Canada's divorce laws are archaic, according to members of the National Shared Parenting
Association, who are excited about the association's upcoming national conference to be
held in Regina.
The association, which will be holding that convention in Regina on May 14-16, is calling
for changes to the country's divorce laws so both parents in a divorce would share equally
in the rights and responsibilities of raising the couple's children.
"Common sense indicates that children need both parents," said Blaine Collins, a
spokesman for the Saskatchewan chapter of the national association, at a Regina press
Existing law, which often leads to a situation in which one parent receives custody of the
children and the other parent gets visiting privileges, is "pretty archaic,"
Both parents should have equal status and responsibility for looking after the children,
A variety of practical arrangements - such as a "week on, week off" arrangement
with the children going back and forth between the two divorced parents on a rotational
basis - can be worked out Collins said. About 25-30 speakers - including politicians,
lawyers, child psychologists and others - are expected to make presentations at the
conference, Collins said.
Federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan will not be attending the conference. But
Collins said there are indications that McLellan may be responding sometime in May to
recommendations made by a joint House of Commons-Senate committee that studied issues
related to divorce and child custody. Collins said there are concerns the response
provided by McLellan may fall short in terms of providing mediation and education for
divorced parents, in establishing equal shared parenting as the normal procedure after
divorce and in deterring people who make false allegations of spousal or child abuse.
The conference of the National Shared Parenting Association will be held at the Sands
Hotel in Regina and is open to the public at no cost.
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