Tue Jun 8, 2004  11:40 pm

New Unconstitutional Laws Forthcoming in Saskatchewan

From:  "David A. Giles"

Two Bills have been introduced in Saskatchewan in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Trocuik v. British Columbia (Attorney General). Both Bills are unconstitutional and will continue to discriminate against fathers and children. One Bill, in fact, violates the principles of fundamental and natural justice.
The first is Bill-25, which will amend The Adoption Act, 1998. One amendment to this Bill will be the ability of a birth mother to make an ex parte application to the court to exclude the birth father from being notified and participating in adoption proceedings respecting his child(ren), due to 'safety concerns', which is the current catch phrase for domestic and/or spousal violence. No appeal is allowed from the ex parte order, and in fact, the father will never be informed that an ex parte order has been made against him denying him any say in the potential adoption of his child(ren). This violates the principles of natural and fundamental justice.
This Bill should be of concern and importance to all fathers across Canada, for it has been stated that "Saskatchewan is on the leading edge of this proposed legislation, and in fact that it's one of the first jursidictions to impliment these changes" (Ms. Eagles, Saskatchewan Human Services Hansard, June 3, 2004, p. 75). False allegations will be allowed in adoption proceedings to exclude the father, with no legal recourse. This Bill has passed third reading with no amendments and is awaiting royal proclamation.
The second is Bill-49, which will amend The Vital Statistics Act, 1995. The proposed Bill will no longer allow the birth mother to unacknowledge the birth father, however fathers will still be allowed to be unacknowledged by being listed as 'incapable" due to death, illness, out of the province or otherwise'. This loophole will still allow the mother to unacknowledge the father for any or no reason and violates the SCC ruling in Trociuk that states that the father has to be named unless the child was conceived due to sexual assault or incest. Further, the amendment does not allow the child's surname to be changed in the father was initially found to be 'incapable', which again is in violation of the Trociuk decision.
This Bill passed committee tonight with no debate or amendments. It is expected to pass third reading tomorrow and then await royal proclamation. This amendment will continue to discriminate against fathers and children.
The amendments to both Acts will be challenged in court. A Notice of Constitutional Question is expected to be filed and served on the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General for Saskatchewan within hours of each Bill being proclaimed in force and effect.
More information to be posted as it becomes available. Contace me further for more details, including a full summary of the offending changes.